Magazine article Gramophone

JL Adams: Become Ocean

Magazine article Gramophone

JL Adams: Become Ocean

Article excerpt

JL Adams

Become Ocean

Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Ludovic Morlot

Cantaloupe [F] CA21101 (42' * DDD)

Awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music, Become Ocean is set to finally extricate John Luther Adams from the shadow of his near-namesake. In fact the two lie at polar ends of the post-minimal spectrum. JLA composes slowly evolving, monumental sound creations that seem somehow to emerge from the essence of the earth. His lifelong engagement with elemental forces and the power of nature stems from years living in the Alaskan wilderness, where he has evolved a 'music of place' grounded in its physical, cultural and spiritual attributes.

Surprising, therefore, that Adams's recent composition is inspired by the sea rather than the earth. Become Ocean takes the sense of scale and space that captured the composer's imagination when he first visited Alaska in the 1970s and applies it to the deep, dark and hidden depths of the oceans surrounding the Pacific Northwest. …

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