Now through February 11, Houston Theater District, Houston First and Downtown Houston+ present “Harmonies”, a series of interactive music boxes positioned throughout Downtown. Located in Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts, Market Square Park, Trebly Park, Alley Theatre, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Jones Hall, and Wortham Theater Center’s Fish Plaza, the series showcases music from Houston Theater District performing arts organizations—including Ars Lyrica, Performing Arts Houston, and more— as well as Houston artists, such as Vivalda Ndula and J.E. Hernandez from Performing Arts Houston’s 2023 New/Now Commissioning Project. Originally launched in late 2023 to highlight holiday-themed music, these ten meticulously crafted music boxes weave mesmerizing soundscapes and illuminate their surroundings with enchanting lights.
“In collaboration with the Houston Theater District, Houston First and Downtown Houston, we are excited about this significant project that harnesses the universal language of music,” said Nicolas Synnott, Chief Operating Officer of LeMonde Studio. “Our environmentally conscious initiative aims to engage visitors in a meaningful manner, fostering community connections in the process.”
“Harmonies” is designed with eco-conscious principles, operating without the need for electricity to captivate passers-by and transport them into a realm of awe. Visitors will be fascinated by the larger-than-life creations, which include a giant Nutcracker, guitar slide, massive boombox, a banjo, violin, music note, theater mask, microphone, and an elegant harp, each with its own unique soundtrack.
“Harmonies is an experience created to highlight some of the incredible work our performing arts organizations do year-round,” said Hillary Hart, Chair of Houston Theater District Board and Executive Director of Theatre Under the Stars. “This is the first in a series of opportunities offered by Houston Theater District to provide visitors with an experience that is fun, memorable, and musical! We invite everyone to interact and play these instruments… Find all ten and enjoy!”
Houstonians can look forward to a variety of classics and recognizable fan-favorites, from The Lion King (coming to Hobby Center in July 2024) and Alley Theatre’s “Cowboy Bob,” to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Houston Grand Opera’s The Daughter of the Regiment.
“The beauty of Harmonies is not only that each music box is completely human powered, but that we can highlight the music and performances of both local artists and the Houston Theater District organizations in such a playful and interactive way,” said Public Art Consultant Piper Faust. “What better way to activate our outdoor spaces and reflect the magnificent work of Houston’s robust theater community?”
“Harmonies” invites Houstonians to learn more about Houston Theater District’s arts organizations and artists. Find more information at the website here, and find photos of the music boxes in the press kit here.
“HARMONIES” BY LEMONDE STUDIO
Location: Hobby Center
- Music Box: Microphone
o “Ah! mes amis,” from The Daughter of the Regiment by Gaetano Donizetti. Tenor performed by Lawrence Brownlee with piano by Kevin Miller at Houston Grand Opera’s first annual Giving Voice performance on January 19, 2020.
- Music Box: Guitar
o “Folia” (Anonymous, Spain, c.1700) from Don Quixote’s Excellent Adventures, guitar by Richard Savino, violin by Kurt Johnson. Performed in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center in 2017, presented by Ars Lyrica Houston.
Location: Wortham Center
- Music box: Nutcracker
o Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Act 1, Scene 1: No. 2 March Philharmonia Orchestra John Lanchbery ©1988 EMI Records
o Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Act II: No. 12d, Russian Dance Philharmonia Orchestra John Lanchbery ©1988 EMI Records
o Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Act II: No. 13 Waltz of the Flowers Philharmonia Orchestra John Lanchbery ©1988 EMI Records
Location: Alley Theatre
- Music box: Tragedy/comedy mask
o The Servant of Two Masters, translated, adapted, and directed by Rob Melrose from the original play in Italian by Carlo Goldoni. Co-Composed by Cliff Caruthers and Mike Whitebread. Performed at Alley Theatre, 2023
Location: Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
- Music box: Harp
o “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel
Location: Lynn Wyatt Square
- Music Box: Guitar Slide
o Start at 16:38
- Music Box: Banjo
- Music Box: Violin
Location: Trebly Park
- Music box: Boombox
Location: Market Square Park
- Music box: Treble
ABOUT HOUSTON THEATER DISTRICT
Through partnership, advocacy, and strategy, the Houston Theater District – a diverse group of arts organizations who perform in the District, businesses, and policy leaders – work collectively to ensure that the Theater District is an active, vibrant, destination for dynamic, world-class cultural experiences. Visit us at: Alley Theatre, Da Camera, Hobby Center, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Theatre Under the Stars, Performing Arts Houston.
ABOUT LEMONDE STUDIO
LeMonde Studio is a transformative movement toward green entertainment combining interactive art with sensible technology. We create community-based experiences, giving audiences the centre stage for a remarkably different, immersive experience.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN HOUSTON +
Downtown Houston+ stewards the vision of Downtown as a center of global commerce and local culture and Houston’s heart for opportunity, excitement, and joy. Its family of aligned entities — Central Houston Inc., Houston Downtown Management District and Downtown Redevelopment Authority — collectively advance a shared mission to champion and enhance Downtown Houston as a connected and thriving place for everyone. For more information, visit downtownhouston.org.