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Music in Nature

Haunting musical performance at The Contemporary Austin turns lagoon into concert hall

Wilderness Lake
"Music for Wilderness Lake" turned the lagoon into a magical musical experience. Photo by KLRU/ KLRU-Austin PBS

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the latest installment in our partnership with KLRU's documentary series Arts in Context. This unique series celebrates stories about the arts in Austin and the people who make this such a vibrant and creative city.

This month KLRU’s Arts in Context Shorts takes a look back at June’s haunting performances of "Music for Wilderness Lake" from local trombonist Steve Parker and The Contemporary Austin.

These two free performances at Laguna Gloria featured 12 trombonists positioned along the banks of the lagoon as the conductor directed the musicians from a canoe in the water. Meant to be more than just a musical composition, R. Murray Schafer originally wrote this piece of “environmental music” to interact with the transitioning acoustics and natural sounds of a lake at two specific times — dawn and dusk.

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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