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Bonnie Barnett: Skyspace HUM

In conjunction with the exhibition SonicWorks, DiverseWorks, Rice Public Art, and the Shepherd School of Music collaborate to present Bonnie Barnett’s Skyspace HUM in the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, located adjacent to the Shepherd School of Music on the Rice University Campus.

Skyspace HUM will begin at 7 pm.  No reservations are needed to participate in the HUM.

*Please note that due to technical difficulties the Skyspace will not have a regularly scheduled sunset light sequence.

Map and Parking Information

What is a HUM?

Bonnie Barnett created the HUM in 1981, with a small, acoustic vocal event in San Francisco. A short verbal score, or list of instructions, outlines the process of breathing, humming and singing, all in a harmonious major tonality. Anyone can participate in a HUM — no musical or vocal technique or experience is necessary. There will be instruments at the HUM, playing the chord, so it will be easy to blend in even without any musical training! Singing together in harmony creates a wonderful feeling of community, of being part of a group. Singing is vibration – vibration is movement – movement is change. When we sing, we feel good, we fill ourselves with enthusiasm. ©Bonnie Barnett 1999 All rights reserved.

Skyspace HUM will be followed by a short Q&A.

About Bonnie Barnett

BONNIE BARNETT, vocalist, composer and improviser, resides in Los Angeles.  She appears on two DICE compilation CD’s and has three releases on Nine Winds Records, including the 2006 “Trio For Two”, a duo with bassist Ken Filiano.  Her 2011 CD release, “In Between Dreams”, with her quartet, was released by pfMentum.  She has been exploring the texts of Gertrude Stein, Jean-Paul Sartre and others, and also delights in improvising faux text.

Barnett developed her Tunnel Hum Project in 1981, in San Francisco, where the first Hum took place as part of the New Music America Festival.  Since then, she has produced over 80 Hums, including 1986’s “Under Houston Humming”, which was part of Houston’s New Music America Festival. Other notable Hums include 1985’s “Auto Hum”, for car commuter participation in Los Angeles, broadcast live over Pacifica station KPFK, the “Santa Monica/Paris Humming (Murmurant)” event, which linked live singers in those two cities via videophone technology, and a series of Millenium Hums in London as part of the Sacred Voices Millennium Music Village Festival.  Her documentary, “The Tunnel Hum Project” records Hums that took place from 1984 through 1992, and is released on DVD.  “Tunnel Hum 1984”, which used satellite technology to mix singers in three cities for an hour-long live radio broadcast, is now released as a CD.


Skypace HUM is made possible in part by an Arts Initiative Grant from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

Date & Time:

Thursday, February 20, 2014 7 pm




Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion
James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany skyspace
Rice University Campus

Click for map and parking information



Bonnie Barnett: Another Under Houston Humming