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Renowned Pianist Arrives for Residency at Haleakalā National Park

Hunter Noack, Artist in Residence

To have silence and space to create is a very special gift that the NPS and National Parks Arts Foundation have offered.”
— Hunter Noack, Pianist
MAKAWAO, MAUI, HAWAI'I, UNITED STATES, December 4, 2017 / -- Haleakalā National Park, in partnership with the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), is pleased to announce that Hunter Noack, an acclaimed young pianist, will become the inaugural NPAF Artist in Residence in 2017. Noack will spend the month of December working and composing music in this volcanic wonderland. Noack will also perform a free public concert at Seabury Hall’s `A`ali`ikūhonua Creative Arts Center, in Makawao, on December 18 at 6:30 pm. The event is sponsored with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Noack is known for his expressive performances of Liszt and other demanding classical and modern pieces. Noack plans to work on a composition during his residency, which he sees as a unique opportunity for artists like himself to work onsite and in context with traditions that inspire all. “To have silence and space to create is a very special gift that the NPS and National Parks Arts Foundation have offered,” the artist commented.

“We are pleased to partner with the National Parks Arts Foundation and Mr. Noack as he experiences the beauty, solitude, and wilderness that has inspired generations of artists who have explored Haleakalā,” said superintendent Natalie Gates.

Originally from Oregon, Noack grew up in the outdoors and still feels a strong draw to the power of landscape. “After living in cities for 10 years (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London), I moved back to green Oregon. I had forgotten how much I loved being outside. I wanted to combine the two things I love most: classical music and the outdoors.” Noack recognized that usually outdoor concerts are noisy, amplified productions, with drifting sound and uncontrolled echoes. Not an ideal way to hear piano music. As he explains, “I applied for a grant to test my idea and presented nine concerts at historic sites, public parks, and WPA project sites.”

Starting in the late 60s, a group of American artists began to take their works out into the world, often creating large scale art that commented on the commercialization of the art market, as well as the increasing marketing of and despoiling of landscape itself. This movement was known as “land art.” Noack works much in the same iconoclastic spirit, by taking challenging piano repertoire to the wild and integrating it to various acoustical spaces, in a series of performances he calls “In a Landscape,” after the famous piece by John Cage, whose ideas about art were also an influence on the original land artists.

The important thing for Noack is that the elements, and sounds found at the various sites work their way into the non-amplified performance. Says Noack: “If a breeze came through the trees, we all felt it. Natural events felt imbued with meaning. If a flock of birds flew overhead, it seemed as if it were part of the music, which heightened the sense of urgency – these little happenings make us all feel present.”

Haleakalā National Park supports Native Hawaiian sites, stories, and traditions; and protects diverse ecosystems which are home to species found nowhere else on earth.

The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks through creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. All NPAF programs are made possible through the philanthropic support of donors of all sorts ranging from corporate sponsors, small businesses, and art patrons and citizen-lovers of the parks.

Cecilia Wainright
National Parks Arts Foundation
505 715-6492
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Hunter Noack plays John Cage's In A Landscape