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John Luther Adams. Become Ocean. Cantaloupe Music B00L5VZL4S, 2014, CD and DVD.

  • Nicholas Stevens
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1 Ross, Alex, “Water Music: John Luther Adams's “Become Ocean” at the Seattle Symphony,” New Yorker, 8 July 2013, 9293 .

2 Luther Adams, John, “Strange and Sacred Noise,” in Winter Music: Composing the North (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2004): 130–36.

3 For Cage's mesostic poem, which spells out Lou Harrison's last name in capital letters (the final lines are “we becOme/oceaN”), see Cage, John, “Many Happy Returns,” in Empty Words: Writings ’73–’78 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1979), 6.

4 John Luther Adams, “Music in the Anthropocene,” in Postmodern Music, Postmodern Listening, ed. Carl, Robert (London: Bloomsbury, 2016): 315–18.

5 For this effort, Morlot augmented his already-full ensemble with several string players, a horn player, a clarinetist, and—crucially, given the instrument's prominent role in the piece—three harpists.

6 Edward Davis, D., “Reviews: John Luther Adams, Inuksuit and Become Ocean,” Polygraph 25 (2016): 175–82.

7 See, for example, Anthony Tommasini, “Out of the Northwest, Through Sea and Desert: Seattle Symphony Explores Nature at Spring for Music,” New York Times, 7 May 2014,

8 Many thanks to Elena Dubinets, a musicologist at the University of Washington and the Vice President of Artistic Planning for the Seattle Symphony, for corresponding with me as I prepared this review and for clarifying aspects of the recording process.

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Journal of the Society for American Music
  • ISSN: 1752-1963
  • EISSN: 1752-1971
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-society-for-american-music
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