John Luther Adams: Become Ocean
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Awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music and described by the New Yorker's Alex Ross as "...the loveliest apocalypse in musical history," John Luther Adams' majestic orchestral work Become Ocean is a thrilling exploration of depth, turbulence, eerie silence and ultimately enveloping calm. Performed by the Seattle Symphony under the baton of Ludovic Morlot, the music casts an expressive arc that's by turns intimate and expansive - an ebbing and flowing sonic journey that finds the composer testing the very limits of his imagination.
With their first collaboration, Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and composer John Luther Adams have struck gold. Become Ocean, Morlot's first large-scale commission as music director of the SSO, is a symphonic work that feels even vaster than its forty-two-minute span. By dividing the large ensemble into three interlocking orchestras, Adams created a score that works on multiple levels: it's an abstract sonic experience at one extreme and, at the other, an evocation of nature and its irresistible force. --Thomas May, Listen Magazine<br \><br \>"This is the piece of classical music of 2014 that has crossed over to a mainstream audience, and rightly so. Put it on speakers and people will stop what they're doing to say, "What is this? I love it!" Written as a meditation on rising - and ultimately all-consuming - tides, Adams has created a work that is both an orchestral showpiece (written, actually, for three juxtaposed mini-orchestras) and a completely haunting inner journey. The Seattle Symphony should be hugely proud of having commissioned Become Ocean and their stellar performance under conductor Ludovic Morlot." --Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR 2014
"I never thought I would pick a Pulitzer Prize-winning composition for the top spot on my end-of-year list. For as long as I can remember, the Pulitzer judges focused on pleasing a niche group of academics who care more about "compositional strategies" than how music actually sounds. But contemporary classical music has changed, and the field is now spawning many appealing and genre-bending works. John Luther Adams lives up to the title of his composition, capturing an oceanic torrent of sound in an awe-inspiring performance. (Also check out the previous year's Pulitzer winner Caroline Shaw's "Partita for 8 Voices" for another example of the new populist movement in the classical world.)" --Ted Gioia, The Daily Beast
New York Times, Classical Best of 2014: Inwardly mechanical and outwardly entrancing, "Become Ocean," the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning work, was intended to drown you in sound, and it succeeds. This absorbing, glittering release is testament to what a single piece can do for a composer, an orchestra and a conductor.
-David Allen, New York Times 2014
New York Times, Fall Preview, 2014: Advancing in great orchestral heaves and sighs, this 40-minute work by the Alaskan composer John Luther Adams, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and its music director, Ludovic Morlot, won this year's Pulitzer Prize in Music. By that time it had already been recorded in Seattle, and is scheduled for release just as the new season gets underway. Cantaloupe Music.
--New York Times, September 2014
"In a letter to the orchestra's director, Ludovic Morlot, Taylor Swift explained that she was moved to donate after hearing a recording of John Luther Adams' Become Ocean, commissioned and performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by Morlot. Adams has received widespread critical acclaim for his work; The Telegraph's Ivan Hewett has described the "innocent and visionary" musician as "one of America's most important composers." --Tristram Fane Saunders, Telegraph.co.uk, December 4, 2015
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It's a "go to" and I listen to it weekly.
But don't bother with buying the combined DVD & CD set. The DVD is the original audio recording set to still pictures of about 10 stock-photo ocean pictures that cycle every minute or so and repeat several times during the course of the piece. You could do it yourself with a quick Google Images search and a slide show on your computer. Or even better, turn the lights low and close your eyes. But you don't need the DVD.
on my part to listen to something this intense...Thank you