Inuksuit Riot with John Luther Adams

John Luther Adams makes massive music with the Miller Theatre and MMNY

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Monday, June 13, 2011

This week on the New Canon we chat with composer John Luther Adams and percussionists Douglas Perkins and Adam Sliwinski about the Miller Theatre's massive upcoming outdoor performance of Adams's Inuksuit, as part of Make Music New York. Chat with us in the window below or via Twitter with the hashtag #q2new. Can't wait? Leave your questions in the comments below.

Inuksuit, one of Adams's best-known works, is big. The piece accommodates anywhere from nine to 99 percussionists, and usually an Adams work—works so evocative of the bigness and vastness of his adoptive home-state, Alaska—demands that you go to 11. Or, in this case, 99.

Which is exactly what Douglas Perkins, So Percussion and 94 other musicians culled primarily from conservatories around North America intend to do on June 21. While New Yorkers are no stranger to Inuksuit (heard earlier this year at an equally mammoth performance at the Park Avenue Armory), this performance has its own razzle dazzle going for it. Perkins and company take the piece outdoors and stage it in Morningside Park, teaming up with Columbia University's ever-intrepid Miller Theatre to surround New Yorkers with the sounds of "conch shells, airhorns, sirens, gongs, maracas, drums, cymbals and glockenspiels."

We chat with Adams, Perkins and So Percussion ambassador Sliwinski about this enormous undertaking, the virtues and challenges of site-specific performances and how it's possible to get continually on-the-go New Yorkers to stop and listen. Simultaneously, we'll spin some of Adams's freshest tracks, including two new percussive offerings from his newest recording—and Q2's Album of the WeekFour Thousand Holes.

John Luther Adams - ...And Bells Remembered...

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Olivia Giovetti
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