Inuksuit

Composed by John Luther Adams
Sunday, April 21, 4 p.m.
Jenkins Greek Theatre

Thoreau recorded the momentous social and environmental changes of the industrial revolution through describing the interactions of natural and man-made sound: the “music” of the wind on the telegraph wire, the interaction between birdsong and train whistles, the play of wind and whirring sawmills. For Thoreau, close listening gave these ‘found sounds’ the vividness of musical events. The Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams (b. 1953) composes the momentous social and environmental changes of our era, documenting climate change and cultural loss in sound itself.

In collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird ensemble, the University of Richmond will stage Adams’ monumental ecological composition Inuksuit (an Inuit word meaning ‘in the capacity of the human’). The 90 minute composition, scored for 99 drummers, will be performed in the Greek Theatre, a wooded area of the campus along Westhampton lake. Composed to blend (and confuse) the sounds of nature and humanity, Adams invites us to hear our world as Thoreau heard Walden.

John Luther Adams will also present a lecture, "In Search of an Ecology of Music," on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall.

Both events are free and open to the public.