John Luther Adams’ ‘Inuksuit’ at Ijams Nature Center

Reading up on John Luther Adams’ outdoor percussion piece Inuksuit does not prepare one for the effect of its performance. At least, it didn’t prepare me for the one last Tuesday (Earth Day) at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville with the composer in attendance. The performance was organized by the contemporary music ensemble, nief-norf, and the University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble, and made possible by 30 or so percussionists and volunteers. The performance began as the setting sun sank behind the woodland hills and continued into the crepuscular twilight–certainly an environmentally magical time of day. You can read my impressions of the experience at MetroPulse.com.

John Luther Adams (far left) taking in a performance of 'Inuksuit' at Ijams Nature Center

John Luther Adams (far left) taking in a performance of ‘Inuksuit’ at Ijams Nature Center

'Inuksuit' percussionist on the shore of Mead's Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center

‘Inuksuit’ percussionist on the shore of Mead’s Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center

 

And, of course, my favorite music writer, Alex Ross, who wrote about another performance of Inuksuit for the New Yorker, is everywhere. I’m glad to see he didn’t take this performance for granite.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville

 Photography: Alan Sherrod

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