0 3 min 7 yrs

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Co-commissioned with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, this unprecedented musical experience for winds, percussion, strings, and voices disperses musicians from The United States Air Force Band throughout the outdoor settings, allowing listeners to roam freely and explore the work from multiple perspectives

In the Inuit tradition, sila is the spirit that animates all things—the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. In John Luther Adams’ piece, Sila: The Breath of the World, composed specifically to be heard out of doors, musicians and listeners alike are encouraged to move about the performance space freely. “The twin hallmarks of Adams’ work—a deep concern with the interactions between humans and the environment, an undeniable though wholly nonsectarian mysticism—are fused through masterly command of musical texture and pacing,” said NPR Music on Sila’s July 2014 New York City world premiere at Lincoln Center. “Absent a stage, the traditional walls between musicians and listeners dissipated absolutely. That intimacy created a marvelous cocoon of shared experience and silky, ethereal layers of sound. The music shimmers and shifts in magical and beautiful ways. Sila is as much performance piece as sonic work.”

Washington Performing Arts, which co-commissioned Sila, presents its D.C. premiere on May 13, 15 and 16, 2015. The grandeur of D.C.’s public spaces will be represented by three distinct locations: Meridian Hill Park (May 13th at 6pm), Constitution Gardens (May 15th at 6pm), and the Jefferson Memorial (May 16th at 3pm).  Sila will be performed by musicians from The United States Air Force Band, led by Colonel Larry Lang, who have partnered with Washington Performing Arts since the inception of the project.   The brass and percussion sections will be featured on May 13th; the woodwinds, strings and voices on May 15th; and, in a culminating event, the full group performs on May 16th.


The presenter of this performance is Washington Performing Arts. Please note this information in any coverage of this event.

What:             Sila: The Breath of the World
John Luther Adams, composer
The United States Air Force Band

Where:           Meridian Hill Park (May 13) (If raining, this performance will be cancelled)
Constitution Gardens (May 15) (If raining, this performance will be cancelled)
Jefferson Memorial (May 16) (Rain Location: Nat’l Museum of Am. History)

When:             Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 6pm (brass & percussion)
Friday, May 15, 2015 at 6pm (woodwinds, strings & voices)
Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 3pm (full group)