John Adams Artsource Unit
Short Ride in a Fast Machine
American composer John Adams is known as a minimalist – a composer that achieves maximum musical effect by employing the simplest units of musical structure and an economical use of harmonic and melodic organization. Short Ride in a Fast Machine is a fanfare for a large symphony orchestra. The Artsource video shows him rehearsing the orchestra, as well as talking about his piece. Lessons invite students to use homemade instruments and vocal sounds to create their own version of this work, illustrate the texture of sounds as part of a music listening experience, and become more acquainted with the instruments in an orchestra and the tone and texture of each. The universal theme of Transformation is emphasized throughout.
Video footage courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and The Music Center, and directed by Peter Sellars, ©1990. Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by David Alan Miller. Single page from score of Short Ride in a Fast Machine ©1986 by Hendon Music Inc., a Boosey & Hawkes Company. Reprinted by permission.
All videos, audio tracks, and artwork on this page are for educational use only and is not to be reproduced.