Unique among the composer’s recordings, Hoodoo Zephyr is an electronic solo work created in the studio, released as a definitive “final cut.” Says Adams, “I was able to enter an imaginative world that I could never inhabit writing orchestral music.”
Hoodoo Zephyr, the October 8, 1993, Nonesuch release by John Adams, features a behind-the-scenes look at the Grammy Award-winning composer of Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer. Five Yamaha keyboards and a rack of samplers have served Adams in his recent composition and orchestration activities. Here he brings these midi synthesizers to the forefront, in a CD of seven short compositions inspired by Western landscapes.
Produced in the upstairs studio of Adams’s Berkeley home, Hoodoo Zephyr extends the range of a composer whose versatility is well documented. From the lyrical guitar solo of “Disappointment Lake” to the propulsive bass clarinets and tympani of the title track, Adams’s recognizable style is joined with an array of sampled sounds in a high-end romp through numerous musical vocabularies.
Produced by John Adams
Engineer: Mark Grey
Consultant for mixing and production: Paul Dresher
Mastered by Robert Ludwig
Composed and produced January 1992 to May 1993 in Berkeley, California, utilizing the Korg Wavestation, Yamaha Electone, Yamaha SY77 and SY99, E Mu Systems Proteus I and E-Max II, Kurzweil K-2000 and Lexicon LXP-15.
Design by John Heiden
Photography by Deborah O’Grady
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
All songs composed and performed by John Adams