Walton Arts Center is proud to welcome Grammy Award®-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion back to Northwest Arkansas as part of the 8th Annual Artosphere: Arkansas' Arts and Nature Festival. This time they are performing John Luther Adams’ expansive work Inuksuit on Friday, May 19 at 6pm at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. This outdoor concert is free to the public.

Inuksuit is at once an intricately structured concert work, a beautifully hypnotic sound installation, an interactive work of performance art and a communal music-making event like no other. Third Coast Percussion will perform the piece alongside nearly 80 percussionists, including faculty, students, Walton Arts Center staff, Fayetteville community members, professional musicians from the region, and performers of mixed ages and experience levels from eleven different states. Since performers are traveling from all over the nation, this exact ensemble and collection of instruments will never exist again. This piece will only happen in this format once, but it will be forever uniquely linked to the Northwest Arkansas community.

Inuksuit refers to the Stonehenge-like structures in the Arctic that the Inuit people used as markers to navigate their space. Inspired by the stones, Adams composed rhythmic layers within this massive, mobile community performance to represent the structures. Scored for 9 to 99 percussion players who are meant to be widely dispersed in an outdoor area, Inuksuit has been described by The New York Times as "the ultimate environmental piece, " while The New Yorker's Alex Ross hailed it as "one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life.”

Beyond the drums, cymbals and glockenspiels that most people recognize as percussion instruments, the work features unique instruments such as a blown conch shells, cranked air raid sirens, rattled shakers of all sizes and twirled corrugated plastic tubes.In addition to the percussion instruments, piccolo players will join the ensemble at the end of the work to add bird songs taken from local birds native to Northwest Arkansas.

Some musical events encourage a community to take stock of its surroundings, but very few actually fold so seamlessly into the environment itself that they become part of a community's memory and imagination. John Luther Adam's Inuksuit is one of those works.