As one of the few students from Alaska here at American University, I feel a strong responsibility to educate my peers about the history and culture of my state. Lesson number 1: October 18th is Alaska Day – yes it is a legal holiday that state employees get paid leave for.
If you want to hear some Alaskan-inspired music check out these CDs:
This compilation of pieces by John Luther Adams is described as a “convergence of sound and poetry.” Inspired by the Artic landscape and the languages of Natives there Adams uses natural sounds, drum rhythms and spoken text to recreate a picture of the Artic through music.
This composition, again by John Luther Adams, is an example of his concept of “sonic geography,” a concept he uses to try to understand “music as place and place as music.” Written for celesta, harp, orchestra bells, 2 vibraphones and strings “In the White Silence” musically depicts the “treeless, windswept expanses of the Artic.”