Wednesday 28 September 2022
John Luther Adams
We bring John Luther Adams’ concert-length work for massed percussion ensemble to the green jewel in Cardiff’s crown; Bute Park.
This is a free event suitable for all ages and for the whole community, and audience members are encouraged to wander, picnic and marvel at each varied and unique sound world discovered from every angle of this beautiful setting.
Register through the above link for a free e-ticket and have a look at the below map to find out where the action takes place or download here:
Inuksuit Site Map for Public
For all the ways to experience Inuksuit, please visit our “Get Involved” page here.
For John Luther Adams, music is a lifelong search for home—an invitation to slow down, pay attention, and remember our place within the larger community of life on earth. Living for almost 40 years in northern Alaska, JLA discovered a unique musical world grounded in space, stillness, and elemental forces. In the 1970s and into the ’80s, he worked full time as an environmental activist.
But the time came when he felt compelled to dedicate himself entirely to music. He made this choice with the belief that, ultimately, music can do more than politics to change the world. Since that time, he has become one of the most widely admired composers in the world, receiving the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and many other honors. In works such as Become Ocean, In the White Silence, and Canticles of the Holy Wind, Adams brings the sense of wonder that we feel outdoors into the concert hall. And in outdoor works such as Inuksuit and Sila: The Breath of the World, he employs music as a way to reclaim our connections with place, wherever we may be.
A deep concern for the state of the earth and the future of humanity drives Adams to continue composing. As he puts it: “If we can imagine a culture and a society in which we each feel more deeply responsible for our own place in the world, then we just may be able to bring that culture and that society into being.”
Since leaving Alaska, JLA and his wife Cynthia have made their home in the deserts of Mexico, Chile, and the southwestern United States
Of Inuksuit, John Luther Adams writes:
My music has always been rooted in the earth. Over the past thirty-five years I’ve composed many works inspired by the outdoors, but heard indoors. Recently, after hearing Strange and Sacred Noise performed in the Anza-Borrego desert, the New England woods, and the tundra of the Alaska Range, I’ve wanted to create a large-scale work conceived specifically to be performed outside.
Inuksuit is inspired by the stone sentinels constructed over the centuries by the Inuit in the windswept expanses of the Arctic. The word “Inuksuit” translates literally: “to act in the capacity of the human”. This work is haunted by the vision of the melting of the polar ice, the rising of the seas, and what may remain of humanity’s presence after the waters recede.
Inuksuit is a concert-length work for percussion, in which the performers are widely dispersed and move throughout a large, open area. The listeners, too, may move around freely and discover their own individual listening points. This work is intended to expand our awareness of the never-ending music of the world in which we live, transforming seemingly empty space into more fully experienced place.
Each performance of Inuksuit is different, determined by the size of the ensemble, the specific instruments chosen, and by the topology and vegetation of the site. There is no master score. Rather, this folio contains a collection of musical materials and possibilities for musicians to use in creating a unique realisation of the work.
Inuksuit invites exploration and discovery of the relationship between the music and the site, as well as the musicians’ interactions with both. The musicians are encouraged to consider carefully the selection of instruments, the distribution of performers, and the acoustical properties of the performance site.
The experience of preparing, performing and hearing Inuksuit may raise larger questions: What does it mean to act creatively with and within our environment? Can we listen and hear more deeply the field of sound all around us? How does where we are define what we do and, ultimately, who we are? And how do we understand the brevity of our human presence in the immensity of geologic time?