Courtney Lewis, Music Director
Dr. Quinton White, Guest Presenter
Become Ocean was written by American composer John Luther Adams. The work was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and premiered in Benaroya Hall in 2013. A year later, Become Ocean won the Pulitzer Prize for Music as well as the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Even though Become Ocean was inspired by the oceans of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, Adams actually wrote the piece while completely surrounded by desert. He took inspiration from a composer John Cage: “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’ words convey his inspiration in composing this luscious score, performed by the Symphony to commemorate Earth Day 2018. Dr. Quinton White, Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University, will give a presentation before the concert on the history of human impact on the Florida environment and especially on the St. Johns River. Panelists will examine the both portions of the performance in a post-concert panel discussion.
Pre-concert Presentation by Dr. A Quinton White
ADAMS Become Ocean
Post-concert Panel Discussion with:
Courtney Lewis, Music Director, Jacksonville Symphony
Dr. A Quinton White, Executive Director, Marine Science Institute
Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, Program Director, Coastal Biology, University of North Florida
Lisa Rinaman, The St. Johns Riverkeeper
The Honorable Nancy Shaver, Mayor of St. Augustine
Video Credit: Alex Willemin and Joe Kistel