Director Luca Guadagnino has again turned to John Adams for the soundtrack of his critically acclaimed new HBO series, We Are Who We Are.
We Are Who We Are, a new HBO series from director Luca Guadagnino, features excerpts of six works by Adams throughout its eight-episode season, which premiered on September 14. Its first episode included a selection from Adams’s 1995 song play I Was Looking At the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky. Further episodes will include music from Century Rolls, Two Fanfares for Orchestra, Gnarly Buttons, Christian Zeal and Activity, and El Dorado. We Are Who We Are follows a group of teens growing up on an American Army base outside of Venice, Italy, struggling to find their own identities as they move into young adulthood. The series has been met with critical acclaim—the LA Times named it one of the year’s best TV series, while Roger Ebert called it “glorious,” noting that the soundtrack is “impeccably curated.”
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Guadagnino has previously used John Adams’s music in his acclaimed films Call Me By Your Name (2017), A Bigger Splash (2015), and I Am Love (2009). His films are known for their sumptuous sights and sounds, his penchant for the Italian countryside and his usage of music as an expressive tool have become signatures to his fans. In an interview with Pitchfork on the subject of music and film, Guadagnino explained how hearing Adams’s Naïve and Sentimental Music in 2005 was “transformative and changed my life as a director forever.”
Guadagnino lauded Adams’s work, stating: “It comes with a capacity of interpreting reality, interpreting the history of the reality, interpreting the history of the United States, and understanding even the boundaries of music to become a cunning exploration of the identity of human nature and the politic relationship that ties all us in. I can’t think of how to put it differently.”
Photo: Luca Guadagnino's We Are Who We Are
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