The Loveliest Apocalypse


Artists have the power to change the world through their mediums of expression. This thought is supported by Leonard Bernstein when he said, “It is the artists of this world, the feelers and thinkers, who will ultimately save us, who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing, and shout the big dreams. Only the artists can turn the “not-yet” into reality.” They have this ability because they work through mediums, such as music, visual art, dance, literature, etc. that evoke emotional responses in others that can possibly produce change. And it’s because of this that they often address issues of their days to bring about awareness to problems.

Composer John Luther Adam addresses climate change in his Pulitzer prize (2014) and Grammy (2015) award winning orchestral piece “Becoming Ocean.” “Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. And as the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.” This is the note he left in the front of the score giving the players and his audience the meaning behind this huge 42 minutes work.

After graduating with a degree xSVuXIsin music composition, Adams began work in environmental protection which brought him to Alaska. He has experienced climate change first hand and his music is inspired by it and his love for nature. Alex Ross of the New Yorker wrote, “’Become Ocean’ is his most ambitious effort in this vein: its three huge crescendos, evenly spaced over the three-quarter-hour span, suggest a tidal surge washing over all barriers. It may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history.” The composer addresses the issue head on. It proposes what could possibly happen if the polar icecaps continue to melt and sea level rises, and advocates for its protection.

Through the brilliance of Adams, you can feel vastness of the ocean, its power and wonder. “Become Ocean ushers you in and swallows you up. It’s gorgeous, darkly beautiful and ultimately unsettling” (Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR).

And guess what?! We have both the score of this award winning piece and a recording available to stream for AU students via Naxos! Check it out!

Read more from Alex Ross (The New Yorker) about this piece!!

Stream on Naxos here!!

Find the score here!!

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11 New Scores from an award winning modern composer!!

Among our newest acquisitions are eleven pieces by Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon. Come have a look!


Southern Harmony (string quartet) – M452 .H63 S68 2003

Love Sweet (soprano, violin, cello, piano)- M1613.3 .H64 L6 2013

Sonata for Viola and Piano – M226 .H45 S6 1990

Short Stories (saxophone quartet) – M457.2 .H54 S4 1996

An Exaltation of Larks (piano quintet) – M452 .H63 E93 2005

Autumn Music (woodwind quintet) – M557 .H63 A98 1995

Concerto for Orchestra – M1042 .H53 2002

Splendid Wood (3 marimbas, 6 hands) – M385 .H53 S65 2006

Summer Shimmers (piano and woodwind quintet) – M617 .H54 S8 2004

Trumpet Songs (trumpet and piano) – M261 .H54 T71 2004

Percussion Concerto – M1038 .H53 P47 2005

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New Scores!

Check out what just came in! Lots of new scores for your enjoyment!

Aran Khachaturian — Adventures of Ivan — M175 .X6 K53 2014

Eric Sammut — Four Rotations for Marimba I-IV — M175 .X6 S26 1996

Jesse Monkman — Parody for solo Marimba — M175 .X6 M654 2001

Richard Gipson — Monograph IV — M175 .X6 G56 2014

James Bastien — The Older Beginner Piano Course — MT225 .B37 043 1977 v.2

Alex A. Orfaly — Fanfares No. 1 & No. 2 for Timpani — M146 .O743 F36 2008

Anthony M. Di Bartolo — Duo for Snare Drum and Marimba — M298 .D52 D8 2013

Joan Tower — Elegy for Trombone and String Quaret — M562 .T69 E54 2013

Elliott Carter — Pastoral for Viola and Piano — M226 .C37 P3 1982

Jennifer Higdon — Nocturne for Violin & Piano — M221 .H52 S87 2015

George Hamilton Green — Alabama Moon – Arrangements for Xylophone and Marimba Duet — M298 .G74 A43 2013

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The Giants Behind the Music


Have you ever wondered who was working in the studio with Britney Spears when she recorded “Hit Me Baby One More Time” or who was working with Miley Cyrus recording “Wrecking Ball”?

There are hidden gems working behind the scenes in the music industry; people who can eat a cheeseburger at your local fast food restaurant without you even recognizing who they are. They are Artists, Producers, Writers, Composers, Lyricists, “Vibe People”, Engineers and Beat Makers that form the core team of people who create the songs that dominate the music played on the radio.

Take Max Martin for example, a Swedish songwriter and producer who has now had 20 number 1 hit singles. This makes him number three on the list, topped only by the famous songwriting duo of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. It is pretty remarkable that a man with a career that successful is still  hidden from the public eye. He has worked with artists like Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and The Weekend. In fact, if it’s an artists of this caliber in the pop scence, it is probably save to assume that they are connected to Max somehow.

Dr Luke is another producer and songwriter who’s name is huge in the music industry but less known to the mass public. He was a student at the Manhattan School of Music as a Jazz guitarist but his life and career were forever changed when he met Max Martin in NYC. He went from remixing songs in the 90s and working as the guitarist for SNL to becoming Max’s apprentice, giving him the chance to work with A-list artists in the pop world. Their first number one hit single was Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone”, for which she was awarded a Grammy. “(If you listen closely you can hear Gottwald singing over Clarkson’s voice).” Since then, his career has blossomed, leading him to write and produce hits like “Roar,” by Katy Perry and Miley’s “Wrecking Ball.”

Here is a photo of Dr Luke and Max Martin accepting songwriter of the year from ASCAP. The two have also won other awards, including several Grammys.


Just as Max took Dr. Luke as an apprentice, Dr. Luke does the same with younger talented writers and producers eager to leave their mark on the world. Some have even already gone to produce hits of their own using the tools that have been passed down through this line of hit-makers. They are still able to live normal lives and can eat a cheeseburger without being bombarded by paparazzi.

Check out these two articles with more details about the careers of these two Songwriters. Who knows, maybe it will provide the inspiration and courage for young writers to go out and accomplish their own dreams too!

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Labor Day Weekend Concerts!!!

Hope everyone has had a great first week of classes and is ready to celebrate Labor Day this weekend! To commemorate the holiday, The National Symphony Orchestra will perform a free Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol that will feature Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, vocalist Kate Davis and the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band. In addition to patriotic classics, the Labor Day Concert will include music selections of Aaron Copland’s work including Fanfare for the Common Man and Variations on a Shaker Melody, American Songbook standards ranging from “I’ll See You in My Dreams” to “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” folk hits like Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” and much more. You can enjoy the beautiful music Sunday at 8pm!

This is not the only concert you can enjoy this weekend though. There is music to be heard all over the city, from classical to R&B to Rock to Hip-hop. Here are a few selected events with their times and locations!

ALEXANDER BARNETT, Classical guitar, 1:30pm, Anderson House, 2118 Mass. Ave


4850 Colorado Ave NW Washington DC 20011
September 5th, 12pm – 7:30pm


September 4th, 9pm – RUDY ROSE w/ MICHAEL WOODS
September 5th, 9pm – P SQUARE
September 6th, 7:00pm – MODEST MOUTH

9:30 club:

Sept 4th, 8:00pm – PHAZEFEST DC’s Queer Music Festival
Sept 5th, 8:00pm – THE DOUGH ROLLERS
Sept 6th, 11:00pm – 3rd Annual All White End of Summer Jam

U-Street Music Hall:

Sept 4th, 10:00pm – WAVE RACER
Sept 5th, 7:00pm – MICK JENKINS & STWO
Sept 5th, 10:30pm – HUXLEY
Sept 7th, 7:00pm – BLACKBEAR

The Howard Theater:

Sept 3th, 9:00pm – FAT TREL
Sept 6th, 9:00 – Labor Day Fest with THE KINGS OF GO GO

The Hamilton

Sept 6th, 7:30pm – LOS LOBOS

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New CDs! Hoorah!

New CDs, y’all. Shazam.

Something Rotten! A Very New Musical, Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick — CD 10446

Finding Neverland, Gary Barlow & Eliot Kennedy — CD 10447

A Long Christmas Dinner, Paul Hindemith — CD 10444

Hansel and Gretel, Justin Roberts — CD 10445

The Visit: A New Musical, John Kander — CD 10443

Voyageurs, Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys — CD 10449

Complete Crumb Edition, George Crumb — CD 10438

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New score arrivals!

Check ’em out below!

Sight-Reading Pieces for B-Flat Instruments and Piano — M260 .S53 2012

Sight-Reading Pieces for Low Brass Instruments and Piano — M262 .S54 2012

Ben Folds — Best Imitation of Myself — M1630.18 .F637 B48 2012

Jason Robert Brown — Bridges of Madison County — M1508 .B88 B75 2014

Theobald Boehm — Twelve Grand Studies — MT345 .B62 op.15 2003

Haskell W. Harr — Drum Method — MT662.2 .H36 2007

Aldo Rafael Forte — American Sketches — M457.2 .F667 A4 1997

Akira Miyoshi — Ripple — M175 .X6 M59 2009

Contest pieces for Trumpet or Cornet and Piano — M260 .C67 2015

Franz Joseph Haydn — Concertos for horn and string orchestra — M1029 .H25 H.VIId/3

Sight-Reading Pieces for F or E-Flat Instruments and Piano — M256 .S53 2012

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