The UCF Percussion Ensemble will present a performance of John Luther Adams’ concert-length work Inuksuit (2009). Composed for 9 to 99 percussionists and designed to be performed outdoors, Inuksuit is a unique experience for both the performers and the audience. The musicians start at the stage and move to surround the audience for an immersive sound experience. Inuksuit has been described by the New York Times as “the ultimate environmental piece,” while the New Yorker’s Alex Ross hailed it as “one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life.”
Patrons should plan on arriving 45 minutes early to experience Artful Moments: Creative Highlights from the School of Visual Arts and Design. Features including curated clips, interviews, photos, exhibitions, events and more will premiere before each live performance.
Inuksuit (2009) by John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
I. Breathing and Wind
II. Calls and Inuksuit Rising
IV. Clangs and Inuksuit Falling
V. Wind and Birdsongs
“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 realization 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?”
-John Luther Adams
Christian De La Torre