Weather and climate change inspire composers

Posted on: August 1, 2013

On Tuesday (7/30) at the San Francisco Classical Voice, Edward Ortiz takes a detailed look at musicians inspired by the weather, including David Harrington, violinist with the Kronos Quartet. “Harrington believes that composers tap the weather as a subject because of the drama inherent in weather events, especially ones that come from climate change.” The quartet has been performing Laurie Anderson’s Landfall, “exploring the effects of the wrath of Hurricane Sandy…. [Composer] Mason Bates addresses climate change in Liquid Interface, an orchestral work he describes as a ‘water symphony’ that ‘heats up in each movement.’ … That’s just one of a number of musical responses to Hurricane Katrina, which include Terence Blanchard’s A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) and Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads…. John Luther Adams … has composed many works representative of weather in northern Alaska and his latter-day outpost in the Mexican Sonoran desert…. [Adams’s] 42-minute orchestral work Become Ocean is the latest of his ‘climate pieces.’ Given its premiere on June 20 by the Seattle Symphony, the work is prefaced with the words: ‘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.’ ”

Posted August 1, 2013