Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | November 7, 2014

    Carli Davidson: IMG Puppies for Sale? Read This First



    Shake Puppies contains an almost unsettling amount of cuteness. There is a good chance after looking through its pages you will get puppy fever and... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Music- Classical Biographies

Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life

by

Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

John Adams is one of the most respected and loved of contemporary composers, and “he has won his eminence fair and square: he has aimed high, he has addressed life as it is lived now, and he has found a language that makes sense to a wide audience” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Now, in Hallelujah Junction, he incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his landmark minimalist innovations to his controversial “docu-operas.” Adams offers a no-holds-barred portrait of the rich musical scene of 1970s California, and of his contemporaries and colleagues, including John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. He describes the process of writing, rehearsing, and performing his renowned works, as well as both the pleasures and the challenges of writing serious music in a country and a time largely preoccupied with pop culture.
 
Hallelujah Junction is a thoughtful and original memoir that will appeal to both longtime Adams fans and newcomers to contemporary music. Not since Leonard Bernsteins Findings has an eminent composer so candidly and accessibly explored his life and work. This searching self-portrait offers not only a glimpse into the work and world of one of our leading artists, but also an intimate look at one of the most exciting chapters in contemporary culture.
John Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1947. He is the composer of such acclaimed works as Harmonielehre, Nixon in China, Naive and Sentimental Music, El Niño, and On the Transmigration of Souls, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Winner of the Northern California Book Award

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

John Adams is one of the most respected of contemporary composers, and “he has won his eminence fair and square: he has aimed high, he has addressed life as it is lived now, and he has found a language that makes sense to a wide audience” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Now, in Hallelujah Junction, he incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his landmark minimalist innovations to his controversial “docu-operas.” Adams offers a no-holds-barred portrait of the rich musical scene of 1970s California, and of his contemporaries and colleagues, including John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. He describes the process of writing, rehearsing, and performing his renowned works, as well as both the pleasures and the challenges of writing serious music in a country and a time largely preoccupied with pop culture.

 
Hallelujah Junction is a thoughtful and original memoir that will appeal to both longtime Adams fans and newcomers to contemporary music. Not since Leonard Bernsteins Findings has an eminent composer so candidly and accessibly explored his life and work. This searching self-portrait offers not only a glimpse into the work and world of one of our leading artists, but also an intimate look at one of the most exciting chapters in contemporary culture.
"Charming and illuminating . . . Hallelujah Junction stands with books by Hector Berlioz and Louis Armstrong among the most readably incisive autobiographies of major musical figures."—David Hajdu, The New York Times Book Review
"Charming and illuminating . . . Hallelujah Junction stands with books by Hector Berlioz and Louis Armstrong among the most readably incisive autobiographies of major musical figures."—David Hajdu, The New York Times Book Review

"'Composed' means 'written,' but it also means 'restrained.' John Adams's new memoir is both. Coming from the man who leapt to fame with the wackily exuberant docu-opera Nixon in China, Hallelujah Junction is striking for its dogged earnestness. There are not many books for the intelligent lay reader that gives a good perspective on contemporary music; Adams, in the wake of Alex Ross's success with The Rest Is Noise, has set out to write one. He places his own development within the context of his musical epoch, against a backdrop of pedantic little lectures on recent sociopolitical history . . . He draws on the rhetoric of Great-Man biographies ('my school chums' sounds odd from a laid-back resident of California). This is not a confessional or intimate memoir. The composer's family and selected friends (such as Peter Sellars, his operatic collaborator) make cameo appearances, but the book is primarily a Portrait of the Artist: an image of the development of greatness . . . [Adams] offers a wealth of interesting nuggets: a thoughtful section about the process of composing; a concise exegesis on Western tuning and the way that contemporary composers use pitch. One of the book's selling points is that it tells the story of America's most recent musical history, which too many people, I fear, still seems opaque and bewildering. Adams presents, in small unthreatening doses, vignettes of the arc he traversed from academic rigor through electronic experimentation and minimalism to his current path as—in his own view, at least—the only concert composer who has successfully merged all these elements into a continuation of the Western concert tradition . . . His writing gets a little more technical and a lot more compelling. By the end of the book, the work—The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic—has become the story. And this is as it should be."—Anne Midgette, The Washington Post Book World

"Thoughtful, amusing, analytical . . . Hallelujah Junction offers the voice of America straight from the horse's mouth, and to read something so intelligent, reasoned and caring sure feels good these days."—Los Angeles Times

"The English art historian Alan Bowness, writing about the conditions for artistic success, gave the number one criterion in one word: 'Relocate.' In 1972, John Adams, native New Englander and student of modernists at Harvard, wanted a change. He went west in a crumbling VW with his new wife to join the electronic-music avant-garde in San Francisco. He found a janitorial job ('Assistant Building Manager') and flung himself into the wide-open art and music scene he found in the Bay Area. Relocate—yes, and then, when you do, jump in with both feet. He seems to have had a sense of fun, but his timing was perfect too. No book I know of better captures the thrill of a moment of artistic freedom and innovation. The times were exciting, and Adams is a very entertaining writer. He approached becoming a composer as an adventure. The young musicians Adams worked with in San Francisco were less skilled than their Juilliard and Curtis counterparts, but they were ready to try anything new. The openness the West Coast offered was nowhere to be found in any Ivy League school. After a romance with music as noise, Adams found minimalism, but he was never really a minimalist, for its slow, hypnotic repetitiveness left him dissatisfied. He took on board the densely repetitive ostinatos of minimalism, but because he'd had enough of boring electronic compositions that intentionally went nowhere, eventually he brought back some of the dynamism and sudden change that minimalists had rejected. Essentially Adams wanted music that had the expressive and emotional range of the past while remaining deeply modern. Above all he wanted a musical language, or voice, that was his alone. The way he tells it, Adams never made a calculating move. His story is not all successes. He encounters creative blocks. Some compositions receive thunderous ovations, but others fail with audiences. Some collaborations go badly; the story of his work on a Broadway-type show with the poet June Jordan is a tragedy of mismatched temperaments. Even the commissioned symphonic piece he wrote as a 9/11 memorial, On the Transmigration of Souls, left him with ambivalent feelings. But the successes outweigh the flops, and the arc of the story is upward. He was fortunate in forming an association with Edo de Waart soon after that conductor arrived in San Francisco to take over the symphony from Seiji Ozawa, for it led to his receiving his first major orchestral commission, which—in reality—he was qualified to undertake because of his solid academic training at Harvard. If all he had known about at that point was resistors and condensers, he wouldn't have been able to find his way around an orchestral score. But the transformative event in his artistic life was meeting Peter Sellars, the 'boy genius' theater director with whom he created Nixon in China and other operas. Adams writes repeatedly of trying to find his own voice: 'My own personal narrative was about extricating myself from what I felt to be the cold, dead hand of the academic avant-garde, from the theory-bound orthodoxy that held sway in the sixties, and from the fealty paid to European serialism and its offshoots.' To fully achieve it, he had to find and develop his own musical language and voice, which turned out to be tonal. He describes the conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen at one point as a 'recovering Modernist,' and the description applies as well to himself. Although it is entirely about music, this is a book that any aspiring artist, in any medium, should read as a kind of how-to guide to achieving artistic success without losing integrity, something that seems to many young artists today nearly impossible. In fact, it is a book for anyone who wants to create something—including a self."—David Rollow, The Boston Globe

“This month another engrossing book has been released, one that could be considered a kind of companion to The Rest Is Noise. At age 61, Adams has written his own story, an autobiography titled Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life. In it he chronicles his journey from clarinet-playing kid in rural New England in the 1950s to his current status as one of the worlds most sought-after composers of opera, symphonies, oratorio and more intimate works of all kinds. Hallelujah Junction offers a lovely view from the ground, an insiders take on one of the most tumultuous corners of [Alex] Ross terrain: post World War II America. Adams tale is a fascinating one. As a young man, his father played clarinet in one of the small bands that millions of Americans danced to during the Depression. His mother had a lovely singing voice and a fondness for jazz. Growing up without much money but lots of music around him, Adams gravitated to classical music, ultimately doing graduate work in composition at Harvard. It was a time when the dissonant angles and rigorous mathematical formulas of 12-tone serialist music dominated the American classical music scene. Adams dutifully tried to shape the lyrical melodies in his head into the approved style of the day, but he was restless. So in 1971, like thousands of his fellow baby boomers, the 23-year-old composer and his young wife ‘packed a chronically unreliable Volkswagen Beetle with everything we owned and headed for San Francisco. Adams worked odd jobs and struggled to find his voice as a composer, one that would accommodate what he was learning from the Beatles and Duke Ellington, John Cage and John Coltrane, as well as Beethoven and Wagner. Hallelujah Junction is full of wry tales of Adams in his electronic music phase, composing on a clumsy synthesizer of his own design affectionately christened the ‘Studebaker. ‘With all guns firing, he writes, ‘the Studebaker was capable of producing a sonic commotion audible from several zip codes away. We know that Adams journey bore fruit. Nurtured by the open ears and accepting vibe of the West Coast, he eventually found his voice, becoming a composer who had used the rhythmic drive and formal elegance of minimalism to create large-scale works full of drama and visceral impact. Born in February 1947, Adams is a bona fide baby boomer, but his book contains little of that generations self-indulgence or irritating tendency to mythologize its own past. Like his music, Adams voice in Hallelujah Junction is both playful and thoughtful, unafraid of making big, emotional statements but obsessed with making sure those statements are precisely crafted. Generally well-disposed to the world around him and his younger self, he also keeps a wary eye on the proceedings. ‘For “Matter of Heart” I composed a score of stunning mediocrity, he writes, describing music written in the early 1980s for a documentary film on Carl Jung. But despite withering criticism, even from his closest friends, he defends the sprawling emotionalism of his ‘Grand Pianola Music from 1982. ‘It is my truant child, he writes. ‘In the end I loved “Grand Pianola Music” and am proud of its originality and inspiration. With its fascinating glimpse of how composers work and Adams frank opinions about the state of classical music today, Hallelujah Junction is no truant child. But such an original, inspired book should make him proud.”—Wynne Delcoma, Chicago Sun-Times

"In his new memoir, Hallelujah Junction, John Adams describes a downside of being a successful composer with several major operas under his belt. 'Walking the dog in my neighborhood of Berkeley, people would slow their Volvos, roll down the window and bark out a comment,' he writes. Characters, plot points, you name it, are suddenly open to neighborly scrutiny, thanks to the composers renown and, most likely, the notoriety of his topics . . . Not only is Adams the most-performed living composer among American orchestras, but some of his recordings have sold more than 50,000 copies—rare for a classical release. His current success makes the chapters in his memoir about his early career struggles (and dabbling in 1960s drug culture) all the more revealing."—Brian Wise, Time Out New York

"[Hallelujah Junction] chronicles Adams' increasingly high-profile career. He's revealing on both the pleasures and the practical constraints of composing for ensembles big and small (especially when combining electric and acoustic instruments in a single piece). His assessments of his own works can be severe, but his word-portraits of their intended sonic palettes are a delight. And in recounting how he extricated himself from 'the cold, dead hand of the academic avant-garde,' he sheds a welcome light on how notions of what 'classical music' have expanded in the past few decades."—Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

"Hallelujah Junction is about epiphany and struggle. In short, it's an artist's story. Composer John Adams is one of America's leading avant-garde composers, and as he proves in this compelling memoir, possibly one of the loveliest human beings you're likely to encounter between the covers of a book. You may know Adams from his ripped-from-the history-books operas such as Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for On the Transmigration of Souls, his moving musical tribute to the victims of Sept. 11. Adams was a child prodigy, a dreamy kid who grew up listening to classical music and who played the clarinet in adult orchestras while still in grade school. But he also loved Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.  In Hallelujah Junction, Adams writes about a moment in the mid-1970s when he was driving around the mountains of northern California in his Karmen Ghia listening to Wagner's Gotterdammerung. The music was in many ways the antithesis of what contemporary composers were aiming for at the time, but Adams found himself overwhelmed by its force of expression. This music, he wrote, 'was not . . . about desire. It was desire itself.' Adams turned from the atonality and sometimes cold intellectualism favored by John Cage and Milton Babbitt toward lush harmony and totality. But it was not easy. Adams struggled for years to define his own sonic vocabulary. His new book makes that journey engrossing. Hallelujah Junction is a generous map of Adams' artistic process and, according to The New York Times, 'among the most readably incisive autobiographies of major musical figures.' Hallelujah Junction takes its name from an actual place, a truck stop on U.S. 395 near the border between Nevada and California. It's also the name of one of Adams' recent compositions, a piece written for two pianos. Adams has joked that the name 'was a case of a good title needing a piece,' but the composer has a joyful knack for fitting what he finds into expressions of luminosity—in words and music alike."—Neda Ulaby, NPR

"In the classical-music world, Adams is seen as a sort of late-career Picasso: a star, a standby, a one-man manufactory of brilliant, audience-friendly work. Hallelujah Junction doesn't overturn these perceptions, but it adds a surprising hue of restlessness and uncertainty to the portrait. One of America's most accessible living composers turns out to be one of the hardest to pin down . . . What does a classical composer do that no one else does? That question is the backbone of Hallelujah Junction. And it's a testament to the nuance and candor of Adams' memoir that the book never settles on an answer . . . Instead, we find an artist hunting for the golden thread to seal a restive, uncertain career. 'The "next" piece ought to be the "best piece," the living proof that the disparate elements of my musical language . . . have once and for all come together in a single statement of confident, unblemished perfection,' he writes. 'But that is never the case.' In the end, it is the looming sense that Adams hasn't found his voice—not quite, not yet—that makes this book so gripping and his art so real."—Nathan Heller, Slate

"Adams is a pungent guide to his many literary and musical influences, and he displays humor and wisdom in responding to the pounding that his 'politically correct' works, particularly The Death of Klinghoffer, have taken."—Kevin Berger, San Francisco magazine

"John Adams makes a superb contribution to the tradition of composer-as-writer. Adams, renowned for marrying the pulsating minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass to the expansive, big-boned symphonic sound of Bruckner and Sibelius, recounts his struggle to find his musical voice with surprising honesty. He tallies his failures (which include a homemade synthesizer dubbed 'the Studebaker') and chronicles fighting his way to make pathbreaking works such as the monumental Harmonielehre for orchestra and the operas Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic."—Christopher Delaurenti, The Stranger

“What a wonderful book! Entertaining, touching and revealing. Like Berliozs memoirs, it gives us a glimpse into the life and times of a great composer. Not to be missed.”—Emanuel Ax

“John Adamss memoir is elegant, hilarious, humble, sophisticated, touching, and enormously enlightening about a whole era. It is a remarkable demystification of what it means to be a composer. Adams is a philosopher/craftsman, attempting to reflect and render the truth as he observes and feels it, in all its complexity and its simplicity. His book is a testimony that is equally emotional and intellectual, refreshing and comprehensible to anyone who has ever built or created something with care and attention, whether it be a piece of music, a table, a business, or a family.”—Derek Bermel

Hallelujah Junction is one of the best and most important composer autobiographies next to those of Berlioz and Wagner. A fascinating picture of John Adams the man unfolds with the same directness, precision, and passion as his music. What impresses me most is the sense of absolute honesty in the narrative: a quality exceedingly rare in composers writings about themselves and their work.”—Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

“John Adamss memoir is exuberant, opinionated, and vastly informative.  Like a renegade tour guide, he takes us on several trips at once.  In recounting his own story, he shows us the inner workings of his own creative process and simultaneously illuminates the recent history of music-making. His learned, witty, self-mocking voice is both subjective and objective, telling us all about him and all about the music around us. Amazingly, you can almost hear it.”—John Lithgow

"Colorful memoir of both success and failure by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Adams. As a boy in 1950s New Hampshire, the author played the clarinet and dreamed of becoming a great composer. He didn't realize until it was too late that he would have been better off learning the piano: 'I have had to live with only the most rudimentary, self-taught mode of hunt-and-peck [but] I suspect my lifelong frustrations with the piano go hand in hand with the birth of many of my best musical ideas.' The book is at its richest when the author recollects his encounters with other composers, especially during his formative years at Harvard during the '60s. He's not necessarily critical of his musical peers and heroes, but rather portrays himself as a fellow traveler in search of his own unique voice. Adams's professed love for popular music and his extreme reservations about the rigidity of the compositional methods associated with serialism that were dominant in the '60s reveal the complexity of a musical era too often stereotyped as monolithically academic. Equally insightful are self-critical passages in which the author details his discovery of personal limitations and sections that delineate his ambivalence toward some transitory compositional fashions and styles, particularly in San Francisco during the '70s and '80s. Adams lucidly and honestly records his reactions to the public reception of his operas Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and the recent Doctor Atomic, providing indispensable background for a more complete appreciation of these works . . . readers will enjoy the candor and completeness of the book, which serves as a gateway to an accomplished body of work. Like the author's music: carefully considered, deliberate and often exciting, gathering together many disparate elements of American life."—Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Best known for his groundbreaking musical works Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, Adams helped shape the landscape of contemporary classical music. Combining the narrative power of opera, the atonal themes of 20th-century classical music, the spooky modulations of jazz and the complex rhythms of the Beatles and the Band, Adams created a new music that could express the fractiousness of the political scene of the 1960s and 1970s. In this entertaining memoir, Adams deftly chronicles his life and times, providing along the way an incisive exploration of the creative process. A precocious musician, Adams began playing clarinet in the third grade, and, after hearing his teacher read Mozart's biography, tried his hand at composing music. During his undergraduate years at Harvard, he threw himself into performing and conducting when his own inadequacies as a composer began to dawn on him. By his final year at Harvard, however, the chaos of the late 1960s and the creative turbulence of the music scene drove him back to composing. After two years in graduate school, Adams set out for California, where he taught numerous composition classes and private clarinet lessons while working on his own music and with a who's who of the music world, from Cage and Leonard Bernstein to Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Adams's searingly introspective autobiography reveals the workings of a brilliant musical mind responsible for some of contemporary America's most inventive and original music." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

One of the most respected and loved of contemporary composers incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his minimalist innovations to his controversial "docu-operas."

Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A San Francisco Chronicle Notable Bay Area Book of the Year

 
A book unlike anything ever written by a composer--part memoir, part description and explication of the creative process--Hallelujah Junction is an absorbing journey across the musical landscape of America and through the life and times of John Adams, one of today's most admired and performed composers.

Synopsis:

John Adams is one of the most respected and loved of contemporary composers, and “he has won his eminence fair and square: he has aimed high, he has addressed life as it is lived now, and he has found a language that makes sense to a wide audience” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Now, in Hallelujah Junction, he incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his landmark minimalist innovations to his controversial “docu-operas.” Adams offers a no-holds-barred portrait of the rich musical scene of 1970s California, and of his contemporaries and colleagues, including John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. He describes the process of writing, rehearsing, and performing his renowned works, as well as both the pleasures and the challenges of writing serious music in a country and a time largely preoccupied with pop culture.
 
Hallelujah Junction is a thoughtful and original memoir that will appeal to both longtime Adams fans and newcomers to contemporary music. Not since Leonard Bernsteins Findings has an eminent composer so candidly and accessibly explored his life and work. This searching self-portrait offers not only a glimpse into the work and world of one of our leading artists, but also an intimate look at one of the most exciting chapters in contemporary culture.

About the Author

John Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1947. He is the composer of such acclaimed works as Harmonielehre, Nixon in China, Naive and Sentimental Music, El Niño, and On the Transmigration of Souls, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374281151
Author:
Adams, John
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Classical
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Classical
Subject:
General
Subject:
Composers
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Adams, John
Subject:
Composers -- United States.
Subject:
Genres
Subject:
Styles/Classical
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Subject:
Composers & Musicians
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.29 x 6.34 x 1.18 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the...
    Used Trade Paper $11.00
  2. Two Planks and a Passion: The... New Hardcover $94.25
  3. Lobsterman New Trade Paper $10.95
  4. The Heart & Soul of Sex: Making the... Used Hardcover $6.95
  5. The Given Day
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  6. The World in Six Songs Used Hardcover $9.95

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical » General
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374281151 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Best known for his groundbreaking musical works Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, Adams helped shape the landscape of contemporary classical music. Combining the narrative power of opera, the atonal themes of 20th-century classical music, the spooky modulations of jazz and the complex rhythms of the Beatles and the Band, Adams created a new music that could express the fractiousness of the political scene of the 1960s and 1970s. In this entertaining memoir, Adams deftly chronicles his life and times, providing along the way an incisive exploration of the creative process. A precocious musician, Adams began playing clarinet in the third grade, and, after hearing his teacher read Mozart's biography, tried his hand at composing music. During his undergraduate years at Harvard, he threw himself into performing and conducting when his own inadequacies as a composer began to dawn on him. By his final year at Harvard, however, the chaos of the late 1960s and the creative turbulence of the music scene drove him back to composing. After two years in graduate school, Adams set out for California, where he taught numerous composition classes and private clarinet lessons while working on his own music and with a who's who of the music world, from Cage and Leonard Bernstein to Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Adams's searingly introspective autobiography reveals the workings of a brilliant musical mind responsible for some of contemporary America's most inventive and original music." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , One of the most respected and loved of contemporary composers incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his minimalist innovations to his controversial "docu-operas."
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A San Francisco Chronicle Notable Bay Area Book of the Year

 
A book unlike anything ever written by a composer--part memoir, part description and explication of the creative process--Hallelujah Junction is an absorbing journey across the musical landscape of America and through the life and times of John Adams, one of today's most admired and performed composers.

"Synopsis" by ,
John Adams is one of the most respected and loved of contemporary composers, and “he has won his eminence fair and square: he has aimed high, he has addressed life as it is lived now, and he has found a language that makes sense to a wide audience” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Now, in Hallelujah Junction, he incisively relates his life story, from his childhood to his early studies in classical composition amid the musical and social ferment of the 1960s, from his landmark minimalist innovations to his controversial “docu-operas.” Adams offers a no-holds-barred portrait of the rich musical scene of 1970s California, and of his contemporaries and colleagues, including John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. He describes the process of writing, rehearsing, and performing his renowned works, as well as both the pleasures and the challenges of writing serious music in a country and a time largely preoccupied with pop culture.
 
Hallelujah Junction is a thoughtful and original memoir that will appeal to both longtime Adams fans and newcomers to contemporary music. Not since Leonard Bernsteins Findings has an eminent composer so candidly and accessibly explored his life and work. This searching self-portrait offers not only a glimpse into the work and world of one of our leading artists, but also an intimate look at one of the most exciting chapters in contemporary culture.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.