Raven Chacon (born Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona, USA) is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist, and is recognized as one of few Native Americans working in these multiple genres. He performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest. He is also a member of the American Indian art collective Postcommodity.
Chacon’s work explores sounds of acoustic handmade instruments overdriven through electric systems and the direct and indirect audio feedback responses from their interactions. He was a student of many notable teachers, including James Tenney, Wadada Leo Smith, Morton Subotnick, and Michael Pisaro.
Continuing Chacon’s series of works dedicated to field recording the contested deserts of the Southwestern United States, Air (commissioned by Other Minds specifically for this performance) gathers various sounds, mostly wind, from the disputed areas where the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Nation, and the Grand Canyon National Parks, each with their own battles with encroachment, overlap. Recent and ongoing collaborations are projects with Bob Bellerue (KILT), William Fowler Collins (Mesa Ritual), John Dieterich (Summer Assassins), Robert Henke, composer/pianist/improviser Thollem McDonas, and the New York-based ETHEL quartet (Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project).
Chacon has presented his work in different contexts at Vancouver Art Gallery, ABC No Rio, REDCAT, Biennale of Sydney, Canyon DeChelly, Adelaide Festival, Ende Tymes Festival (Brooklyn), and The Kennedy Center. In 2012 he was awarded a Creative Capital Visual Arts grant and in 2014, he was honored with a NACF Artist Fellowship in Music from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. His composition Double Weaving was premiered by the ETHEL string quartet at the 2014 Grand Canyon Music Festival. He lives and works in Albuquerque, NM.
To learn more about Raven Chacon and his work, follow this link to his web site.
This concert took place on September 7, 2016 at the Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California.
At The Point Where The Rivers Crossed, We Drew Our Knives (2010)
Raven Chacon- electronics
Air [Moving Somewhere Between The Navajo Nation and The Grand Canyon National Park (somewhere a line between the Dinetah and Hopitutskwa)] (2016)
Raven Chacon – electronics
Continuing Chacon’s series of works dedicated to field recording the contested deserts of the Southwest U.S., Air gathers various sounds, mostly wind, from the disputed areas where the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Nation, and the Grand Canyon National Parks, each with their own battles with encroachment, overlap. This work was commissioned by Other Minds specifically for this performance.
Raven Chacon with Charles Amirkhanian
Event Media: Video
Raven Chacon Interview
With Charles Amirkhanian
Raven Chacon (born Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona, USA) is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. He performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest. Raven was interviewed by Other Minds Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian during his appearance in The Nature of Music, a series of events produced by Other Minds and the David Brower Center, focusing on composers and performers who incorporate the environment and environmentalism in their work.
Composed by Raven Chacon and performed by Jesse Tatum, flute; David Felberg, violin; Douglas Cardwell, percussion; Dana Winograd, cello and James T Shields, clarinet. November 18, 2011 at the Kosmos in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA. Mr Chacon’s commission was funded by the First Nations Composer Initiative through the Ford Foundation’s Indigenous Knowledge Expresive Culture grant program of the American Composers Forum.
Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Composer Interview
Raven Chacon, a Year Two Composer for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future, discusses his musical background, his relationship with Kronos, the piece he wrote for Fifty for the Future, and more.
A track from the album Overheard Songs, on Innova Recordings.
The Journey of the Horizontal People
This piece was commissioned and produced by the Kronos Quartet for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.