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Raven Chacon's 'Voiceless Mass' Awarded 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Adam Conte

A Tempo this Saturday (5/21 at 7 pm) features an interview with composer, performer and installation artists Raven Chacon, a Dine composer from the Navajo Nation, whose work "Voiceless Mass" received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

This year's Pulitzer Prize in Music was awarded to composer, performer and installation artist Raven Chacon for his work "Voiceless Mass." A member of the Navajo nation, he is the first Native American to receive the award. The work was composed for a Thanksgiving Day service at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, a holiday for which he has not usually created work, but in considering the opportunity to explore the sonorous capabilities of the cathedral's pipe organ and the architectural space around it, he accepted the commission. It was performed last November by Present Music at the service.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz this week speaks with Chacon about accepting the commission, what he brought into the work, and where his music might lead him next.