John Luther Adams - signature



Three Canticles of the Birds   (2013)
for piano and percussion


Commissioned by Tracy Lipke-Perry and Gene Koshinski

Dream of the Canyon Wren   (2013)
for string quartet


Ilimaq   (2012)
for solo percussionist and electronic sounds.


Commissioned by University of Texas, Stanford University, the Walker Art Center, and Duke University.

Tukiliit (The Stone People Who Live in the Wind)   (2012)
for solo piano.


Commissioned for Emanuele Arciuli.

The Wind in High Places   (2011)
for string quartet.


Four Thousand Holes   (2010)
for piano, percussion and electronic sounds.


"It is impressive to imagine anyone actually following such conceptual virtuosity, much less creating the seamless, seemingly organic layers of sound Adams lays out over his structurally precise and infinitely flexible power grids."

-- Laurence Vittes, Gramophone

The Light Within   (2007)
for alto flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone/crotales, piano, violin, 'cello and electronic sounds.


Commissioned by the Seattle Chamber Players and the California EAR Unit.

"Inspired by James Turrell's ethereal installation art, Adams' thick and undulating wall-of-sound approach suggests a musical corollary to Turrell's sublime manipulations of time, space and color."

-- Josef Woodard, The Los Angeles Times

"... the standout work of the festival ... a shimmering spectrum of massive, merging harmonies ... the textures of noise as our contemporary counterpart to the sublime."

-- Thomas May, Seattle Weekly

Nunataks (Solitary Peaks)   (2007)
for solo piano.


Commissioned by Music Northwest.

Three High Places (in memory of Gordon Wright)   (2007)
for solo violin.


Dark Waves   (2007)
version for two pianos and electronic sounds.


for Jim (rising)   (2006)
for three trumpets and three trombones.


Red Arc / Blue Veil   (2002)
for piano, mallet percussion and processed sounds.


Commissioned by Ensemble Sirius.

"...a shimmering, minimalist, impressionistic landscape of sound: rolling waves from the piano, gentle whooshes from the percussion, augmented by an occasional loud groan from the computer."

-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dark Wind   (2001)
for bass clarinet, vibraphone, marimba, piano.


Commissioned by Marty Walker.

Recorded on Cold Blue Records (CB0009).

"...striking... the deep bass clarinet line weaving in and out of the rolling bass notes of the piano and the vibraphone accompaniment."

-- Francois Couture, The All Music Guide

"...a sumptuous ensemble rumble, with thrumming chords from piano and three mallet percussionists."

-- Los Angeles Times

Score Sample

After the Light   (2001)
for alto flute, vibraphone, harp.


Commissioned by the CrossSound Festival.

The Farthest Place   (2001)
for violin, vibraphone, marimba, piano, doublebass.


Recorded on Cold Blue Records (CB0010).

The Immeasurable Space of Tones   (1998-2001)
for violin, vibraphone, piano, sustaining keyboard, contrabass instrument.


Recorded on Cold Blue Records (CB0010).

" unbroken, slowly shifting, many-hued sound texture... frequently energized by internal ripples and coruscations... the discipline imposed by the work's own internal structures has the effect of disclosing, within the sound mass, particular dimensions of power, range and beauty..."

-- Christopher Ballantine, International Record Review

Score Sample

Among Red Mountains   (2001)
for solo piano.


"It sounded, as its name might imply, like an enormous rock formation turned into sound."

-- Greg Sandow, NewMusicBox

Score Sample

The Light That Fills the World (Chamber Version)   (revised 2001)
for violin, vibraphone, marimba, sustaining keyboard, contrabass instrument.


Commissioned by the Paul Dresher Electric Chamber Ensemble.

Recorded on Cold Blue Records (CB0010).

" enormous geography of sound... a wilderness of big sky... the audio analog to a series of floating clouds beside a snowcapped mountain."

- Ben Fleury-Steiner, ei magazine

In a Treeless Place, Only Snow   (1999)
for celesta, harp (or piano), 2 vibraphones, string quartet.


Commissioned by the Third Angle New Music Ensemble.

"Adams' music made the unseen visible, like breath exhaled into frosty air, a bodilessness pulsing with life. His rising and falling themes, traded among the strings, built a prayerful melodic arc that stretched out to infinity yet spoke directly to the individual soul."

-- Grant Menzies, The Oregonian (Portland)

Time Undisturbed (1999)
for piccolo, flute, and alto flute (or three shakuhachis), three harps (celesta, piano and harp) (or three kotos), 'cello and sustaining keyboard (or sho).


Commissioned by the Kanagawa Cultural Council for the Monophony Consort.

Make Prayers to the Raven (1996/98)
fl, vln, hp (or pno), vlc, percussion.


Five Athabascan Dances  (1992/96)
for harp and percussion.


Score Sample

Five Yup'ik Dances  (1991-94)
for solo harp.


Strange Birds Passing (1983)
for flute choir (2/3/2/1).


songbirdsongs   (1974-80)
for 2 piccolos and 3 percussion.

ca. 40:00

Recorded on Centaur (CRC 2273) and Opus One (LP#66).

"I'm working as a fire lookout on Aztec Peak in Arizona. Used to work same job on N. Rim of Grand Canyon. Your musical evocation of the hermit thrush, common to both places, moved me to tears."

- Edward Abbey, letter July 1978

" of the most sensitive reworkings of birdsong since Messiaen's."

- Ear Magazine

" ...exquisitely gentle evocations of wilderness sounds... songbirdsongs transformed the auditorium into the aural equivalent of some enchanted forest...The effect was musical magic."

- News and Courier/Evening Post (Charleston, S.C.)

"...uncanny...songbirdsongs is a beautiful recording."

-- John Schafer, National Public Radio

"...charm and a real feeling for the nature of nature's music."

-- Eric Salzman, Stereo Review

"un monde d'enchantement sonore, vibrant de mystere et de poesie."

- Le Devoir (Montreal)


All works available from:

Theodore Front Musical Literature
16122 Cohasset St.
Van Nuys, Ca 91406


  P.O. Box 81382
  Fairbanks, AK 99708

Taiga Press


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