A Music Series to Launch Inside James Turrell’s Skyspace at UT

James Turrell’s skyspace “The Color Inside” at the University of Texas has been inspiring music since it opened in 2013.

Fittingly then that this fall Turrell’s sublime permanent public art installation on top of UT’s Student Activity Center gets its own concert series.

Landmarks, UT’s public art program,  announced today the launch of “Songs in the Skyspace,” a Sunday evening series beginning Sept. 15 that will feature a cappella and classical guitar concerts. The concerts will feature musicians and ensembles from UT as well as those from the greater community.

The concerts are free, but given the intimate size of “The Color Inside,” reservations are required. You can make reservations at turrell.utexas.edu

“Songs in the Skyspace” came about thanks to a chance encounter between Landmarks director Andrée Bober and choral group Hum A Cappella.

“Last year I happened upon them rehearsing in the Skyspace,” said Bober. “They seemed worried that they were breaking the rules, but I couldn’t have been more delighted. ‘The Color Inside’ is a perfect setting for creative inspiration and we look forward to welcoming music as part of the experience.”

Turrell’s curvilinear roofless chamber is designed to capture a view of the sky. The structure’s elliptical aperture is surrounded by computer-controlled LED lights that illuminate the walls with changing color during an hourlong program every sunset and sunrise that radically yet subtly alter the view of the heavens.

James Turrell's "The Color Inside."
James Turrell’s “The Color Inside.” Photo by Florian Holzherr.

For the opening of “The Color Inside” in 2013, Landmarks commissioned composer Joel Love, then a Butler School of Music graduate student, to write a piece. Love’s string quartet “Lightscape” can be streamed online.

And for the 2016 Fusebox Festival, a trio of Austin composers — Travis Weller, Brent Fariss, and Andrew Stoltz — each composed a piece for violin trio inspired by the sunset sequence in “The Color Inside.”

The fall 2019 “Songs in the Skyspace” line-up is:

Sep. 15: Noteworthy A Cappella
Sep. 22: Texas Songhorns
Sep. 29: Beauties and the Beat
Oct. 6: Hum A Cappella
Oct. 13: Texas Songhorns
Oct. 20: Butler School of Music: Matthew Gillen
Oct. 27: Beauties and the Beat
Nov. 3: Noteworthy A Cappella
Nov. 10: Hum A Cappella
Nov. 17: One Note Stand
Nov. 24: Austin Classical Guitar
Dec. 8: One Note Stand
Dec. 15: Austin Classical Guitar