music on the bayou

Immersive new Buffalo Bayou art project tunes Houstonians in to curated music

New art project tunes Houstonians in to music along Buffalo Bayou

Buffalo Bayou Park
Enjoy specially curated music while hanging at the park.  Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Park

Houstonians looking to immerse themselves in visual and aural art are in luck, thanks to a new partnership with two beloved organizations. River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) and Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) have joined forces to create a new experience for park and bayou visitors.

In this new collaboration, visitors can explore miles of trails lining the Buffalo Bayou and discover QR codes posted at landmarks and public art works. Those codes each link to a specific piece of music performed by ROCO.

Each music item has been selected for each location or art installation and curated by the ROCO team, according to a press release.

Some of the works in the project include “Flying Sirto” by Erberk Eryilmaz at the Waugh Bat Bridge; Brad Sayles’ “Buffalo Bayou Suite,” near John Runnels’s steel canoe sculptures; Alexander Miller’s “ROCOmoji” (a “Concerto Grosso for Double Reeds”) second movement, titled “OMG,” at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark; Alejandro Basulto’s “Tríptico de Luz” at the Hidalgo Park Historic Gazebo; and Shostakovich's “Ballet Suite” at the Sesquicentennial Park Monument that honors James A. Baker III.

ROCO’s repertoire has been chosen from 15 years of live performance recordings, and a mix of pieces by historical and contemporary composers. This includes 13 of ROCO’s own commissioned world premiere works, seven pieces by female composers, and 10 by composers of color. The Houston orchestra was recently named top in the U.S. for performing the works of women and number two for the works of composers of color in a recent study from the Institute of Composer Diversity.

“We are thrilled to host this project by ROCO along the Buffalo Bayou Park trails,” said Karen Farber, BBPs’s vice president of external affairs, in a statement. “Now those walking or riding along the bayou can experience their surroundings in a whole new way. We hope our visitors will explore all 40 sites throughout the fall.”

The music/park program will run through December 31, in celebration of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s fifth anniversary.