ABOUT THIS BOOK
Described by New York Times critic John Rockwell as “one of the best non-famous composers this country has to offer,” Ben Johnston reconceives familiar idioms--ranging from jazz to Southern hymns--using just intonation. Johnston studied with Darius Milhaud, Harry Partch, and John Cage, and is best known for his String Quartet No. 4, a complex series of variations on Amazing Grace. This volume reveals he is also a truly literate composer, who writes and speaks about music with eloquence and charm. “Maximum Clarity” and Other Writings on Music spans forty years and brings together forty-one of Johnston’s most important writings, including many rare and several previously unpublished selections. They include position papers, theoretical treatises, program notes, historical reflections, lectures, excerpts from interviews, and letters, and they cover a broad spectrum of concerns--from the technical exegesis of microtonality to the personal and the broadly humanistic. The volume concludes with a discography of all commercially available recordings of Johnston’s music.