Musicians from around the Permian Basin will join forces for Inuksuit, an outdoor performance 1 p.m. Saturday at the Stonehenge replica at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. People will start gathering at noon.
Tyson Voigt, an adjunct faculty member at Odessa College, who also teaches private lessons and with local high and middle school bands, organized the event. Inuksuit is from the Inuit, the indigenous people of the Arctic Circle. It’s what they call the stone towers that serve as gathering places and ways to navigate.
Voigt said there would be about 16 musicians performing at the replica. The welding department at Odessa College made some instruments that people can check out and there will be food trucks on hand.
John Luther Adams composed Inuksuit. Voigt said he has performed the hour and 15 minute piece twice before in Waco and in Miami. He said he would have signs explaining what is going on.
“It’s not meant to be a formal concert setting,” Voigt said.
He added that people are free to move around.
“It’s a really beautiful experience. It starts with breath and wind sounds and goes into drums and cymbals and becomes a cacophony of sound. Then it winds back down into wind sounds,” Voigt said.
“It sort of it takes a lot of individual preparation. The instructions are very extensive. … We play simultaneously, but not together. … We’re more creating a soundscape; a sound environment,” he added.
Jennifer Voigt, Tyson’s wife, is an associate professor of voice at Odessa College, but she won’t be singing Saturday. She noted that some of the musicians participating play trumpet, trombone and harp, but they’ll be trying out percussion.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to get people outside doing something,” Jennifer Voigt said.
She added that it will enable families to do something outside together and experience live performance.
Matt Richards, a percussionist with the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale who teaches in Ector and Midland County ISD, said he has played the piece once before several years ago at the Ojai Music Festival.
Richards said it’s a piece that’s so immense you can come back to it multiple times and find something new. It will represent a departure from playing with the symphony because it’s so freewheeling.
“I’m extremely excited (about the performance), especially that it’s happening way out here in the West Texas desert,” Richards said.
Tyson Voigt said he and his wife hope to host more events like this in the future.