The West Coast Premiere of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit | Free Community Event Launches the 2012 Ojai Music Festival
June 7, 2012 at 5 PM
45 percussionists and 3 piccolo players, comprised of both professional musicians and current and former students from Cal Arts, UCSD (red fish blue fish), UCSB, Cal State Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, Chapman University, and The Colburn School descend on scenic Ojai’s Libbey Park and Libbey Bowl for the launch of the 66th Ojai Music Festival with the West Coast premiere of Inuksuit – an 80-minute percussion work composed by John Luther Adams. The extraordinary work was written expressly to be performed outside by between 9 and 99 percussionists and piccolo players. In Ojai, Inuksuit will be performed by 48 players stationed throughout Libbey Park and Libbey Bowl. In this truly immersive experience, the players move throughout the park, while audience members are free to wander through them as they play.
Inuksuit is directed by percussionist/conductor Steven Schick. John Luther Adams wrote the piece as a wedding present to Schick and his wife of four years, Brenda. Commenting on the uniqueness this particular performance, Steven Schick noted, “Most other performances (that I have been involved with) have been apart from communities via a wilderness setting. This performance is designed to be an integral part of the Ojai community by being placed in the park and downtown area. I think it places Inuksuit at the heart of Ojai.”
Inuksuit originally premiered in 2009 on a mountainside in Banff, Canada. Of the New York premiere in 2011 at Park Avenue Armory’s Drill Hall, New Yorker’s Alex Ross noted, “It is tricky to write about an event such as this. Because both ensemble and audience were in motion, no two perceptions of the performance were the same, and no definitive record of it can exist. Furthermore, anyone who ventures to declare in a public forum that Inuksuit was one of the most rapturous experiences of his listening life—that is how I felt, and I wasn’t the only one—might be suspected of harboring hippie-dippie tendencies. The work is not explicitly political, nor is it the formal expression of an individual sensibility, although John Luther Adams certainly deserved the ecstatic and prolonged ovation that greeted him when he acknowledged the crowd from the center of the Drill Hall. In the end, several young couples seemed to deliver the most incisive commentary when, amid the obliterating tidal wave of sound, they began making out.”
Abby Savell | Amanda Duncan, Long Beach State | Anthony Paul Garcia, UCSB | Axel Clarke, Cal State Long Beach | Ayaka Ozaki, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Ben Donlon, UCSB | Benjamin Phelps | Bonnie Whiting Smith, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Brian Foreman, CalArts | Brietta Greger, Chapman University | Craig Shields, Chapman University | Damion Frigillana, Cal State Long Beach | Dan Ogrodnik, CalArts | Dan Savell | Daniel Pate, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Daniel Tones, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Dave Gerhart, Cal State Long Beach | David Johnson, CalArts | Derek Tywoniuk, Colburn School | Dominique LaRussa, CalArts | Dustin Donahue, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Eleasa Sokolski, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Eric Derr, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Isaac Watts, CalArts | Jessica Cameron, Cal State Long Beach | Jodie Landau, CalArts | Joe Beribak, Colburn School | Jon Nathan, UCSB | Jonathan Hepfer, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Jordan Curcuruto, Chapman University | Joy Liu, Chapman University | Justin DeHart, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet | Katy La Favre, Colburn School | Kjell Nordeson, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Lauren Potts, Chapman University | Leah Bowden, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Louise Devenish, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Matt Richards, UCSB | Matthew Cook, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet | Nick Baker, CalArts | Nolan Petrehn, Chapman University | Sean Woodman, CalArts | Stephen Solook, UCSD (Red fish blue fish) | Tony Gennaro, CalArts | Yumi Lee
Alice Teyssler, UCSD | Laura Walter | Rachel Beetz, UCSD