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Sounds and Senses: John Luther Adams' "Veils and Vesper" (Video)

Composer John Luther Adams was in Cleveland in September 2014 for a short residency that included presenting two of his major non-concert hall works: Inuksuit, for 99 percussionists, was performed in the Lake View Cemetery on an unexpectedly gorgeous early autumn day; and Veils and Vesper, a ten-channel immersive sound environment, was installed at St. John's in the Ohio City neighborhood.

Members of the St. John's community approached us last year, having taken note of the series of adventurous music programs we'd led at the nearby Transformer Station. Would you like to have a look at St. John's as a possible venue, they asked. Once inside this historic and intimate sacred space, it was apparent what was possible. Our conversations with the church leadership quickly arrived at the simple agreement that whatever we might do, the work should align with the spirit of the place. It was immediately clear that Veils and Vesper could and should be installed here. 

In this video clip below, Adams talks about the process behind his "most rigorously mathematic and most unabashedly sensuous piece," as well as the importance of the surrounding environment to the experience of the installation.

 

 

In the midst of planning these projects with John, he won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music. This was an exciting turn of events - for the composer, naturally, and also for the Cleveland Museum of Art's performing arts program.

There are only three more weekends left to experience Veils and Vesper, open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from Noon- 6:00 p.m. through Saturday, November 8 at St. John's in Ohio City!

Related:

> Learn more about the Cleveland Museum of Art's Performing Arts Series 

 
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