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This Seattle Symphony Piece Inspired Taylor Swift

John Luther Adams
John Luther Adams said that his Grammy-winning piece "Become Ocean" was inspired by concerns about climate change.

A Grammy-winning recording by the Seattle Symphony has caught Taylor Swift’s ear: The pop star just donated $50,000 to the symphony after hearing its performance of “Become Ocean.”

Swift wrote to symphony music director Ludovic Morlot praising the composition and reminiscing about going to her local symphony with her grandmother.

Her donation will go to the symphony’s “Link Up” education program and to the musicians’ pension fund.

Marcie Sillman wrote about “Become Ocean” after it won the Grammy. The post was published Feb. 9, 2015:



A gigantic, slow-motion movement.

Those are terms used to describe “Become Ocean,” the composition that on Sunday night clinched the Seattle Symphony’s first-ever Grammy.

The piece, by John Luther Adams, also won the Pulitzer Prize last year. It was commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Symphony in June 2013. Composed for a large orchestra of almost 100 musicians, the music was inspired by the Pacific Northwest's geography.

Adams has also said that his concerns about climate change and rising sea levels also informed the piece.

“John Luther Adams is inspired by the landscapes that are all around us,” said Ludovic Morlot, music director of the Seattle Symphony. “It puts you in a mood that is like looking at the sky.”

Laura DeLuca, a clarinet player in the symphony, also waxed poetic.

“It was like floating or like watching whales rise out of the water and twist and splash and play,” she said, adding that it was “this sort of gigantic slow-motion movement.”