July 20, 2024


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Raven Chacon – MacArthur Basis

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Raven Chacon – MacArthur Basis

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About Raven’s Work

Raven Chacon is a composer and artist developing musical ordeals that explore interactions among seem, house, and people today. In an experimental practice that cuts across the boundaries of visual artwork, performance, and music, Chacon breaks open musical traditions and activates areas of performance the place the histories of the lands the United States has encroached on can be contemplated, questioned, and reimagined.

Chacon’s compositions usually consist of both equally orchestral instrumentation and appears created by performers making use of objects these types of as rifles, foghorns, whistles, and coins. He works by using a notational language that combines regular Western musical notation with nonmusical symbols, drawings, and penned guidelines for interpreting the score. He usually displays the visually arresting graphic scores in the course of performances. For instance, Chacon developed the big-scale graphic rating of American Ledger (No. 1) (2018) to be shown on the facet of a building, as a flag, or on a billboard. The symbols in the score and the sounds of the performance—the percussive ring of wooden chops, the clinking of coins, a law enforcement whistle, the amplified striking and blowing out of a match—tell the historical past of settler colonialism in the United States, from arrival, to the constructing of towns, to the erasure of Native land and culture. In Sweet Land (2020), an opera he co-composed, Chacon explores this background and the American myth of Manifest Future. The opera premiered in a point out park, with attendees break up into two groups—the Arrivals and the Hosts. The teams are led via two diverse narratives, explained to from unique perspectives, of American enlargement across the continent.

In Voiceless Mass (2021), a operate for pipe organ and ensemble, Chacon demonstrates on the marriage in between faith and Indigenous populations. Compared with common masses, the piece has no components for voice, and the sonorities of the strings and woodwinds fill the space of a cathedral. The operate offers musical type to the church’s historical past of silencing Indigenous expression and languages, as well as the impossibility of ever entirely recovering voices that have been lost. By bringing experimental appears informed by Indigenous histories to new audiences in obtainable means, Chacon reconceptualizes what audio is and can be.


Raven Chacon gained a BA (2001) from the College of New Mexico and an MFA (2004) from the California Institute of the Arts. From 2009 to 2018, he was a member of the art collective Postcommodity. His get the job done has been introduced at various venues and festivals, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Artwork the 2022 Whitney Biennial the Renaissance Culture at the University of Chicago San Francisco Electronic Music Festival Website Santa Fe The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. Vancouver Artwork Gallery Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Borealis Festival, Bergen, Norway.

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