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“Harmonies” Interactive Music Boxes in Houston

Houston theater district

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   “Circle of Life,” from Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: The Lion King, to be presented at Broadway at the Hobby Center in July 2024.

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 & Canario” by Gaspar Sanz from Don Quixote’s Excellent Adventures, guitar by Richard Savino, performed in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center in 2017, presented by Ars Lyrica Houston.

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   Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, adapted for the stage and directed by Mark Shanahan, Composed by John Gromada. Performed at Alley Theatre, 2023

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

o   “Wings of an Eagle” composed and produced by Jelando Johnson. Drums performed by Mark Simmons and guitar by Kerry Wilkins.

(@jelandojohnsonmusic)

Location: Lynn Wyatt Square

  • Music Box: Guitar Slide

o   “Mbandu Ni Mbandu (Side by Side)” by Vivalda Ndula, presented by Performing Arts Houston (@vivalda_ndula_oficial)

o   Start at 16:38

o   “Mr. Stanky Leg” written by Armov and Chad Wesselkamper, performed by Houston Ensemble (@houstonensemble)

  • Music Box: Banjo

o   “Cowboy Bob” created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe. Music and lyrics by Jeanna Phillips, directed by Annie Tippe. Performed at Alley Theatre, 2023

o   “So Surreal” by Bee Honey @beehoneymusica

  • Music Box: Violin

o   “Desert Shelter,” composed by J.E. Hernandez in collaboration with the Ponce Projectmusicians, commissioned by Performing Arts Houston (@jehernandezhtx@ponceproject)

o   “Road Noise” composed by Erin Rodgers, commissioned by Performing Arts Houston (@clarinerinet)

Location: Trebly Park

  • Music box: Boombox

o   “Take Me To The Good Times” by the The Suffers. Written by Steve Watkins, Moorea Masa, Kam Franklin, The Suffers (@thesuffers, @bamitskam, @mooreamasa)

o   “Beaches,” produced by Amaru TMN and The Biggest Brandon (@amarutmn,@thebiggestbrandon)

Location: Market Square Park

  • Music box: Treble

o   “Filho Bonito,” vocals performed by Bee Honey, vibraphone by Jalen Baker, all other instruments by AmaruTMN (@beehoneymusica, @amarutmn, @jalenonthevibes)

o   “Be You” by The Suffers featuring The Vapor Caves. Written by Andrew “”Boombaptist”” Thaggard, Yadira Brown, Kam Franklin, The Suffers (@thesuffers, @bamitskam, @boombaptist, @_yadirabrown)

 

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 TheatreDa Camera, Hobby CenterHouston BalletHouston Grand OperaHouston SymphonyTheatre Under the StarsPerforming 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.

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