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Peter Bradley Adams Part of the Gorton Center Live Series
Peter Bradley Adams of Birmingham, Alabama, is a folk-pop Americana singer-songwriter who began playing piano at the age of six and continued studying throughout high school at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, as well as in college. He’s worked with composer Michael Kapsner of Germany. Adams was focused on piano, organ, and music composition, but his experience in Germany inspired him to continue his musical studies in his education and as a career.
Adams studied film scoring at USC Thornton School of Music and worked as a freelance score composer for film and television and launched his career, debuting an album in 2003 and performing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and alongside talent such as Shelby Lynne and Lyle Lovett.
Now pursuing his solo career, Adams is currently putting his classical composition studies to work on a piece for violin and piano — an aspect of his craft and education that got set aside somewhere along the way to now. “I’ve wondered a lot why I spent all that time studying music in school and how my composer hat fits in with or hinders my songwriting,” he says. “Some of it was definitely useless to me, then and now. But some of it has left its mark on how I listen, and how I think of arranging songs, and how I communicate with players who are playing on them. Also, writing in such an extremely simple and constrained musical language makes all your choices much more delicate, so I spend a lot of time crafting even the simplest melody.”
A Face Like Mine‘s songs were composed all over the world, from Alabama to India, and they dig into topics that are disparate as the desperation of addiction (“Lorraine”), the grappling of self-image (“Who Else Could I Be”), the vitriol of politics (“We Are”), and the genetics of suffering (“A Face Like Mine”). “We Are” and “Who Else Could I Be” were originally written for a dance piece that Gina Patterson choreographed for the San Angelo Civic Ballet. Even so, Adams made sure the songs could stand alone in their own world no matter what else was swirling around them — confidence and completeness in action.
As a work of musical art, A Face Like Mine fulfills the promise of Peter Bradley Adams. And rarely has an artist’s standing still sounded so divine.
“Adams is fast developing as a songwriter who both inspires and questions”
– Nic Harcourt / Los Angeles Times Magazine
“…one of the 21st-century writers whose songs are worth exploring.”
– Wall Street Journal
“Quiet, contemplative, and utterly compelling, Peter Bradley Adams’s A Face Like Mine is, simply, stupendously good.”
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