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Big Ears finale to be held April 3 at Ijams Nature Center

March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

For more information:
Natalie Bailey
Moxley Carmichael
(865) 544-0088


Moxley Carmichael sponsors free outdoor event

The Big Ears Festival will end with a bang at Inuksuit, a performance featuring the festival’s 2016 Composer-in-Residence John Luther Adams and 99 other percussionists, on Sunday, April 3, in Mead’s Quarry at Ijams Nature Center.

The free outdoor event is sponsored by Moxley Carmichael and Ijams Nature Center. The concert starts at noon, and audiences should plan to arrive early. Parking will be available on-site.

“Moxley Carmichael recognizes the cultural and tourism value Big Ears Festival brings to Knoxville, and we are proud to sponsor its finale concert,” Moxley Carmichael CEO Cynthia Moxley said. “As longtime supporters of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, supporting this performance was a natural fit for us. We hope the community will take advantage of this exciting free concert.”

big earsInuksuit, is an outdoor work described by The New York Times as “the ultimate environmental piece.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross hailed it as “one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life.” The musicians will use a variety of percussion instruments in the performance, including conch shells, air horns, sirens, gongs, maracas, drums, cymbals, and glockenspiels.

This 70-minute work is designed to heighten awareness of the sights and sounds that surround us every day. Inuksuit is deeply influenced by the composer’s belief that “music can contribute to the awakening of our ecological understanding. By deepening our awareness of our connections to the earth, music can provide a sounding model for the renewal of human consciousness and culture.”

The performance will be co-directed by Steven Schick, a master percussionist who will also lead the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in the March 31 performance of Adams’ Become Ocean, and Andrew Bliss, University of Tennessee assistant professor of percussion.

Bliss helped premiere Inuksuit in the United States in various South Carolina cities. He then traveled to New York City to perform the work in 2011, which ultimately led to his staging a performance of Inuksuit in Knoxville at Ijams on Earth Day in 2014. Ashely Capps, AC Entertainment founder and Big Ears Festival creator and producer, attended that performance.

“It was an amazing experience,” Capps said. “It was completely exhilarating: Big Ears 2014 had just taken place and that performance was like an affirmation and continuation. That day was also when Andy Bliss introduced me to John Luther Adams – who was there – and we immediately began the conversation about him visiting Big Ears. It’s all come full circle and this is the perfect way to celebrate!”

For more information about Big Ears Festival and the April 3 Inuksuit concert, please visit You also can join the event on Facebook: “Free Event: John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit.”

About Big Ears Festival

Praised as “the classiest, most diverse festival in the country” by Rolling Stone, the Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts. Since 2009, Big Ears has hosted many of the leading composers and performers of our time, including Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich, along with a new generation following in their footsteps such as Nico Muhly, The National’s Bryce Dessner, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood; ensembles such as the Bang on a Can, Ensemble Signal, The Bad Plus, So Percussion, and The Wordless Music Orchestra; leading alternative rock artists like The National, Swans, tUnE-yArDs, The xx, Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Vampire Weekend, and The Dirty Projectors; icons like Television, John Cale, and Silver Apples; and countless visionaries such as Pauline Oliveros, Tanya Tagaq, Jon Hassell, Antony & the Johnsons, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Marc Ribot and My Brightest Diamond who continue to push boundaries and defy convention. The Big Ears Festival is a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections. It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration.

Big Ears is created and produced by AC Entertainment, recognized as one of the foremost independent promoters in the United States. Founded in 1991 by Ashley Capps, the company books, markets and presents over 1,000 events per year. In addition to Big Ears, AC Entertainment is the force behind internationally renowned events including Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival® and Forecastle Festival. For more information on AC Entertainment, visit

Maria Cornelius