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"Sculptural Music" Brings New Experience To Waco Cultural Arts Fest

Sept. 16, 2011

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Drummers, musicians, and people blowing sirens were practicing yesterday for their performance at this weekend's Waco Cultural Arts Fest. But they weren't all in line on a stage, or seated in close proximity before a crowd. They were spread all around the park, across the street, and even on the suspension bridge. Because that's where they'll be playing come Sunday.

Sculptural music, says Doreen Ravenscroft, president and festival producer, is an experience unlike any in the festival's past. Attendees often travel from exhibit to exhibit as they visit the event at Indian Spring Park. And as they do, they'll encounter the music wherever they go. That's how the piece, known as "Inuksuit," is designed. Todd Meehan of the Baylor Music Department is charged with a performance that is fluid, interactive, and anything but stationary.

Built by John Luther Adams of Alaska, Doreen Ravenscroft said the music is designed to evoke the landscape and culture of The Last Frontier. Alaska has plenty of open space, and Inuksuit features those vast expanses of open space as well. There can be a few hundred yards between performers, which means that, on Sunday, there will be famlies children, booths, and activities between the peformers as well. Todd Meehan hopes that the performance provides a soundscape to attendees, who can play an active role in the music if they so choose. Musicians have the freedom to interact musically with the audience.

Inuksuit has been played only a handful of time in the states, with the rare performance taking place Sunday at 12:30. Inuksuit is only part of the Waco Cultural Arts Festival, which features additional music, painting, sculptures, exhibits, sales, children's activities, and more. KWBU is a partner with the Festival, with a tent and information available throughout the weekend. The Waco Cultural Arts Festival begins at 5 p.m. tonight, continuing throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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