Gustavo Matamoros is an American composer and sound artist born in Venezuela. He is the founder of the Subtropics Festival in Miami and a core member of Frozen Music, a sound art collective with David Dunn and Rene Barge that has included Russell Frehling and David Behrman. Matamoros is well-known for his work with small sounds, sound portraits, the use of “gated” recorded sound as an interactive element in live electroacoustic performance, “noise melodies,” sound videos, and site-specific and public sound art installations designed to make audible acoustical features of a given site. Over the last three decades, he has collaborated with numerous preeminent experimental artists, such as Alison Knowles, Charles Recher, Chris Mann, Davey Williams, Fast Forward, Jan Williams, Sam Ashley, and Robert Gregory.
Matamoros has received numerous awards and commissions, including three Knight Art Challenge Awards from the Knight Foundation (2010, 2017, 2021), two State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowships (1995, 2000), two National Composition Awards (1981, 1984) in Venezuela, and grants from New Music USA, New American Radio, NEA, Miami Performing Arts Center, and Culture Builds Florida. His works are held in the collections of the Perez Art Museum, Cifo, and the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Notable commissions include “Breezeway” (2004) with Shahreyar Ataie for the School of Architecture at FIU, commissioned by Art-in-State-Buildings; “Tracing the Radio Landscape” (1992) with Bob Gregory, commissioned by New American Radio and broadcast on NPR stations nationwide; and “Cars and Fish” (2005) with Charles Recher, commissioned by The Arsht Center and premiered during Art Basel.
As the artistic director of Subtropics, Gustavo Matamoros has introduced Miami to world-premiere performances and exhibitions by renowned American avant-garde artists such as John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, George Lewis, Robert Ashley, Carles Santos, Trimpin, Alison Knowles, Augusto De Campus, Helen Thorington, Phill Niblock, Yasunao Tone, Jacki Apple, Gregory Whitehead, and LaDonna Smith. He has also helped to champion the work of experimentalists and sound artists from the Southeast.
Matamoros is a graduate of the University of Miami and has been a guest resident artist and lecturer at Mills College, University of Leeds, North Carolina State University, University of Utah, Vermont College, UC Santa Cruz, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Brooklyn College, Dartmouth College, and Wesleyan University. He has served as a review panelist for the NEA, MAP, Jerome Foundation, Arts International, The Alpert Foundation, and American Composer’s Forum, and has taught electronic and experimental music, sound art, and critical listening at FIU, Miami International University, and the University of Miami.
Gustavo Matamoros is currently on his second year as resident artist in the i360 XR Theater at Florida International University as well as in the Community Theater at Deering Estate.