Alaskan composer John Luther Adams to bring "Inuksuit" to campus; 99 percussionists will perform

March 28, 2013

Alaskan composer John Luther Adams will bring his monumental, ecological “Inuksuit” to the University of Richmond April 21 in commemoration of Earth Day. Written for 99 percussionists, “Inuksuit” is designed for outdoor performance.

Free and open to the public, the performance will begin at the university’s Jenkins Greek Theater at 4 p.m., with musicians stationed throughout the wooded area and paths along Westhampton Lake.

 “Adams composes the momentous social and environmental changes of our era, documenting climate change and cultural loss in sound itself, “said Andy McGraw, assistant professor of music and ethnomusicology at the university.

The 90-minute production will feature members of the university’s Grammy Award-winning ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird; musicians from Richmond’s departments of music, art and art history, and theatre and dance; and percussionists from other colleges in the region. Audience members are encouraged to move throughout the area to experience the composition to its fullest.

Musicians will perform on a variety of instruments, including conch shells, air horns, sirens, gongs, maracas, drums, cymbals and glockenspiels.

“Composed to blend and confuse the sounds of nature and humanity, Adams invites us to hear our world much as Thoreau heard the natural and man-made sounds at Walden,” said McGraw. The composition’s title comes from the Inuit word meaning “stone marker.”

Adams also will give a lecture about his music April 20, 7:30 p.m., at Camp Concert Hall. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit or call 804-289-8277. Parking will be available at the Modlin Center for the Arts, with drop-off or accessible parking at the Greek Theatre on Westhampton Way. In case of inclement weather, the performance will take place in The Modlin Center.

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