North Houston's City Place Bring Innovative Art to Texas; Invisible Music Installation to Debut on July 20

By: Annalise Jackson Hillyard
| Published 05/29/2024

Steve Parker

SPRING, TX -- In its ongoing commitment to presenting innovative, site-specific art projects, north Houston’s dynamic City Place has commissioned Austin-based artist/musician Steve Parker to create a new experiential journey for its residents, tenants and visitors. Opening July 20, “Invisible Music” uses repurposed brass instruments to orchestrate a symphonic meditation on nature in picturesque City Place Park, which anchors the growing community’s bustling, pedestrian-oriented urban core, encompassing offices, restaurants, Star Cinema Grill, the Houston City Place Marriott and a heavily programmed central Plaza.

Essentially a band of musical sculptures, “Invisible Music” consists of sound-trumpeting assemblages perched on floating platforms within the “cat eye” reservoir of the park’s main pond. The sculptural pieces are fashioned from salvaged brass instruments that are re-engaged to a soundscape adapted from French composer Eric Satie’s “Furniture Music” and set against a sonic backdrop of nature sounds, including insects, birds and bats, within native fauna and flora. Additionally, a series of interactive sculptures placed in the greenspace surrounding the pond can be activated by participants, altering the soundscape’s overall musical composition.

“The instruments are acting as resonators,” said Parker whose impressive works are designed to create meaningful interactions between the viewer, the sculptural pieces and nature. “Sound and air are moving through the pieces inviting people to engage in a new form of listening.”

With the viewer as an active participant in these environmental sounds, Parker’s art installations act as aural meditations on the intersection of the natural and the human-made world – a perfect parallel to a development that was conceived to fulfill a vision and belief that it is possible to preserve and protect forests and natural ecosystems within a built environment.

The sculptures giving a voice to “Invisible Music” were inspired by a variety of references, including the retro aesthetics of Memphis Design, Dr. Seuss illustrations, the visual and musical signatures of Vaporwave, and even the cartoonish creativity of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.”

While Parker has created numerous multi-layered social sculptures throughout the world, his City Place installation is a first for him in terms of size and its placement on water. As public art, it promises to be a first for Texas: a large-scale sonic work that will tickle the sense and spark imagination.

“Invisible Music” is the second of three, temporary immersive installations scheduled for City Place in 2024 and follows the successful pop up of “Periwinkle” - a piece focused on color, pattern and movement - from Dallas-based creators The Color Condition. Houston-based Weingarten Art Group, working in tandem with City Place master developer CDC Houston, is overseeing the ongoing effort to weave artistic, experiential elements into the everyday fabric of the community.

Open to the public and free of charge, “Invisible Music” can be experienced daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. through Sept. 15.

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