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The Place Where You Go to Listen: In Search of an Ecology of Music Paperback – April 28, 2009

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  • The Place Where You Go to Listen: In Search of an Ecology of Music
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Editorial Reviews


"This is an excellent read for anyone interested in art and nature, the increasingly detailed and sophisticated integration of the ‘Cageian’ aesthetic into visionary new music, and the creative uses of technology for grandly ambitious purposes.”—Robert Carl, Fanfare

“Adams writes in clear, descriptive and accessible English, and is an engaging story-teller to boot. ... Readers will notice Adams’s gift for spinning aphorisms and memorable one-liners in a natural, unpretentious manner.”—Joe Distler, Gramophone

"Adams’ goal was to transform the ever-changing sound waves created by natural phenomenon—the Aurora borealis, a phenomenon others have reported as having a sound component; the motion of the Earth’s plates; the cycles of the Moon; and the movement of the sun—into color and music. What motivated him was his desire to reinstate the bond he believes humans once had with their natural surroundings, and to try to instill harmony again. …Adams’ Place Where You Go to Listen gives us back this profound sense of place.”—Milbry C. Polk, The Explorers Journal

“…a well-written and inspiring book that not only describes the installation and its design in a detailed and stimulating way, but also includes Adams’ mature thinking on his practice and role in the larger artistic, geographical and ecological context of creation.”—David Paquette and Andra McCartney, MUSICultures


“Only John Luther Adams, one of our most audacious and visionary artists, could compose a piece to be played by the sun and the cycling moon, by stresses and quakes in the earth’s crust and fluctuations in the planet’s magnetosphere! Uncanny, metamorphic, ethereal, telluric―Adams’ music compels our participation, often using the most up-to-date technology to draw the human body into a deeper rapport with the elemental forces of nature. This book provides a necessary glimpse into the sensuous alchemy of his creative process.” (David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous)

“John Luther Adams is the John Muir of music, reporting back to us from not only the wilderness of the world, but of the soul.” (Kyle Gann, composer, former music critic for the Village Voice)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; First Edition edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819569038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819569035
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ethyl on November 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really found this book interesting and was able to visit the installation in Fairbanks.
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