Musical Landscapes

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What does a rock formation sound like? A mountain? Desert? This week on Hammered!, we're listening to musical landscapes – works that are inspired by, depict, or evoke those expansive tableaus. This music is sometimes intimidating, sometimes impossibly ethereal, but always omnipresent.

The works of John Luther Adams, several of which will be heard over the course of the week, are often inspired by the landscapes and native culture of Alaska, where he has lived since 1978. Among Red Mountains consists of layers of block chords slowly moving across several different tempi, resembling the shifting sediments of mountains over time.

Other works are more abstract. John Cage's In a Landscape, which opens the week, elegantly and enigmatically suggests an internal tableau, while Aaron Jay Kernis's Before Sleep and Dreams explores the peaks and valleys of getting a child to sleep.

On Tuesday, experience two mammoth musical landscapes, one seminal and one quickly on its way to becoming so: John Adams's Phrygian Gates and John Luther Adams's Four Thousand Holes. And tune in later this week to hear the waves of Henry Cowell's Aeolian Harp, the gorgeous and expansive Piano by Morton Feldman, Missy Mazzoli's rumbling Isabelle Eberhardt Dreams of Pianos, Philip Glass's own intimate rendition of Mad Rush, and much more.