Raven Chacon

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Raven Chacon
BornDecember 1977 (age 43–44)
Fort Defiance, Arizona, United States
GenresExperimental noise music
Occupation(s)composer, musician, visual artist
Years active2000-present
Still Life #3, detail of sound installation at the National Museum of the American Indian

Raven Chacon (born 1977) is a Diné artist known as a composer of chamber music, as well as a solo performer of noise music. He was born in Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona, United States).[1]


Chacon attended the California Institute of the Arts, where he received an MFA in music composition.[2] He was a student of James Tenney, Morton Subotnick, Michael Pisaro and Wadada Leo Smith.

Chacon also performs in the groups KILT with Bob Bellerue, Mesa Ritual with William Fowler Collins, Endlings with John Dieterich, and collaborations with Laura Ortman. In 2016, he was commissioned by Kronos Quartet to compose a work for their Fifty For The Future project.[3]

Chacon serves as Composer-in-Residence with the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project.[4] In 2012 he was awarded a Creative Capital[5] Visual Arts grant. In 2014, he was honored with a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in Music.[6] In 2018, Chacon was awarded the Berlin Prize by the American Academy in Berlin.[7][8]


Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist), 2015 at the Walker Art Center

Chacon's visual and sonic artwork has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad.[9] His room-sized sound and text installation, Still Live, #3 (2015), was exhibited in the Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, New York.[10][11] His collective and solo work has been presented at Sydney Biennale,[12] Kennedy Center, the Whitney Biennial,[13] Documenta 14, Adelaide International, Vancouver Art Gallery, ASU Art Museum, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival,[14] the Heard Museum,[15] Chaco Canyon, and Performance Today.[16]


From Smoke and Tangled Waters We Carried Fire Home by Postcommodity

Chacon was a member of the Native American art collective, Postcommodity, with whom he has developed multimedia installations which have been exhibited internationally.[13] Other members include Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist, Steven Yazzie and Nathan Young.[13] In 2017, as part of Postcommodity, Chacon created the multimedia project, ...in memoriam, in Edmonton in 2017, curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective.[17]

Awards and honors[edit]

Chacon has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including an American Academy in Berlin Prize (music composition), a Creative Capital award (visual arts), a United States Artists fellowship (music), a Joan Mitchell Foundation fellowship,[8] a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship,[18] among others.[9] Chacon received the inaugural Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence fellowship for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Chacon lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is married to Candice Hopkins, a Tagish curator. His sister Nani Chacon is a muralist.

Partial discography[edit]

  • (w/ OvO) Crisalide Fossile (Bronson, 2016)
  • (w/ Postcommodity) Your New Age Dream Contains More Blood Than You Can Imagine 12"LP (Anarchymoon, 2011)
  • (w/ Bob Bellerue) Kitchen Sorcery (Prison Tatt Records, 2011)
  • At The Point Where The Rivers Crossed, We Drew Our Knives 12"LP (Anarchymoon, 2010)
  • Black Streaked Hum (Lightning Speak/Featherspines, 2009)
  • Overheard Songs (Innova, 2006)
  • (split w/ Torturing Nurse) The Incredible 17000 km Split (8K Mob, 2006)
  • (w/ Jeff Gburek) Jesus Was A Wino (Herbal Records, 2005)
  • Still/life (Sicksicksick, 2004)
  • (Meet the Beatless, (Sicksicksick, 2003)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Porter, Clayton (August 2016). "Studio Visit: Raven Chacon". Southwest Contemporary. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Raven Chacon Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, AZ". Creative Capital. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  3. ^ http://www.kronosquartet.org/fifty-for-the-future/composers/raven-chacon
  4. ^ http://arts.gov/art-works/2011/native-american-composers-apprenticeship-project-gives-students-voice
  5. ^ http://creative-capital.org/grantees/view/602/project:718
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-05-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Raven Chacon (Navajo) 2014 NACF Music Fellow
  7. ^ "Raven Chacon".
  8. ^ a b "Raven Chacon: INGA MAREN OTTO FELLOW IN MUSIC COMPOSITION - CLASS OF SPRING 2018". American Academy in Berlin. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Still Life No. 3: Raven Chacon". Heard Museum. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound". Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  11. ^ Ash-Milby, Kathleen (Fall 2017). "Art that Moves". American Indian Magazine. 18 (3). Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  12. ^ http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/823194/top-5-videos-celebrating-the-2012-sydney-biennale
  13. ^ a b c "Postcommodity". Princeton University Art Museum. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Raven Chacon". San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  15. ^ Timble, Lynn (26 June 2019). "Raven Chacon Returns to Phoenix, Explores Navajo Creation Story at the Heard". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Performance Today".
  17. ^ Postcommodity, Alex Waterman and Ociciwan: “in memoriam…”. uh books. 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2018
  18. ^ "Raven Chacon". Native Arts and Culture Foundation. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Raven Chacon, Lightning Speak". Colorado College. Retrieved 2 October 2020.