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No, not that John Adams. This John Adams, another American composer, began using his middle name to distinguish himself from John Coolidge Adams after the latter's popular success with his opera Nixon in China.

Growing up in middle-class suburbia in the sixties, John's first musical experiences were as a drummer in various rock bands. Rock music led him to the music of Frank Zappa, which him to Edgard Varèse, which then led him to John Cage and Morton Feldman. John frequently remarks that upon hearing Feldman's Piece for Four Pianos (1957), that there was no turning back for him.

Adams was a student at Calarts in the early seventies, was a part of a remarkable group of young American composers. Studying with Morton Subotnick, James Tenney, Mel Powell, and others, other students at Calarts at that time include Soundings editor Peter Garland, and Lois Vierk.

After Calarts, Adams moved to Alaska, a move that would profoundly influence his music from that point on. His pieces at first attempted to represent the arctic landscape, and recreate some of the traditional eskimo music in which he found himself immersed. Recently, he has reached a point in his compositional life in which his music is becoming his landscape, and landscape is becoming his music. Recent works which illustrate this are his The Light That Fills the World (1999-2000), and In the White Silence (1998).

His music has been performed and commissioned by: The Paul Dresher Ensemble, The Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Third Angle New Music Ensemble, the California E.A.R. Unit, and countless others.

Recordings can be found on: New World, New Albion, Opus One, Owl, Mode, and Centaur.

Some information gleaned from John's web page: http://www.johnlutheradams.com.

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