John Luther Adams' ‘Become Desert’ is a remarkable expansion on the ideas he developed for his Pulitzer-winning (and Grammy-winning) work, ‘Become Ocean.’ While not necessarily a "sequel" in the literal sense, the recording certainly shares multiple elements with its predecessor — including, most significantly, the renewal of Adam's creative partnership with conductor Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony. In his 2018 essay for the New York Times, Adams prepares us for listening to Become Desert with a map, of sorts, to help us find the state of "swimming in light" that the music is meant to convey. Along the way, "You begin to feel that this music you had thought was suspended in time is slowly leading youRead more somewhere, pulling you somewhere. It continues upward, rising with inevitable force, like the wind or the light."
Also included in this release is a video which includes a 5.1 surround mix of the recording, as well as a slideshow of desert images (all still photography by John Luther Adams) that loops during playback.
His latest symphony shimmers in majestic stillness. Through intricate orchestration, Adams conjures glistening shafts of light, distant rolling thunder, and flickering colors, refracting in the haze of desert heat. The closer one listens, the more is revealed.