• Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • Aqua

Quick: How many pieces of music inspired by the architecture of a single building can you name?

That Talking Heads album that comes up on Google doesn’t count.

Neither do songs about cities, neighborhoods, streets, or generic structures like jailhouses or chapels. There are plenty of those.

But music that got written because a building (OK, maybe aided by a commission) got a composer’s heart to beat a little faster?

As far as I know we don’t have a Sears Tower symphony or Hancock hymn. But Jeanne Gang’s groovy Aqua tower has already inspired two pieces of new music, one of which—the conveniently titled Aqua, by Vivian Fung—is getting its premier performances this weekend as part of the Chicago Sinfonietta’s architecture-themed City-Scapes concert.

(The other is New York composer Harold Meltzer’s Aqua, the first movement of which was introduced by the Avalon String Quartet in a Chicago performance two years ago.)

Fung’s piece is one of four short movements, each inspired by a different building and written by a different composer, that make up ChiScape, commissioned by the Sinfonietta and curated by Jennifer Higdon. The other composers are Armando Bayolo, whose inspiration was Renzo Piano’s Art Institute Modern Wing; Jonathan Holland, inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s S.R. Crown Hall; and Chris Rogerson, riffing on Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation has partnered with Chicago Sinfonietta to present two performances of the concert. It’s at 8 PM Saturday, June 8, at Wentz Hall in Naperville, and 3 PM Sunday, June 9, at Symphony Center, where tickets are $26 to $50. Preconcert discussions with the composers are scheduled for 7 PM in Naperville and 1:45 PM in Grainger Hall at Symphony Center. More information here.