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John Luther Adams

Canticles of the Holy Wind (2013)
Taiga Press (BMI)
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
1 Hour 15 Minutes
four choirs (SATB)
Solo Instrument(s)
vocal soloists
Programme Note
John Luther Adams Canticles of the Holy Wind (2013)
My life's work began with birds. Almost forty years later, I've returned to bird songs as a source for my music. In the past I've utilized piccolos, percussion and other instruments to evoke the music of birds. Now I find myself translating the songs of birds into music for human voices, singing these strange languages that we do not speak and my never understand.

In 2008 I composed Sky With Four Suns, a short work for the extraordinary Latvian youth choir Kamer. From the moment I heard them sing my music, I began to dream of composing a large-scale choral work for Kamer.

Canticles of the Holy Wind is a concert-length work for four choirs (SATB) and solo voices, with percussion.

The text of the piece consists of vocalise and phonetic transliterations of the voices of the wind and birds.

John Luther Adams

Preview the score:

  • 28 OCT 2017
    Church of St Catherine Cree, London, UK
    New London Chamber Choir
    Matthew Hamilton, conductor
  • 12 MAY 2017
    Symphony Space Residency
    St. Michael's Episcopal Church, New York, NY
    The Crossing
    Donald Nally, conductor
  • 29 OCT 2016
    New York, New York, United States of America
    The Crossing
    Donald Nally, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 October - Philadelphia, Philadelphia, United States of America

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