Q2 Music to Host Special Multimedia Listening Party of John Luther Adams' "Become Ocean" on Fri, Sept 12 doors open 7pm; show starts at 8pm

“Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.”- John Luther Adams

Q2 Music and Cantaloupe Music Present


Become Ocean in 5.1 Surround-Sound

An Exclusive Pre-Release Listening Party with John Luther Adams


The Greene Space at WQXR

Friday, September 12; Doors Open 7pm; Event Begins 8pm


(NEW YORK) John Luther Adams’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean “may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history,” according to Alex Ross of The New Yorker.


To celebrate the Seattle Symphony’s recording of the work, which is slated for September 30 release on Cantaloupe Music, Q2 Music, WQXR’s online station devoted to new music, will host an exclusive pre-release listening event in full 5.1 surround-sound.


This first-ever immersive experience of the work, with Adams in attendance, will take place at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR, the station’s intimate, acoustically superior event venue in New York City, 44 Charlton Street, on Friday, September 12. (Tickets $20, with complementary refreshment from the bar.)


The evening gives audiences an opportunity to experience Become Ocean in engulfing 5.1 surround-sound, just as the composer meant it to be heard. The evening begins with a conversation with Adams and Q2 Music’s Helga Davis about the inspiration behind the piece and its ambitious new recording by the Seattle Symphony, under the direction of Ludovic Morlot. 


The Greene Space will be outfitted with additional speakers and will be transformed with alternative lighting, spacing, seating and complementary visuals designed in consultation with Adams himself to provide the optimum environment for experiencing the 40-plus minute work.

More information and tickets are available at www.thegreenespace.org.

“As a composer and a listener, I hope to discover strange, beautiful new places, and to get hopelessly lost in them,” says Adams. “The best place to experience Become Ocean is in the middle of the stage, between the three instrumental choirs of the orchestra. At Carnegie Hall, that’s not possible. So I invite you to join me at The Greene Space, for an immersive experience of the new surround-sound recording, courtesy of Cantaloupe and Q2 Music.”


“John Luther Adams’s works resonate in large, open spaces, as if the music emanates from nature itself,” says Alex Ambrose, Producer of Q2 Music. “With the presentation of this new immersive surround-sound version of Become Ocean however, the challenge and thrill will be to craft an environment and 360-degree listening experience that derives from the music itself. Adams is a singular voice, and this will be a singular opportunity to get almost literally inside the music, to experience it as he intends it to be heard, seen and felt.”


Written for three distinct orchestras within the orchestra, Become Ocean builds on ideas that Adams explored in his 2007 work Dark Waves, with the different sections following their own rhythms and eventually meeting each other at the peak of three huge crescendo-like waves. Commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Symphony in June 2013, the piece was performed to rave reviews at Carnegie Hall's fourth annual Spring For Music festival. Writing for the The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim found it to be “not only a description of the sea – it behaves like it. The 40-minute orchestral work submerges the listener in a swirling, churning wash of sound.” To watch a video about the work, please click here.


Mixed and mastered for stereo and 5.1 surround-sound, Become Ocean is meant to be heard as a continuous listening experience. The physical release will be a specially priced two-disc package with CD and DVD, complete with 5.1 surround mix, animated menus, and a slideshow of ocean images by National Geographic photographers Paul Chesley and Sebastian Meckelmann, licensed specifically for the project. (Pre-release copies will be available for sale at The Greene Space.)


Q2 Music is WQXR's online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and vibrant, live webcasts from New York City's leading new-music venues. Q2 Music, a live 24/7 music stream available at www.wqxr.org/q2music, includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts and composers, full-length album streams, in-depth interviews with trend-setting artists, and special live events at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music is also available via the free WQXR app.





learn more about John Luther Adams


Press for Become Ocean:


“Alaskan Composer Wins Pulitzer for 'Become Ocean'”

Interview by Tom Huizenga

Deceptive Cadence on NPR | April 14, 2014


“Davidson on John Luther Adams's Carnegie Hall Debut”

by Justin Davidson

New York Magazine | May 7, 2014


“Out of the Northwest, Through Sea and Desert: Seattle Symphony Explores Nature at Spring for Music”

by Anthony Tommasini

The New York Times | May 7, 2014


“Seattle Symphony, Carnegie Hall, New York--review”

by Martin Bernheimer

The Financial Times | May 7, 2014


“Seattle symphony and 'Ocean' play to adoring crowd at Carnegie Hall”

by Melissa Davis

The Seattle Times | May 7, 2014


“Wilderness campaigner's obsession with 'place' led to symphony about climate change”

by Lisa Friedman

E&E Publishing: Climate Wire | May 13, 2014