Become Ocean

SPHERE Festival - NACO Live

Sat, September 24, 2022
10:00 AM
Alexander Shelley © Rémi Thériault
Music Classical music Festival events
  • OUTI TARKIAINEN Songs of the Ice
  • ANNA CLYNE Restless Oceans
  • JOHN LUTHER ADAMS Become Ocean
  • In-person event

In recognition and thanks for invaluable donor support, NAC English Theatre and NAC Indigenous Theatre reserve a limited number of complimentary seats for designated preview performances. Often, before the evening’s preview, a member of the production’s artistic team gives insights into the creative process and invites questions from donors.

We honour the voice of Mother Nature with music dedicated to the critical ecological milestones our planet faces, including two works from ground-breaking female composers Anna Clyne and Outi Tarkiainen.

British composer Anna Clyne wrote Restless Oceans for Marin Alsop and the all-women Taki Concordia Orchestra for performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019. In addition to playing their instruments, the musicians are called upon to use their voices in song and strong vocalizations, and their feet to stomp and bring them to stand united at the end. “My intention was to write a defiant piece that embraces the power of women.''

Songs of the Ice, by Finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen, evokes the slow and silent breathing of the Earth’s ice as it swells in winter and contracts in summer in an age-old rhythm that is gradually being lost. Songs of the Ice is dedicated to Iceland’s Okjökull (Ok glacier), which was declared “dead” by the Icelandic Meteorological Office in 2014, by which time the glacier had lost almost 80 percent of its mass and was no longer a living, moving glacier.

Our concert closes with John Luther Adams’s epic Become Ocean, an all-encompassing sonic seascape that engulfs us in “roiling waves of sound, curling up and out…not so much ebbing as subsuming everything else” ( Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music, Become Ocean is written for three orchestras, each of which moves on its own sonic journey before meeting as one in crucial moments. If the ocean of our planet has a song, then Become Ocean is it.

***This concert is presented as part of the NAC Orchestra’s SPHERE Festival which will take place on September 22-25, 2022


  • Conductor Alexander Shelley
  • Composer John Luther Adams
  • anna-clyne-photo-by-christina-kernohan-691px-cropped
    Composer Anna Clyne
  • Composer Outi Tarkiainen