Rice University will host the Houston premiere of “Inuksuit,” a monumental work for percussion by noted American composer John Luther Adams, Sept. 21. The outdoor performance will use James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace as its anchor.
Percussionists from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Sam Houston State University, the Colburn School and the local Houston area will perform “Inuksuit” from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the skyspace and the West Academic Quad.
“Inuksuit” is a term significant to the Arctic region and refers to a type of man-made stone landmark. According to event organizers, Adams, whose works are inspired largely by the ecology of the North, believes that “music can contribute to the awakening of our ecological understanding. By deepening our awareness of our connections to Earth, music can provide a sounding model for the renewal of human consciousness and culture.”
A resident of Alaska for the past 30 years, Adams has been a composer-in-residence with the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Opera, Fairbanks Symphony, Arctic Chamber Orchestra and Alaska Public Radio Network. He has held teaching positions at Harvard University, Oberlin College, Bennington College and the University of Alaska. “Inuksuit” has been performed in New York City’s Morningside Park and at the Park Avenue Armory as well as other venues throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Brandon Bell, a predoctoral candidate at the Shepherd School of Music, has organized the Houston performance of “Inuksuit” with support from the Shepherd School and Rice Public Art.