Veils and Vesper
July 29, 2017
This four-part electronic soundscape by Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY-winning composer John Luther Adams shifts and changes over its six-hour duration as listeners, free to enter and leave, move around the space. Like few other musical experiences presented at Grace, Veils and Vesper will take full advantage of the cathedral’s unique acoustic properties and natural 7-second delay.
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About the program
Composed in 2005, Veils and Vesper is a four-part electronic soundscape that evolves slowly and organically over its six-hour duration in the hallowed confines of Grace Cathedral. Presented as an audio installation, the piece and the audience’s experience of it, constantly shifts and changes as listeners move around the space. As they explore the cavernous environment, listeners will have a unique experience as their perception of the music is altered by their proximity to loudspeakers, the various sonically reflective and absorptive surfaces that make up the cathedral and other bodies moving through the space. During the installation, which is broken into the sections “Falling Veil,” “Crossing Veil,” “Rising Veil, and “Vesper,” listeners are free to enter and leave the performance at their discretion and to stay as long as they like. Like few other musical experiences presented at Grace, Veils and Vesper will take full advantage of the cathedral’s unique acoustic properties and natural 7-second delay. In the words of acclaimed composer, critic, and educator Kyle Gann’s PostClassic blog, Veils and Vesper is “… calming, beautiful, … an invitation to a crepuscular frame of mind.”
About John Luther Adams: The Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY-winning composer John Luther Adams creates innovative works that are the products of a uniquely American viewpoint, with emphasis on the natural world, the Alaskan wilderness and the culture of the arctic Inuit people and other indigenous populations. Adams has composed for a wide range of settings including chamber ensembles, orchestra, film, television, voice and electronics. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in recognition of his orchestral piece Become Ocean, which was also awarded a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. He received a second GRAMMY for his percussion piece Inuksuit. Adams served as Associated Professor of Composition at Oberlin Conservatory, was named a Rockefeller Fellow and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. He was the recipient of the 2010 Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, cited by the selection committee for “melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries.”