Shaker Loops & Light Over Water (John Adams) (Spiritual in Art)

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Big loopy things, moving fast and then trance-like and meditative through light snow. John Adams’ Shaker Loops and Light Over Water play around with nature and the spiritual in art.

The first piece, from 1974, are played by 3 violins, a viola, 2 cellos, and a bass. The second piece (1983) is more spindly, with brass and synthesizers.The music moves fast enough to keep your interest on the road, and then it holds into more static patterns.

These  are more delicate versions of what we used to listen to in high-school under the influence. Does Light Over Water, clocking in at over 40 minutes drag on just a bit? There are times I like both of these  pieces better than at other times. It all depends on when. Sometimes you want a bit more of a modern, critical bite to the music; and sometimes you don’t.

For more on both:

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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