ohn Luther Adams’s Become Ocean has won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music. The prize, which amounts to $10,000, is awarded annually to American composers for works premiered during the previous year. The other two nominated pieces for the 2014 prize were John Adams’s (no relation) The Gospel According to the Other Maryand Invisible Cities by Christopher Cerrone.
Become Ocean was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and is an evocation of the seas close to the Pacific Northwest of the US. Adams explains the title thus: ‘Life on this earth first emerged from the sea, and as the polar ice melts and the sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that, once again, we may quite literally become ocean.’