Home Masthead Adam Rudolph: Embracing the Eternal Light

Adam Rudolph: Embracing the Eternal Light


Adam Rudolph conducting blurAlso, after a decade and a half spent studying the Indian tabla with Pandit Taranath Rao, Mr. Rudolph’s experience of music became multiplied exponentially. He learned hundreds of drum compositions and about how music is a form of Yoga – the unity of mind, body and spirit. It was also the enduring relationship with Yusef Lateef that led Adam Rudolph to the inspirational practice of Autophysiopsychic Music – “that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self”. The practices, informed by this physiology and philosophy have been captured for posterity through performances with the symphonic orchestras of Köln’s, Atlanta’s and Detroit’s symphony orchestras. Mr. Rudolph’s and Mr. Lateef’s performances have ranged from their acclaimed duet concerts to appearances as guest soloists with the Koln, Atlanta and Detroit symphony orchestras. Mr. Rudolph continues to also create visual art – painting, drawing, photography – and to write. In 2006, his rhythm repository and methodology book, PURE RHYTHM was published by Advance Music, Germany. In 2010 Rudolph’s article Music and Mysticism: Rhythm and Form was published in Arcana V, edited by John Zorn. Other essays have been published by Parabola Magazine and Morton Books. Adam Rudolph has also been on the faculty of Creative Music Studio (New York and Istanbul) Esalen Institute, California Institute of the Arts and the Danish Jazz Federation Summer Institute. Mr. Rudolph has received grants and compositional commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the NEA, Arts International, Durfee Foundation, Phaedrus Foundation and American Composers Forum.

Adam Rudolph CosmogrammeThrough all of these experiences what has remained most enduring in the rhythm of Adam Rudolph’s life has been the GO: Organic Orchestra. This is an ensemble that has become unique in its architecture and prototypical in its conducting system. In it Adam Rudolph uses non-linear, diagrammatic approaches to realise the interpretation of musical scores and also improvisational conducting. Here Mr. Rudolph has brought together anywhere from 20 to 50 musicians to realise his magical scores. The GO: Organic Orchestra is a reflection of Mr. Rudolph’s unique 21st Century socio-political construct: one where art has relevance in life on multiple layers of being individually and as a community in the body-politic of this era. He also has a unique way of using the senses to experience sound in its transcendental state. His compositions are entirely new and they reference his aboriginality, as in becoming from the depths of his old soul. His palette references amber as the philosophy of colour. Notes and sounds present themselves in the form and formlessness of matrices and cosmogrammes. His playground for his ensemble and indeed for himself is the sonic arena of hyperspace. Mr. Rudolph’s philosophy, perhaps the only aspect of himself that he will ever impose, politely speaking, on his improvising musicians—in this instance is 11-strong improvising guitar orchestra—is to design their own constructs. When this happens, he will tell them, the music will sound like nothing else but itself and the experience of it for us, as listeners, is unique and prototypical. Thus Mr. Rudolph becomes the lightning rod for the sound of that he forms out of the sonic breath of his universe and because of this impulse the musical expressions of this Orchestra are always in a constant state of becoming. True that these is captured within the constraints of a recording, but play the record more than once and you will find that the music flows as freely as a swirling eddy of water caught in a powerful vortex. It is important to understand this because Mr. Rudolph’s scores are based on a Trinitarian concept: matrices, cosmogrammes and ostinatos of circularity. This puts the composer in a singular class of his own, composing music with unique interval systems and rhythm systems. It is music that captures the freshness of the moment, and is cultivated from impulse and intuition; music that comes from risking his life for every note. And this is what makes Adam Rudolph special.

Mr. Rudolph also has many incarnations, not just in the various ensembles he commands, but in the manner that his genius unfolds: as a percussion colourist, seemingly dipping his hands into a vast and aether-like palette of colours, daubing the skins of his myriad drums, writing, seeking a deeper truth as he probes and pokes at creativity to get at the mystery of mysteries; travelling through time to consult the elders and returning with the wisdom of old, renewed, formless as the void, breathing in and out the “hoo”, the “aum” as the musician becomes the music, dazzling in the interminable dance of sonic architecture.


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