Raised in Massachusetts and trained as a composer at Harvard, at the age of 24 Adams headed west to San Francisco in order to distance himself from his neo-European upbringing. Shaker Loops, written in the heyday of American minimalism, helped to earn him a place as one of the most famous living composers. It borrows the technique of looping fragments of melody from Steve Reich's early tape experiments, and continues to be one of Adams' most frequently performed works. Also included on this disc is Short Ride in a Fast Machine, four minutes of pure aural adrenaline, and The Wound-Dresser, a pensive adaptation of Walt Whitman's poem about his experiences as a nurse during the civil war. Marin Alsop has been Principle Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra since 2002. She represents the highest level of artistry seen in American conductors, and has recorded several times for Naxos. In 2003, she was named the Gramophone Artist of the year and presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society's conducting award. Marin Alsop has several more recording projects in progress for Naxos, including works by Glass, Weill and Bartók, as well as the complete Brahms Symphony cycle.