John Adams

It’s staff report time again. That means interviews and it means writing up reports which, in turn, means squeezing additional work into the mornings and evenings. My companion this time around has been the music of John Adams. Indeed, I have thoroughly splurged on him. This evening, for example, I have just finished listening to Nixon in China. I adore The Dharma at Big Sur, but my absolute fave rave is, I think, I was staring at the ceiling and then I saw the sky. I have been listening to Adams because a friend, a musician, has proposed a collaborative project to me involving music and words. This ‘song play in two acts’ is precisely that. The blurb on the CD describes it as follows: ‘Scored for a ‘rock band’ of voices, clarinet, saxophone, keyboards, guitar, bass and percussion, (it) ranges in style from gospel and jazz to rock and pop. A combination of social criticism and love story, it chronicles the life of seven young Los Angeleans of different social and ethnic backgrounds, whose everyday speech patterns have been skilfully woven into a lyrical libretto by the late writer and civil rights champion June Jordan. John Adams’ post-minimalist musical language shines through the popular music disguise.’ Brilliant stuff!