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The aim of this visual, musical immersion project is to throw spectators into the unique world of Harmonielehre, a piece by American composer John Adams. By bringing to life images evoked by the music, we will send audiences off on a journey between different levels of reality. Through an immersive recording of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and its conductor Kent Nagano, we will enter an imaginary world somewhere between the composer’s subconscious and the splendour of the dome.

Harmonielehre is a 1985 composition by American composer John Coolidge Adams. Its title, which can be translated as Study of Harmony, alludes to a combination of Schoenberg¹s harmonic principles and those of minimalism. Adams has stated that the piece was inspired by a dream he had in which he was driving across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and saw an oil tanker on the surface of the water abruptly turn upright and take off like a Saturn V rocket. The dream was a revelation, and the composition that followed ended a period of creative drought that was plaguing Adams. The artistic journey to inspiration is represented in the three movements of the piece.

The Artists

John Adams, Composer

John Adams, one of the most renowned American composers of his generation, grew up in New England and studied at Harvard before settling in California in 1971. From then on, he was very active in San Francisco’s music scene, teaching at the Conservatory for 10 years and then joining the San Francisco Symphony as composer in residence. Adams first came to attention through the operas he created in collaboration with Peter Sellars (including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic) and a great many symphonic works. On the Transmigration of Souls, written for the New York Philharmonic to mark the first anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music and a Grammy in 2003. John Adams is still active as a conductor for renowned orchestras and is a composer in residence at Carnegie Hall and an artist in association at the BBC Symphony.

Kent Nagano, Conductor

Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. Since September 2006 he has been Music Director of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

One of the highlights of his time at the helm of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal was the opening of the OSM’s new concert hall in September 2011. On November 11, 2013, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) announced that Maestro Kent Nagano’s contract as the Orchestra’s music director would be extended until 2020. Since its association with Maestro Nagano, the OSM has consolidated its standing among leading North American orchestras and increased initiatives to get closer to its audience, while contributing to making the OSM a cultural institution that is well rooted in the community in Montreal, in Quebec and across Canada.

“My attachment to Montreal and the close relationships I have developed with the OSM's talented musicians over the years are among the reasons that prompted me to renew my commitment to the Orchestra,” said maestro Nagano. “Montreal is a friendly city that abounds with creativity and a vibrant culture where European and North American cultures mesh perfectly. I've had the good fortune in recent years to be part of a great period in the Orchestra's history. I hope to help create and develop other important projects during my extended tenure as music director, which will raise the OSM's profile both in Montreal and beyond.”

Michel D.T. Lam, Director

Born in Sherbrooke, Québec, Michel D.T. Lam studied cinema at Université du Québec à Montréal and the Institut national de l'image et du son. He made a remarkable debut with two award-winning films, Plus ou moins trente and Sur le quai de la gare. Cofounder of the production company Laterna Films, he is a screenwriter and director working in such diverse genres as fiction films, documentaries and television programs. In 2009, he directed his first feature documentary, the critically acclaimed ...et la musique. He is a content consultant for various television and documentary projects, a co-screenwriter and co-director of the series Ports d'attache (TV5, Discovery World) and has directed several episodes of the documentary series Le théâtre des opérations (ARTV). He is currently preparing his first fictional feature, Les amoureux orphelins, produced by ACPAV.


Event Hours(1)

  • Friday

    10:00 pm - 10:45 pm

    In The Dome

Fulldome UK 2014

Fulldome UK returns to the National Space Centre, Leicester on the 7-8 November 2014 for two days of inspirational immersive screenings in the UK's largest digital dome. The internationally renowned festival will feature the very best 360 films, live VJ performances and radical debates on the future of immersive experiences.

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