John Luther Adams: I. Frank Zappa as Gateway Drug

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Frank Zappa

John Luther Adams didn't start as a composer of vast, powerful swaths of sound. In fact, as a member of a teen rock cover band in New Jersey, his musical roots clash with his current sonic identity. Through Frank Zappa, though, he and his friends discovered the sounds of Edgard Varèse and other maverick composers, beginning his winding path towards an obsession with silence.