[6] John Adams – Harmonium

9 Dec

Throughout December I am going to revisit the first months of this journey, taking time at the end of this year to remember where I’ve been and what I’ve heard.

. . . To Hear Before I Blog

This is a tough one.  I generally like Minimalist compositions – my love afair with Steve Reich’s works began my first semester at the University of Sussex and quickly led me to Phillip Glass and, the composer of this week’s recording,  John Adams.  While I don’t hear them often, it is not totally outrageous to find me listening to Adam’s Shaker Loops or Reich’s Come Out.  I enjoy the complexity from simplicity, the huge soundscapes, the zen state it can provoke.

These features are here for all to see in Harmonium, yet in this case seem to irritate me more than engross me.

Harmonium Harmonium

The biggest barrier is the long, slow crescendo which builds throughout the first “act”.  It begins so quietly that it is inaudible at the levels I usualy set my stereo, or iPod, or computer speakers.  Increasing the volume at the start of…

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