Raven Chacon Makes Noise

As Zócalo Presents His Work in ‘How Do We Hear America?,’ the Composer Shares His Liner Notes on Composition, U.S. History, and the Los Angeles Music Scene

Raven Chacon has been making noise, literally and otherwise, since he was a youngster growing up in New Mexico. Fascinated by instruments of all kinds (those he’s bought and those he’s built), the 45-year-old Diné composer and artist has spent a lifetime studying the sounds things and people make, and creating experimental performances that build upon that noise, melodious and otherwise, to make listeners think about the places they inhabit: physical, spiritual, artistic, and intellectual.

Today, Chacon’s music is having a moment. In 2022, his composition for church organ and ensemble …

The Composer Who Saved King Kong—and Transformed Movie Music | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Composer Who Saved King Kong—and Transformed Movie Music

The Masterful Max Steiner’s Career and Life Were as Dramatic as Any Hollywood Picture

An international crisis triggers record unemployment. Hollywood bleeds red as movie theaters shutter. And one major studio faces imminent closure, putting all its hopes on a would-be blockbuster.

The year is …