In this seminar, Raven Chacon will reflect on his own compositional practice, in which he uses experimental notation forms. Under his guidance, participants will experiment with graphic notation, sound, and composition, and then work to create their own one-page scores.
Producing a score can encourage new ways of thinking about artistic methods and objects, across boundaries. Working from a place of connection rather than separation, Chacon is interested in the intersection of music, with other disciplines, as a way to open new avenues of discovery and expression. The creative freedom in graphic notation allows for multiple interpretations, interdisciplinary ways of structuring and thinking about music, and various methods of producing. Graphic scores provide a reciprocal opportunity and challenge to their creators, interpreters, and auditors. They can be codes, and enigmas waiting to be revealed by musical action. They involve trust in spinning arrows, curved lines, small families of dots, action and association symbols, factors, signs, and colors.
The seminar’s structure unfolds in two parts that inform each other, with a focus on the transformation of the participatory learning experience into a fully formed collaborative on-site performance, through a combination of discussion, improvisation, play, and presentation. In the first part of the seminar, rooted in conversation and exploration, participants will focus on the development of new graphic scores. The second part will involve the enactment of musical compositions from Chacon’s most recent project titled For Zitkala-Sa. The seminar will conclude with the public presentation of a new score by Raven Chacon, which will be performed by the seminar participants.
Curving the Stave: Imagining, Creating and Interpreting Scores in your Artistic PracticeTue, Aug 16, 20222:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Wed, Aug 17, 20222:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thu, Aug 18, 20223:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Raven Chacon is a composer, performer, and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, Chacon has exhibited, performed, or had works performed at LACMA, The Renaissance Society, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, REDCAT, Vancouver Art Gallery, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Borealis Festival, SITE Santa Fe, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, and The Kennedy Center. As a member of Postcommodity from 2009-2018, he co-created artworks presented at the Whitney Biennial, Documenta 14, Carnegie International 57, as well as the 2-mile long land art installation Repellent Fence.
A recording artist over the span of 22 years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases on various national and international labels. His 2020 Manifest Destiny opera Sweet Land, co-composed with Du Yun, received critical acclaim from The LA Times, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and was named 2021 Opera of the Year by the Music Critics Association of North America.
Since 2004, he has mentored over 300 high school Native composers in the writing of new string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). Chacon is the recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital Award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition, the Bemis Center’s Ree Kaneko Award, the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and in 2022 will serve as the Pew Fellow-in-Residence.
His solo artworks are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and various private collections.