Colorado State University’s Gregory Allicar Museum of Art is honored to host multidisciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger on June 7 for the premiere performance of Here Song: Sound compositions to map the land. GAMA and community partner The Lyric will welcome visitors to the cinema’s outdoor stage and screen on Tuesday evening, June 7, beginning at 8 p.m. This special presentation is free and open to all with a suggested donation.
Cannupa Hanska Luger will open the event by introducing and presenting Here Song: Sound compositions to map the land, part of an ongoing series of artistic projects by Luger that pertain to Indigenous customary practices. The performance will also feature original musical composition by CSU Master of Music candidate Jake DiFebo and drone footage of the Cache la Poudre River by photographer Chris Reilmann. Luger will then be joined in conversation by DiFebo to discuss the collaborative process and to answer audience questions in a Q&A session.
The evening will close with a screening of Luger’s digital video and “time jump” titled Shadow holding shape to experience the energy of the sun, from the artist’s Future Ancestral Technologies series. Shadow holding shape was previously on view in the museum’s exhibition Reclamation: Recovering Our Relationship with Place, July 7- September 19, 2021, curated by Associate Professor of Painting Erika Osborne as part of the worldwide art project Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss.
Weaving sonic stories
According to his artist’s statement, to create this work concept artist Luger “gathers drone footage to move across horizon-lines or follow rivers and other natural landforms or more imposed industrial detritus, inviting composers and performers to interpret the score of the land and create a unique, living map, allowing the community to engage with the artists’ work while weaving new sonic stories that relate directly to the region’s land, water and community.”
“This particular practice of studying horizon-lines from which to create sonic experience and melody for wayfinding was developed by my ancestors, the people of the Northern Plains tribes of North America,” Luger said. “This ‘singing the land’ connected our culture to place and reinforced our relationship to the land. This is not our land; we are its people.”
A CSU composer adds his musical take on the Poudre River
For composer Jake DiFebo, a candidate in the CSU School of Music for a Master’s in Education and Composition with a Teaching Licensure, this opportunity has allowed him to stretch his improvisational skills.
“At first, my plan was to write a piece for solo piano that would last 6 minutes [and be] through-composed,” DiFebo said. “For a piece like Here Song, it eventually seemed wrong to me that something dedicated to the eternally natural ebb and flow of the Cache la Poudre River would be represented musically by something linear and pre-composed … The final product is my interpretive piano improv of the river footage, utilizing the looper pedal. My goal is to let ideas flow like the river, to live musically in its lively twists and turns.”
A collaborative composition
The June 7 premiere of Here Song: Sound compositions to map the land is also a collaboration with CSU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Energy Institute, in partnership with The Lyric.
“We are immensely honored to present this collaborative, site-specific work and we are so grateful to all of our partners for making it possible,” GAMA Director and Chief Curator Lynn Boland said. “This presentation represents exactly what we aspire to be as a university museum — a hub for interdisciplinary artistic exploration that speaks to meaningful contemporary issues and our community. I can’t wait to see this Here Song premiere.”
Support for Here Song: Sound compositions to map the land has been provided by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, by the FUNd Endowment at CSU and Colorado Creative Industries. This project was also made possible in part through a grant from the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment, which works to enhance the cultural development and atmosphere for the arts at CSU.
About the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
GAMA invites individuals to engage with art and each other to inspire fresh perspectives and wonder. The museum is a catalyst for visual literacy and critical thinking that instills a passion for learning. For updated museum information, go to artmuseum.colostate.edu.