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Published on Oct 3, 2013
Blaffer Art Museum and the Houston Arts Alliance have joined forces to present 'What Time Is It?' by Jo Ann Fleischhauer in collaboration with Musiqa, a public art installation at the Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower, also known as the Market Square Clock Tower, in downtown Houston's Historic District.
Musiqa's collaboration addresses the auditory nature of the clock tower by replacing the scheduled chimes of bells with original musical works inspired by the site. C O'Clock, composed by Rice composers Anthony Brandt and Chapman Welch, runs through the entire duration of the six month exhibition by replacing the ringing of the bell with a progression of chords that rise and set like the sun. Each chord is complemented by ringing sounds that are randomly generated by a computer and make each tolling unique and unpredictable. The sound source of both the underlying chords and the improvisations is Market Square itself, recorded street noise, which is filtered to the extent that it turns into pure tones. The computer-generated sounds are complemented by monthly live performances of compositions by students of the Rice University Shepherd School of Music. These events are sponsored by Musiqa.