John Luther Adams with Barry Lopez

In the summer of 1975, a 22-year-old CalArts graduate moved to Alaska. Forty years later, with a rapidly warming Alaska and the crisis of climate change, he was faced with a difficult decision to leave a beloved state.Composer John Luther Adams author of Silences So Deep: Music, Solitude, Alaska (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), appears tonight in conversation with esteemed writer (and decades-long friend of Elliott Bay) Barry Lopez in what will be likely be a highlight of our late fall, post election season. He explores the impact of solitude, enriched by friendships with conductor Gordon Wright and poet John Haines, and describes the travails of environmental activism. Join Adams for a singularly rich account of a creative life that examines the challenges of life in the wilderness, demands of making art in an age of climate crisis, and the pleasures of intellectual fellowship.

“ [Silences So Deep] offers a . . . meditative treatment of [this] central concern: How can people best use their gifts, and what are their larger responsibilities in doing so? . . . The outside world has provided an unusual dramatic structure for [Adams's] study of art and activism . . . Adams bears witness as the very texture of life--air, light, seasons, fauna--warps in Alaska, ground zero for climate change. --Lidija Haas, Harper's.  

"John Luther Adams manages a mystic marriage to the world of wonder. This memoir is the work of an artist who is off the map but it leads to your soul. Read it and learn, as I did." --Iggy Pop.  

John Luther Adams is an American composer and author. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music and a Grammy Award for his orchestral composition Become Ocean, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2013. He is also the author of Winter Music: Composing the North and The Place Where You Go to Listen: In Search of an Ecology of Music. Barry Lopez is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its humanitarian and environmental concerns. Described as “the nation’s premier nature writer,” he is the recipient of numerous high honors and distinctions, the author of over a dozen fiction and nonfiction books, including Of Wolves and MenArctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape, and 2019’s landmark work, Horizon.

Presented by Town Hall Arts & Culture and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.


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Silences So Deep: Music, Solitude, Alaska Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374264628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 22nd, 2020

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 6:00pm
Virtual Event
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