by Daniel Hathaway

Adams-John-LutherTwo sound extravaganzas by environmental composer and Pulitzer prizewinner John Luther Adams will launch the 2014-2015 Performing Arts Series of the Cleveland Museum of Art — though not at the museum.

Veils and Vesper, a cycle of electronic works composed in 2005, will begin a two-month run on Saturday, September 20 at the newly restored Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City. A slow-moving, “immersive sound installation,” Veils and Vesper lasts six hours and allows the listener to “create her own mix by moving through the space”. Visiting hours through December 1 are Wednesdays through Saturdays from Noon to 5:00 pm and Thursdays from Noon to 8:00 pm. Admission is free

Adam’s second contribution to the series is Inuksuit, a 2009 daylong site-specific work devised for nine to 99 percussionists to be dispersed over a wide outdoor area, in this case Lakeview Cemetery, and inspired by “the Stonehenge-like markers used by the Inuit and other native peoples to orient themselves in Arctic spaces.” The free performance begins at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 21.


A third sound experience, Intonarumori: Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners, will occupy the museum’s Atrium and Gartner Auditorium from Sunday, January 11 to Friday, January 16. A set of hand-cranked wooden sound boxes with conical metal speakers that made their debut in 1913 at Milan’s Casa Rossa, 16 of which were reproduced in 2009 by composer and musicologist Luciano Chessa, will be on display in the Atrium during museum hours and heard in concert on Friday, January 16 at 7:30 pm in Gartner Auditorium.

CMA will continue its partnership with the CIM/CWRU Joint Music Program to present once-monthly concerts in the galleries on Wednesdays beginning at 6:00 pm. The performances are free and feature keyboard instruments from the museum’s collection. Performances are scheduled for October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1 and May 6.


A new collaboration with the Oberlin Conservatory of Music will bring the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Timothy Weiss, director, to the museum for a series of five performances. The ensemble that launched eighth blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), will perform in Gartner Auditorium on Saturdays at 2:00 pm. Dates are September 27 (with bassoonist George Sakakeeny & clarinetist Richard Hawkins in music by Bernard Rands, Zhou Long & Chen Yi); November 1 (music by Luke Bedford, Phil Cashian, Morton Feldman & Sean Shepherd); December 13 (with violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Darrett Adkins in music by Richard Wemick, Harrison Birtwistle & Giancinto Scelsi); March 7 (with bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward & violinist David Bowlin in music by Elliot Carter, Sofia Gubaidulina & Aaron Helgeson); and April 11 (with pianist Thomas Rosenkranz & violinist Yuri Popowycz in music by György Ligeti). Tickets are $5, but free for students and CMA members.


Individual performances on the series (in Gartner Auditorium unless otherwise indicated) include U-Theatre, a company that combines drumming, meditation and martial arts, in a program entitled Sword of Wisdom (October 10 at 7:30 pm); Vietnamese dan Tranh (16-string zither) player Vân-Áhn Vanessa Võ (October 26 at 7:30 pm at Transformer Station); the Royal Ballet of Cambodia (November 5 at 7:30 pm); the Calder Quartet (pictured above, November 19 at 7:30 pm at Transformer Station); the Tallis Scholars in Renaissance choral music by Byrd, Josquin and Edmund Turges (December 11 at 7:30 pm); former museum organist Karel Paukert performing Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur on his 80th birthday (January 25 at 2:00 pm); Chanticleer in “The Gypsy in My Soul” (January 30 at 7:30 pm); Ragamala Dance with Rudresh Mahanthappa in “Song of the Jasmine” (February 11 at 7:30 pm); the vocal project Roomful of Teeth (March 20 at 7:30 pm); and pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso Wu Man in “Ancient Dances” (April 8).

For further information and tickets, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art’s website.

Published on August 19, 2014.

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