• John Luther Adams
  • Dream in White on White (1992)

  • Taiga Press (BMI) (World)
  • hp[pf]/str(2.2.2.2.1)
  • string quartet
  • 17 min

Programme Note

The treeless, windswept landscapes of Western Alaska have long made a powerful impression on me. For much of the year this is a place of seemingly endless, pristine whiteness. In spring, with the return of the sun, the presence of this country is especially overwhelming.

Dream In White On White is a musical response to these landscapes and to the non-chromatic ("white") tones and acoustically-perfect intervals of Pythagorean diatonic tuning.

There are other "white" associations as well. The sounds are predominantly long, broad washes of whole and half notes - "white notes" of a different sort. The scoring - with predominant harmonics, unstopped tones, mutes and no vibrato - creates peculiarly "white" tonal hues. And the title is distantly related to Kasimir Malevich's suprematist canvas, White On White.

John Luther Adams

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