Composer Raven Chacon Carves Out a Space in San Francisco (SF Classical Voice)
As part of his Capp Street artist-in-residency at the Wattis Institute in 2021, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, performer, and artist Raven Chacon taught a graduate course at California College of the Arts, Scores for Sound and Narrative, as well as started an online radio station, Radio Coyote.
During that time, Chacon, who comes from Fort Defiance, Ariz., within the Navajo Nation, talked with Wattis Director and Chief Curator Anthony Huberman and Assistant Curator Diego Villalobos about percussion and how he uses drums as a composer. These conversations helped form Drum Listens to Heart, a wide-ranging exhibition at the Wattis in three chapters: Sept. 1 – Oct. 15, Nov. 9 – Dec. 17, and Jan. 17 – March 4, 2023. Chacon’s score mimicking the layout of a flag, American Ledger No. 1, now hangs outside the Potrero Hill gallery and is part of all three chapters.—Emily Wilson