Collide Arts

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Nightly, Nov. 27 - Jan. 3, 6 - 9 p.m, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739

Reserve tickets here.

This program is part of a year-long series of performances, workshops, and interactive installations that explore the connection between native plants and sound. This project marks an emerging partnership between the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a major botanical garden and research center in Austin, TX, and Collide Arts, an organization known for its site-specific performances and installations. 


Sam Cusumano: The Wildflower Botanical Orchestra performs - The Sun Stands Still

This musical piece is performed by the resident plants of the Wildflower Botanical garden, using sensors to track the changing biological states of the plants over <35> days through the Winter Solstice. On this shortest day of the year, the Sun stays low all day in the horizon appearing to stand still. This Biodata Sonification installation will utilize orchestral instrumentation to create an interactive soundscape distributed through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, allowing guests to listen to the invisible biological changes occurring within plants.  Find out more about how this system functions at


Yuliya Lanina: Theme and Variations

Theme and Variations is a stop motion animation that features music by Olivier Messiaen performed by violinist Tatiana Berman and pianist Irina Botan. It was premiered live in Cincinnatti Memorial Hall. Subsequently performed in Vilnius, Lithuania by Johnny Gandelsman (violin) and Andrius Zlabys (piano).

Painted images of anthropomorphic creatures are set in motion against a lush background of cloudy skies and green pastures, their movement hewing closely to the music. Unlike the composer who uses the variations form to reveal "a world in a grain of sand", Lanina plays it in reverse -- by zooming out. The fabled inhabitants of the multifarious realm are then shown to be fragments of one consciousness, that of a Cupid-eagle longing for a Psyche-butterfly.


Doug Laustsen: A Sonic History of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Weather data from the date of the Wildflower Center's opening until the opening of Luminations was gathered. The data was turned into a musical score, treating various weather conditions, like humidity and rainfall as musical elements like pitch and volume. Over the course of the piece you can hear the changing environment of the Wildflower Center during its decades of existence. 


Matthew Steinke: Hazardous Phenotypes

Hazardous Phenotypes is a meditation on the presence of toxicity within psychological and ecological systems. It employs experimental mechatronics, the sychronouse development of sculpture, robotics, choreography, lighting, music, sound, and performance for video.

Organized into allegorical segments, each vignette reinvents the term, “soundscape”, typically used to describe a single-channel audio recording of a sonic environment. In these variations, strategically placed sound sculptures in space like notes on a piano roll scroll from left to right, a 3D live-action visual score. Within the intoxicated soundscapes, mechanical objects perform new ritualistic interventions, warnings about what may come or what might already be upon us.


COLLIDE  is generously supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc, the Texas Music Office, the REA Charitable Trust, and the Mid America Arts Alliance. This project is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.