The earliest memory Raven Chacon recalls of music-making is hearing his grandfather sing Navajo songs while working, watching television, or reading. Later as Chacon began taking piano lessons and learning about music notation, he also began experimenting with making sounds in other ways, with cassette tapes or banging on metal.
Now Chacon, who is known for his chamber music compositions, experimental noise performances, and installation art pieces, will live in Germany as a spring 2018 composition fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. While there, he plans to work on commissioned pieces for ensembles in the U.S. as well as write about experiences he had with sound at the 2016 oil pipeline protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota.
The compositions in this piece include “Black Sabbatical” on the album Endlings by Chacon and John Dieterich as well as “The Journey of the Horizontal People,” composed by Raven Chacon and commissioned/performed by San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet.
Photo courtesy Raven Chacon.