Scott Johnson Composer


Based on the voice and ideas of philosopher Daniel C. Dennett
Performed by Alarm Will Sound; Alan Pierson, conductor

Boston Globe review by Matthew Guerrieri: "A tour de force on the idea of ideas"
click for complete review

"Johnson's rich, ever-fresh, never-routine musical responses didn't dramatize the words... basically, Johnson energized the words, almost as if mirroring his own personal excitement at the discoveries he made when first digesting these provocative, beautifully expressed ideas."

David Patrick Stearns ARTS JOURNAL



New York Times click for complete review

San Francisco Chronicle
Philadelphia Inquirer
Los Angeles Times
Time Out New York
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"Americans," the 20-minute triptych that leads off Johnson's new CD, is his most arresting work in years… a vibrant, multilayered masterpiece … profound and beautiful.” SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“Johnson reaches a level of artistic consolidation here that perhaps even his greatest admirers couldn't have anticipated.” PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

“…enters a listener's consciousness in sly and alluring ways.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Any new release from this exacting guitarist and composer is cause for celebration; that the titular work on this one turned out to be among his most provocative creations was a substantial plus.” TIME OUT NEW YORK


“New York downtown composer-guitarist Scott Johnson was among the first to create a body of work built on the sounds and instrumentation of rock music …. few classical composers have dared to follow Johnson’s bold lead.”TIME OUT NEW YORK

“One of the few American composers to successfully integrate the influence of rock into strong classical structures.”THE NEW YORKER

"To these ears, the music mirrors the subterranean rumble, the welter of voices and other overlaid sounds of the city, with the cries of superamplified guitars hovering like angels above the fray. It's a compelling marriage of rock elements and classical formalism that doesn't shortchange either."THE NEW YORK TIMES

"His music is technically perfect, subtle, and sensitive."ZURICH TAGES-ANZEIGER

"... extremely tight, masterfully crafted .... explodes with excitement."SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

"... endlessly varied and fascinating as to sound and formally graceful, not to mention urban-smart and deliciously clever."

" ... smart stuff, the work of an unconventional creator."THE BOSTON GLOBE

"... rhythmic and textural genius."MUSICIAN MAGAZINE

"... exuberant, ironic, comical, brash, and lyrical."GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE

"... gutsy and memorable."THE VILLAGE VOICE

"... vigorous and confident."THE NEW YORK TIMES

"... with a joy that spills from exhilarating technical accomplishment into the music itself."THE VILLAGE VOICE

"Quirky and unpredictable, but always based on solid compositional footing and fine musicianship."VARIETY

" The best of this current crop .… overflowing with a musical personality that stands easily on its own."THE NEW YORK TIMES

“His piece presented a more sophisticated surface, without sacrificing accessibility.”THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Scott Johnson’s “The Illusion of Guidance" is a remarkable new work .… warmly orchestrated, well-conceived, and unabashedly American.”ANDANTE.COM

"That "Patty Hearst" is an adroitly integrated whole rather than a cobbled hodgepodge is typical of this rock guitarist/classical composer."ELLE

"As for Scott Johnson's "Bird in the Domes", it was perhaps a major event .... driving, vivid, and forceful."SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"A powerful string quartet by Scott Johnson."

"Distinctive music with a strong pulse and alarming undertones."THE TIMES (LONDON)

"Johnson's writing for the strings is splendid .… a listener is aware only that all of the pieces seem to fit perfectly together."

" Rich, evocative writing …. a dense, beautiful musical fantasia."SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"One can only think of superlatives for the performance of Scott Johnson and his ensemble."NEUE KRONEN ZEITUNG

"A fine ensemble, nearly as electric as the music itself."LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD

"Johnson is a true original - an innovator who consciously pushes modern technology to its limits."ST. PETERSBURG TIMES

"Here is music that is obviously serious, obviously enjoyable, obviously rock, and obviously American."NEW YORK NEWSDAY

"Johnson has an original voice and should be regarded as an important figure, taking experimental music in new directions."HIGH PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE

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