Gordon Wright, the Alaskan composer, conductor, professor and environmentalist, was John Luther Adams's best friend. When he died suddenly in 2007, Adams wrote three pieces for solo violin titled Three High Places, vignettes representing moments Adams and Wright shared while camping. These pieces eventually led Adams to write his first string quartet, at age 59, called The Wind in High Places. In a process that Adams likens to "primitive man discovers fire," he approached the traditional music form in a way that felt true to his compositional identity. The entire work is built on natural harmonics and open strings, allowing an airy, breathy timbre.
John Luther Adams wrote his first string quartet at age 59 as vignettes representing moments he and Gordon Wright shared while camping, and likens his approach to the traditional music form as "primitive man discovers fire." Download The Wind in High Places as Meet the Composer's first Bonus Track with John Luther Adams.
The above audio is an exclusive live recording of this currently unavailable piece, performed recently in the Q2 Music Studios by the dynamic JACK Quartet. A studio recording of The Wind in High Places will come out in January 2015, again with JACK Quartet, on the label Cold Blue Music.