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Ludovic Morlot Conducts the Seattle Symphony in Become Ocean at Carnegie Hall May 6



The Seattle Symphony and Cantaloupe Music announce the definitive recording of John Luther Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, Become Ocean, slated for release in September, 2014 on the Cantaloupe Music label. This atmospheric and revolutionary work, which was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and received its world premiere in Seattle last June, will receive its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Spring For Music festival. The recording was made in November, 2013, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Composer John Luther Adams has made nature the subject of his compositions for nearly four decades. Become Ocean was inspired by the oceans of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and immerses the audience in an organic and constantly evolving sound world that reflects the natural environment with an orchestral technique that is deeply original and unique to Adams. Adams explains: “My music has led me beyond landscape painting with tones into the larger territory of ‘sonic geography’ – a region that lies somewhere between place and culture, between human imagination and the world around us. My music is going inexorably from being about place to becoming place.” The score includes a message from the composer, which reads, “Life on this earth emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans face the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.” Regarding the world premiere of Adams’ work, The New Yorker wrote, “It may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history.” For a brief video clip about Become Ocean, click here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at 7:30pm
Carnegie Hall
Spring For Music festival
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Seattle Symphony

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS               Become Ocean
EDGARD VARÈSE                         Déserts
CLAUDE DEBUSSY                        La Mer (“The Sea”)

For Concert Tickets: 

For more information on Spring For Music:

About John Luther Adams 
Called “one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world. He composes for orchestra, chamber ensembles, percussion and electronic media, and his music is recorded on Cold Blue, New World, Mode, Cantaloupe, and New Albion. A recipient of the Heinz Award for his contributions to raising environmental awareness, Adams has also been honored with the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University “for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries.”

John Luther Adams’s music is heard regularly all over the world. The Chicago Symphony, the Radio Netherlands Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony have performed his Dark Waves for large orchestra and electronic sounds. Inuksuit for up to ninety-nine percussionists has been performed in New York City’s Morningside Park and at the Park Avenue Armory, as well as many other outdoor venues throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. 

Adams is the author of Winter Music (2004), a collection of essays, journal entries and reflections on his life and work in Alaska. The subject of his second book is The Place Where You Go to Listen (2009) his installation at the Museum of the North that translates geophysical data streams into an ever-changing environment of sound and light. The Farthest Place (2012), a book-length critical study of John Luther Adams’s music, includes essays by Kyle Gann, Steven Schick, Glenn Kotche and many other prominent musicians and scholars. 

Adams has taught at Harvard University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Bennington College, and the University of Alaska. He has been composer in residence with the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Opera, Fairbanks Symphony, Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and the Alaska Public Radio Network, and he has served as president of the American Music Center. 

Born in 1953, Adams grew up in the South and in the suburbs of New York City. He studied composition with James Tenney and Leonard Stein at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was in the first graduating class (in 1973). In the mid-1970s he became active in the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and subsequently served as executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. 

About Cantaloupe Music
Cantaloupe Music is the record label created and launched in March 2001 by the three founders of New York’s legendary Bang on a Can organization — composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe — with Bang on a Can managing director Kenny Savelson. Cantaloupe has made a massive impact in the new music community, and has been recognized by critics and fans around the world for its edgy and adventurous sounds. The label maintains a vibrant and constantly growing catalog (currently more than 80 recordings) that represents the work of a diverse range of composers, with consistent coverage and Best of the Year mentions from National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Out New York, the Guardian (UK) and many more outlets online, in print and over the airwaves.

About the Seattle Symphony 
The Seattle Symphony, founded in 1903, is recognized as a major symphonic orchestra in the United States and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot the Symphony is heard live from September through July by more than 315,000 people. Its innovative education and community engagement programs reach over 100,000 children and adults each year. The orchestra has completed more than 140 recordings, received twelve Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. The Seattle Symphony performs in one of the world’s finest concert venues – the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall – in downtown Seattle. 

The Seattle Symphony’s New York tour is sponsored by Delta Air Lines. 

Generous support for the commissioning of John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean has been provided by Brian and Lynn Grant. 

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