Exposé Online banner

John Luther Adams — Everything That Rises
(Cold Blue CB0051, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-26

Everything That Rises Cover art

Adams is an American classical composer, born in Mississippi, who studied music at Cal Arts in the 70s, and who spent over 35 years of his adult life living in Alaska, during which time he performed as timpanist and principal percussionist with The Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and The Arctic Chamber Orchestra. The majestic beauty and natural wonder that he encountered during his many years in Alaska have served as inspiration for his numerous compositions (over 50) and recordings (over 25, on various labels) over the years, and continue to do so even though four years ago he relocated to the lower 48, now splittig his time between New York City and the Sonoran Desert in Baja California, the latter which provides additional wide open spaces and sources of inspiration. On his latest Everything That Rises, the work is performed by a string quarted featuring two violins (Christopher Otto, Austin Wulliman), viola (John Pickford Richards) and cello (Jay Campell) collectively known as the JACK Quartet (the K is for original cellist Kevin McFarland), based in New York City. Like many or most modern classical compositions, the composer does not perform. Everything That Rises is a single piece nearly an hour in length, beginning with the cello, the quartet is doing ascending scales at various speeds, the cello more slowly, the violins and viola at their faster paces, continuing through these melodic loops for the duration of the piece, at times with harmony, and at other times with effective disonnace, creating interest, tension, and release as the piece goes forward. The intervals grow progressively smaller as they spiral upward, always rising. One might be reminded of an orchestra tuning up, playing scales before a performance, but re-imagine the same thing with only four players there, following a score with a definite plan. Overall, the piece generates initial interest, but after about the fifteen minute mark onward one recognizes that the same loops are repeating over and over with only slight time shifts and variations, and the piece slowly becomes more ambient and relaxing.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): John Luther Adams

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Copernicus - Disappearance – If Van Halen’s David Lee Roth decided to drop it all and become an obtuse beat poet, that may create a small avenue of interest into the ramblings of Copernicus. There is no doubt that plenty of...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues