Global Orchestral | Tree Adams' New Symphony: Elements 4

With material from a media release

Global Orchestral
Tree Adams' New Symphony: Elements 4

A Symphonic look at climate change through the lens of air, earth, fire and water

Conducted by Tree Adams with a 75-piece orchestra at Budapest Scoring Featuring Mark Robertson concertmaster/1st chair violinist, Ölveti Mátyás solo cellist, Bassekou Kouyate solo Ngoni and Chris Bleth solo Duduk

Composer Tree Adams is perhaps best known for his work in film and TV, including scores for The 100, Belushi, Legends, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS Hawai’i, Lethal Weapon, Redemption Road, Californication and Swelter, among others.

Tree is also well known as a producer who's worked with Cyril Neville, Taj Mahal, and many other artists.

Orchestral composer Tree Adams

His latest work, a symphony, is an ambitious culture-crossing project.  It was recorded with a 75-piece orchestra at Budapest Scoring, with soloists play instruments ranging from cello to ngoni, a West African stringed instrument.

The new music could be described as neo-romantic in style, with a cinematic sense of drama. It illuminates the theme through musical storytelling.

Tree Adams

Tree comes from a musical background where classical music played an important role. His grandfather, violinist Seymour Solomon, co-founded Vanguard Records with brother Maynard Solomon, a musicologist and author. Tree's father is jazz drummer Chicken Hirsh. 

Classical music is, for Tree, a return to his roots. In the album notes, he says he was inspired by a trip to the Biennale in Venice in 2023, where he saw the work of architects and engineers working on green tech.

 “Their work gave me a new feeling of hope and a belief in the resilience of humankind. I was inspired to capture this feeling (along with the wonder, the mystery, the tension and the horror of climate change) musically in a large work with international scope like a symphony and then I began to search for a construct that might fit the traditional 4 movement format. Later that week my wife and I walked past a church where they were performing the 4 seasons and we had the idea why not approach the climate change issue through the lens of the roiling 4 elements and our struggle to innovate and survive. Hence the title “Elements 4.””

Tree Adams conducting an orchestra in Budapest

The work's four movements correspond to the four elements:  Air on “Venti Allegro” in the sonata form, Fire “Fuoco Adante” in large ternary ABA form, Earth “Terra” with drum interlude and world minuet, and Water “Acqua Rondo Finale” in the rondo form, molto allegro. 

In a release, he comments, “I was listening to a lot of Mahler and Stravinsky around the time that I wrote the symphony. Perhaps Mahler’s 9th and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite had the most influence on me in the process.” 

While he has written a great deal of work that encompasses both orchestral and world music elements, this is the first where he tells his own story. 

The symphony was recorded in Budapest with the symphony. Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni) recorded his parts in Mali, Africa, and Chris Bleth‘s feature solo on the Duduk was recorded in Arizona. 

A portion of the proceeds from the album will go towards Earth Percent, a charity connecting musicians with environmental and climate justice organizations.

orchestral composer Tree Adams - Elements 4 album cover

The Symphony has won several awards so far:

  • Debussy International Music Competition: Grand Prize Winner 2024 S1
  • Debussy International Music Competition: Absolute First Prize Winner Orchestra 2024 S1
  • World Classical Music Awards Diamond Prize in the Composition and Sonata categories
  • World Classical Music Awards "Visionary Innovation Special Award"