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Talk to Me

Talk to Me: Emitting Ecstatic Energy

Composer, conductor and celebrated thinker John Adams joined Jungian analyst Laurel Morris for a “Red Book Dialogue” at The Rubin Museum of Art last week to talk agony, ecstasy and turbans.

 Morris began the discussion by considering Jung’s exploration of madness with his own work.  Then Adams--known for his works Naive and Sentimental Music, Doctor Atomic,  I was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning On the Transmigration of Souls, among others--analyzed the same folio screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman commented on earlier in the "Red Book Dialogue" series. Adams focused particular attention on the colorful details within the mandala, and, like Kaufman, believed that the central figure was emitting ecstatic energy, rather than reflecting pain. Interestingly, Adams also used the exercise to explore his lack of a visual sense--in everyday life, as well as within his work.


WNYC’s “Talk to Me” series is featuring notable dialogues from the Red Book Dialogues.