Portland Chamber Orchestra to debut Nancy Ives’s multimedia work “Celilo Falls”

Posted on: June 3, 2022

“Nancy Ives leads the cello section in the Oregon Symphony, plays contemporary chamber music with FearNoMusic and Portland Cello Project, and … recently embarked on a burgeoning second career as a composer,” writes Bret Campbell in Wednesday’s Oregonian (Portland; subscription required). “But she never expected researching her next musical project would lead her to the Columbia Gorge, sprawled face down on a rock outcropping above the rushing waters of the Klickitat River. But the Yakama woman who’d invited Ives to her family fishing grounds insisted. ‘Listen to the river,’ Martha Cloud told Ives…. This weekend and next, that sound will emerge when Portland Chamber Orchestra plays Ives’ new composition for chamber orchestra, ‘Celilo Falls: We Were There,’ in a multimedia performance that also includes original poetry and narration by renowned [Shoshone-Bannock poet, playwright, and performer] Ed Edmo and projected imagery by [Cherokee photographer and activist] Joe Cantrell…. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction on the Dalles Dam in 1957, a project that completely inundated Celilo Falls, destroying traditional salmon fishing grounds…. The inner rhythm of the waterfalls, the percussive flopping of salmon heads striking rocks, even the wind eventually made their way into her 11-movement, 45-minute composition.”