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Music on wheels: Ground-breaking Musiqa's new season brings the sound on the road

Music on wheels: Ground-breaking Musiqa's new season travels well

Musiqa new season
Musiqa's 2013-14 concert season is titled ""New Venues and New Collaborations." Courtesy of Musiqa/Facebook

You might as well dub Musiqa's 2013-14 concert season "music on wheels." While other art presenters work diligently at finding a stable home for their program offerings, Musiqa is doing the opposite and exploring venues that will challenge the curating efforts of its five-member artistic board of locally based composers.

The season, dubbed "New Venues and New Collaborations," expands what Musiqa composers sought in staging performances with cross-disciplinary connections last year. Moreover, after winning the 2013 American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers/ Chamber Music America award for Adventurous Programming, Musiqa officials are feeling the pressure to keep inventiveness top of mind.

"The award really drove home to us that adventure is front and center in what we do," Anthony K. Brandt, co-founder and artistic director, tells CultureMap. "We want to take audiences to places they haven't been to before and make that trip as fun and exciting as possible."

To accomplish the task at hand, Musiqa partners with artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer, author Nick Flynn, FotoFest, Houston Cinema Arts Society and NobleMotion Dance to mount shows at Market Square Park, Asia Society Texas Center, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

"We want to take audiences to places they haven't been to before and make that trip as fun and exciting as possible."

Now, it's time to get out and play — literally.

And out it is for Musiqa's season opener en plein air at Market Square Park. Musiqa joins forces with the Houston Downtown Management District for "Time Travel" (Sept. 28), a program that bows to a public art installation by Jo Ann Fleischhauer titled What Time Is It?

Brandt teams up with composer Chapman Welch to score C O'Clock, a new piece that will sound from the Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower. On the playbill are also works by veterans Louis Andriessen, John Corigliano and Musiqa's Rob Smith, and emerging tunesmiths Michel van der Aa, Missy Mazzoli and Bill Ryan.

"Frozen Time" (Jan. 11, 2014) marks Musiqa's debut performance at the Asia Society Texas Center. Audiences will hear pieces by composers of Asian provenance, including Karen Tanaka, Lei Liang and Elena Firsova, a new work by Musiqa's Marcus Maroney mused by photography curated by FotoFest, and a poetry reading by University of Houston's Nick Flynn.

A collaboration with NobleMotion Dance and the Houston Cinema Arts Society closes the season with "Time in Motion" (March 22, 2014) at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Anchoring the program are oeuvres by Rob Smith and Pierre Jalbert.

Musiqa continues its relaxed series of free concerts at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this alliance, the concerts will focus on Abstraction in music while connecting to the exhibitions on view. The trio of events, titled "Music Outside the Lines," are set for Nov. 7; Jan. 30, 2014; and Feb. 27, 2014.

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More information about the Musiqa 2013-14 season is available online or by calling 713-524-5678.