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New works for an ensemble of cars, trucks, and pedicabs, created in a series of community workshops and performed in a parking lot.

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TRAFFIC JAM highlight reel

Posted on October 5, 2015 by Steve Parker
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Pedicab + Trombone choreography

Posted on June 30, 2015 by Steve Parker
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Video clip of our performance.  More to come!

Piano Car by Mark McCoin

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Steve Parker
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Check out the in-progress video above by Mark McCoin of Outlier about his Piano Car / Golf Cart!

Austin Soundwaves workshop

Posted on March 28, 2015 by Steve Parker
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We’ve had about a month of workshops at Austin Soundwaves, collecting transporation related samples, playing with Audacity and Ableton Live, and putting together preliminary sketches of material.  Above is our latest class fixed media composition, made in collaboration with composer Ethan Greene (and clearly inspired by one of Steve Reich’s compositions). 


Today we were joined by composer Steve Snowden who introduced us to his composition Shovelhead which features samples of Harley Davidson motorcycles.  Steve also talked about shaping the narrative structure in compositions, and he helped us map out a form for our next composition.


Stay tuned for updates from the other artists as our project date approaches!



Project overview

Austin is often heralded as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  However, as the city grows it is rapidly gaining a reputation for traffic congestion.  In an effort to facilitate public discourse about transportation, we are launching a project called TRAFFIC JAM.

TRAFFIC JAM is a project which creates and realizes compositions that feature an ensemble of cars, trucks, pedicabs, bicycles, and conventional instruments in live performance.  The performance will be presented in a large parking lot at thinkEAST as a part of the 2015 Fusebox Festival.  

The musical compositions featured in this concert will be created in a series of community workshops, beginning in February 2015.  The participants in the workshop will be students and families of Austin SoundWaves, an El Sistema-inspired program that offers free music instruction to underserved students in east Austin.  The workshops will be led by local artists and will explore composition, unconventional music making, and improvisation.  In collaboration with these students, we will create new compositions that will be playable by community members in their vehicles.  

The culminating performances will be free, interactive, and open to the public.  Audience members will “play” their vehicles, guided by a smart phone app or a CD with instructions.  In addition, we will be collaborating with local pedicab drivers to create choreographed performances.  These performances will feature musicians who will be both passengers and performers in the backseat of the pedicabs. Performers include line upon line percussionOutlier, and the Austin New Music Co-op.  Outlier and members of the New Music Co-op will also be creating new compositions for the performance.


Steve Parker is the lead artist.  As director of the SoundSpace series, he is experienced producing large scale performances and projects.

Fusebox Festival is the presenter.  Fusebox is an annual hybrid arts festival that champions adventurous works of art across a variety of different mediums.

Austin SoundWaves will facilitate a series of composition workshops with students and families from its program.  Austin SoundWaves offers free music instruction to underserved students from east Austin.

COLLIDE will be coordinating the community collaborations in this project. COLLIDE is an organization that facilitates large-scale, community-based performances and art projects.

line upon line percussion will be featured performers in the culminating concert.

Members of Austin New Music Co-op will be composing new works for the program and will perform in the culminating concert.

The duo Outlier will create new performance and installation work for this project. Outlier is a duo that experiments with the sonic potential of unorthodox materials and techniques.


Project Media

Music for Wilderness Lake by R. Murray Shafer
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Features: Steve Parker, COLLIDE

This is a work written for 12 trombonists, arranged around a perimeter of water, and signaled via nautical flags. There are two movements: one performed at dusk and the other at dawn.

This project was coordinated by Steve Parker and COLLIDE.

A Man with a Gun Lives Here
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This performance features collaborators line upon line percussion.

Recycled Sounds
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This is a project that installed large scale, interactive instruments in a downtown parking garage. The instruments were created over a series of five workshops with students from Austin SoundWaves. The project culminated with a live performance on the Fusebox Festival at City Hall, featuring students and local performers.

Start and End Dates



Austin, Texas

4 updates
Last update on October 5, 2015

Project Created By

Austin, Texas
Steve Parker is a musician, artist, and curator who creates communal, democratic work to examine history, systems, and behavior. His projects include elaborate civic rituals for humans, animals, and machines; listening sculptures made from salvaged marching band instruments that are modeled after obsolete WWII acoustic locators; and cathartic transportation symphonies for operators of cars, pedicabs,…

In Collaboration With

composer / performer
Austin, Texas
community organizer
Austin, Texas
composer / performer
San Antonio, Texas
workshop and education
Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas


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