John Luther Adams on composing Become Desert

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“This piece is all about space,” says composer John Luther Adams. “Space has become, perhaps, the fundamentally compositional element in my music — so much so that with Become Desert, I didn't begin sketching notes. I didn't think about harmonies, or tempos, or line, or anything specific until I had the floor plan. Until I knew, not only what are the instruments, but where are the instruments. In this case, we have five instrumental choirs, five distinctly separate ensembles. Become Ocean had three. That seemed to work pretty well, but I wanted to hear a fuller space, both [in] surround and vertically.”

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John Luther Adams: Composing Become Desert