Drums, cymbals, gongs and sirens will echo from Rice’s live oak grove

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations

MEDIA ADVISORY

Katharine Shilcutt
713-348-6760
kshilcutt@rice.edu

Drums, cymbals, gongs and sirens will echo from Rice’s live oak grove
Concert-length ‘Inuksuit’ by composer John Luther Adams slated for Feb. 16

HOUSTON – (Jan. 8, 2018) – A concert-length work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams will bring musicians and members of the community together with the leafy beauty of Rice University’s live oak grove.

Inuksuit flyerAudience members will be encouraged to wander around the grove while creating their own listening experience during a performance of “Inuksuit.” Forty-five percussionists from Rice’s Shepherd School of Music and across the U.S. will spread out in the large live oak grove while playing drums, cymbals, gongs, glockenspiels and sirens.

This will be the premiere performance with a landscape installation specifically designed for the work by Falon Mihalic. Using boulders, wood and cables, Mihalic’s design will create a listening map focused around a suspended chandelier in the center of the grove.

The Spatial Humanities Initiative in Rice’s Humanities Research Center will present “Inuksuit” Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in the grove just inside Entrance 1 on the Rice campus. Organized by Sydney Boyd, the Spatial Studies Project Manager for the Humanities Research Center, the performance will be directed by Doug Perkins and produced by Brandon Bell.

Since its premiere in 2009, “Inuksuit” has been performed hundreds of times around the world in spaces as disparate as a Rocky Mountain meadow, an Australian beach, a Greek plateau, the wilds of Alaska, the deep woods of northern Vermont and, most recently, the border wall between San Diego and Tijuana.

Rice hosted the Houston premiere of the work in 2013 at James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace. The New York Times has called “Inuksuit” “the ultimate environmental piece,” while Alex Ross, writing for The New Yorker, hailed it as “one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life.”

The performance is free and open to the public. Audience members are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets and footwear appropriate for comfortable outdoor walking. Parking is also free on a first-come, first-served basis in the Lovett Lot beginning at 3:30 p.m. The length of the work ranges between 60 and 75 minutes depending on various environmental factors.

This performance of “Inuksuit” is sponsored by the Spatial Humanities Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event is co-sponsored by Rice Public Art, the Moody Center for the Arts, the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, the English Department Graduate Symposium and the Shepherd School of Music.

Sydney Boydis a scholar, teacher, violinist and public writer. She received her Ph.D. in English from Rice in 2018 and currently holds the Spatial Humanities Project Manager Fellowship in the Humanities Research Center. Treating British and American literature, her research focuses on how musical duration shapes narrative conceptions of temporality and defines the 20th century as an era of literary experimentation with musical time. One chapter of this project, “The Color of Sound: Hearing Timbre in Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man,'” is published in Arizona Quarterly (fall 2018). Working across departments and disciplines, her most recent work centers on live performance environments and active engagement with musicians, artists and composers.

Doug Perkinshas been hailed as a “percussion virtuoso” by the New York Times. He founded the percussion quartet So Percussion and the Meehan/Perkins Duo, and he performs with ensembles such as Signal and Eighth Blackbird. He premiered more than 100 works with such composers as David Lang, Steve Reich, Paul Lansky, John Luther Adams, Christian Wolff and Tristan Perich. His productions of Xenakis’ “Persephassa” in New York’s Central Park Lake as well as Adams’ “Inuksuit” and “Sila” have taken him to lead performances everywhere from Central Park and the Park Avenue Armory to Land’s End in San Francisco and the top of the Italian Alps.

Brandon Bellis an arts administrator and percussionist in Houston. He is director of education and artistic administrator at Da Camera and is an adjunct faculty member at Houston Community College. He is currently writing his dissertation as he completes the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music and is a 2019 fellow of the National Arts Strategies Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania. As a percussionist, his research and performance interests focus on how music interacts with the natural environment, especially through ecoacoustic music. Bell has produced and performed “Inuksuit” in five locations since 2013.

Falon Mihalicis a landscape architect and public artist working in sculpture, painting and site installation. The landscape experience — from the microscopic plant cell to the landforms of regions — inspires her work across multiple media types. She received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Her recent public art project, Climate Pulse, is a weather-responsive light sculpture produced with support from the Houston Arts Alliance. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and public spaces in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Providence, R.I.

John Luther Adamsis one of America’s most-performed living composers. Having spent the majority of his adult life living in Alaska, his work is uniquely imbued with a heightened sense of eco-awareness. His orchestral work, “Become Ocean,” was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Writing in The New Yorker, critic Alex Ross described Adams as “one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century.”

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For more information, contact Katharine Shilcutt, media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6760 or kshilcutt@rice.edu.

This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

For a Rice University map and parking information, visit http://parking.rice.edu.

Related information:

Spatial Humanities Initative: http://hrc.rice.edu/spatialhumanities

Shepherd School of Music: https://music.rice.edu/

High-resolution images for download:

https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/news-network.rice.edu/dist/c/2/files/2019/01/Inuksuit-flyer-1e5h34x.jpg

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.