Masks Off, Wallets Out: Art Basel 2022
Article, Brett Sokol, New York Times
This year’s fair, the largest edition yet, sees 282 of the world’s top art galleries set up booths inside Miami Beach’s Convention Center, drawing deep-pocketed collectors from around the globe. Beyond this genteel scrum, an accompanying weeklong cultural circus swamps the entire metropolitan area with a sea of pop-up events, satellite fairs, celebrity-studded corporate product launches, and not least, over-the-top parties. That’s a lot of activity to compete with, but “The BluPrnt” performs admirably as a guide to Miami’s historic influencers and an exciting variety of emerging artists. Of the veterans, the Bridge Red co-founder and sculptor Robert Thiele has a collaboration with the sound artist Gustavo Matamoros, which bounces eerie tones and a recording of chirping Everglades grasshoppers between two hulking rows of Thiele’s signature stone monoliths. The photographer Peggy Nolan contributes a pair of intimately staged, sexually charged shots, while a beguilingly surreal painting by Edouard Duval-Carrié lures viewers to take a deeper dive into his work.
Gustavo Matamoros at Deering Estate
Preview article, Fernando Gonzalez, ArtburstMiami.com, Miami New Times
Beginning Thursday, September 1, Subtropics and the historic Deering Estate are presenting “And Sometimes… The Space Is Full of a Previous Space,” a four-part series created by Matamoros, who is a current Deering Estate artist-in-residence. It features experimental multimedia collaborations that include site-specific recordings, new pieces, and a retrospective of Subtropics’ work over the years. The events will take place indoors at the Deering Estate Visitor Center theater. “When you get off the beaten path, you really have no idea what you’re going to find, so it’s work that’s very challenging to package,” says Matamoros. “I’m not an impresario or anything like that. I’m simply an artist motivated to create community around this weird stuff that I do. I’m thinking about exploring sound, not making a product, so after 30 years of work, I don’t even have a CD. So, what I thought I’d do this time is work around four things that might result in something concrete.”
Sound as Medium
Profile article, Barbara London, Listening In Column, Flash Art International, Online
When COVID turned in-person events and travel into near impossibilities, my research moved online. I located texts to read and recordings to experience, and initiated conversations with artists in Zoom. Albeit stimulated and productive but feeling restless, this past winter I relocated temporarily to Miami. Straightaway I dove into the local scene, eager to know what was happening in a city with good weather, generous art patronage through the Knight Foundation, and seemingly ample opportunity for artists. During my quest, one name kept coming up: Gustavo Matamoros. The prominent experimental artist wears multiple hats as an indefatigable composer, artist, collaborator, impresario, and community organizer. When we met in his studio, I asked what was behind his music and sound installations, and how he became a catalyst and instigator of events in Miami.
Conversing with Nature, Confronting Extinction
Review, Jackie Apple, Fabrik Magazine, Los Angeles, CA
Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and composer/sound artist Gustavo Matamoros’s performance Bow Hard at the Frog was a purely aural elicitation of the non-human world and our place in it … Once you closed your eyes you were immediately transported into the nighttime swampy depths teeming with life and it soon became difficult to discern where the cello and the frogs began and ended so exquisitely integrated was their musical conversation. At the same time each maintained their individual identities and voices as they responded to each other. Sometimes birds joined in as commentators. It was a joyous concert, exhilarating and wondrous in its evocation of the rich diversity of other species and our capacity to communicate with them when we listen carefully.
Gustavo Matamoros’ Social Commentary at Dimension Variable
Giulietta Vigueras, Miami Art Guide
Born in Caracas in 1957 and living in Miami since 1979, Gustavo Matamoros is a local sound artist of international repute in the fields of experimental music and sound art. His practice focuses on the exploration of sound as audible description of change and as a tool for developing an ever closer relationship with what Buckminster Fuller referred to as The Environment—that which surrounds the individual.
What’s Next For Miami Sound Artist Gustavo Matamoros?
George Fishman, Regionally syndicated column, Artburstmiami.com
After a six-year stint operating the intimate audio-production and performance space at 942 Lincoln Road, Audiotheque’s founding director, Gustavo Matamoros, is using a welcome sabbatical to review accomplishments and prepare a next phase. Completion of the terms of a 2017-18 $40,000 Knight Foundation grant coincided with the end of his organization’s lease at ArtCenter/South Florida, which hosted workshops, intimate discussions, marathon performances and recording sessions.
Inside Miami’s Sound Chamber
Podcast Interview, Cathy Byrd, Fresh Art International
Sound artist, designer and composer Gustavo Matamoros introduces us to his latest creation: four audible experiences of sound moving through space. Legendary artists inspired Small Sounds Up the Wall (for Alison Knowles), Everglades (for Charles Recher), String Solo (for Vito Acconci) and Eighty-Five Audible Moments (for Pauline Oliveros). Venezuela born Matamoros made this sonic dive possible when he transformed Studio 201 at ArtCenter/South Florida into a temporal 30-channel sound environment.
The Subtleties of Sound
Review, Anne Tschida, Art Critic, Biscayne Times
But as he knows, the nature of the experimental beast means perpetual movement, including physically. Although the Audiotheque Listening Studio has been housed and supported by ArtCenter, its time there is coming to a close at the end of December. This program and Subtropics will be looking for a new home or maybe becoming nomadic for a stint. Now’s the time to catch this artistic genre in a sophisticated but public-friendly atmosphere, guided by a tried and true mastermind of the field.
Audiotheque 2.0 at ArtCenter/South Florida
Giulietta Vigueras, Visual Arts, Miami Art Guide
In December 2017, SFCA [isaw+subtropics] received a Knight Arts Challenge matching grant to produce AUDIOTHEQUE 2.0. Knight Foundation chose the project as a catalyst for the advancement of experimental music and sound art in our community. Audiotheque 2.0 features a 30-channel sound system, a new order of sound art installation environment created by artist Gustavo Matamoros. This new multi-channel sound system is organized around four set configurations that can be used independently or together to exhibit new works of spatialized sound that offer visitors different kinds of immersive listening experiences. For the inauguration of Audiotheque 2.0 it was created a sound installation: “Four Audible Experiences of Movement of Sound in Space” conceived to highlight the full capabilities of the new sound system.
And Now, Audiotheque 2.0
George Fishman, Regionally syndicated column, Artburstmiami.com
This has been a place for research. I’m an artist who does that,” declared sound artist and impresario Gustavo Matamoros, describing Audiotheque, an intimate black box studio at ArtCenter/South Florida on Lincoln Road. Internationally recognized for works that are wide-ranging in style and format, Matamoros devises sound installations for specific architectural or outdoor spaces and traffics with other audio experimenters who defy genre categories.
Subtropics XXIV Ignites The Lost Art of Listening
Journal of Sonic Studies
Subtropics, the Miami festival of experimental music is a new sound experience
Interview, Ana Mengotti, Syndicated Article
Multiple publications including: Entertainment, Agency EFE (appeared in Latin American Herald Tribune, Alianza Metropolitan News, Meridiano90, Hoy, Hola Ciudad!, La Vanguardia, Lave En Mano, CNS, Los Reportes de Lichi, UnionRadio.net, Vanguardia MX, World News En Español, W Radio, ABC.es, AguasDigital.com, El Diario Vasco, El Confidencial, ElDiario.es, El Economista America, La Conexión USA, el Periódico, Festiva TV Magazine, Florida Noticias Today, Indiana Noticias Today.
The Experimental Music and Musings of Fred Lonberg-Holm at Audiotheque
George Fishman, Regionally syndicated column, Artburstmiami.org
Composer, performer, and presenter, Gustavo Matamoros has long assumed the role of democratizing evangelizer, less interested in definitions than in finding venues and funding for artists who cross over defined genres or otherwise work in the gaps. He has installed his own sound art in museum elevator lobbies, botanical gardens, sculptures, building facades and arcades. Through the South Florida Composers Alliance (SFCA), Subtropics Music Festival, Audiotheque Listening Club at ArtCenter/ South Florida, and other venues, he provides stages and learning labs for talented musicians and sound experimenters – from near and far – connecting them with local audiences.
Radio Interview, hosts: Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman, Topical Currents, WLRN Radio
An entire hour about experimental music and sound art with guest Gustavo Matamoros featuring binaural recordings of his exhibition LISTEN.
Sensations in Sound
George Fishman, Tropical Life, Miami Herald [ readable link ]
Gustavo Matamoros’ beard has gone gray, but his passionate promotion of listening as a way of engaging the world remains fresh.
Subtropics Festival Immerses Miami in Experimental Sounds
Zach Schlein, Miami New Times
Venezuelan-born, Miami-based composer and sound artist Gustavo Matamoros might be the most approachable man in Miami music. Speaking with him about his artistic passions — theories of harmonization, ideal listening experiences, and, above all else, experimentation in sound — is almost a symphony unto itself, sweeping in its scope and ambition but grounded by a relatable presence and a smiling face.
Perspectives (5): Richard Garet
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
Once I became very active in the world of sound and experimental music, a lot of people mentioned, oh, you probably know Gustavo, and I was like, no, I know of him, but we never met. We actually met in November 2015 in Spain during a festival in which we both participated in Valencia and Madrid. From the moment we met, I felt like I’d known him already. We hit it off. And we exchanged materials and kept in touch ever since. Time has passed and recently he invited me to be part of his subtropics programming that he’s running in Miami this summer of 2017.
A Fever Dream Set to the Hand-Painted Films of Stan Brakhage
Review, Monica Uszerowicz, vice.com
The late cinema great’s films came together with the work of composer Gustavo Matamoros for a night in Miami that was tantamount to meditating with the gods.
Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film
Review, David Curtis, Journal of Film Preservation, International Federation of Film Archives
This set contains a more modest 37 films and abandons the archival novelties, so restoring prominance to the early classics — Manhatta, Anémic cinéma, Ballet mécanique … [ Ballet mécanique (Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, 1923-24, 11mins) George Antheil’s 1924-25 score adapted and arranged by Paul D. Lehrman, remixed by Gustavo Matamoros. Anémic cinéma (Rrose Sélavy a.k.a. Marcel Duchamp, 1926, 6mins) new music by Gustavo Matamoros ].
Art For Your Ears: Subtropics Marathon Airs Experimental Music
Diego Saldaña-Rojas, Arts and Culture, WLRN 91.3 FM
“The music itself is not easy, conceptually,” he said. “At first hearing it may sound like a lot of noise and it isn’t, really. It’s music that’s meant to actually tickle our minds and make us aware that hearing is an important aspect of being human.”
Freedom Tower exhibit traces the artist influence of ‘the two bobs: Thiele and Huff’
George Fishman, Visual Arts, Miami Herald
In contrast to MDC’s naturally noisy gallery space, Thiele has installed work with a meditative aura that is reinforced by an audio component developed by veteran sound artists Gustavo Matamoros and René Barge. They sonically analyzed the natural resonance of one side gallery so they could generate specific frequencies that the room “likes.” They repeated the process with Thiele’s bronze sculptures Vienna Venus I and II that face one another. By attaching electronically activated, vibrating transducers, they treat the sculptures like tuning forks. “We’re causing the bronze to produce a sound that the room likes, and the room reinforces and amplifies it,” Matamoros said.
Subtropics, a Festival of New Music for New Listening
Interview, Fernando Gonzalez, Miami New Times
Subtropics XXIII opens with an immersive experience: Frozen Music: SoundScape, an installation by David Dunn, Rene Barge and Matamoros at SoundScape Park, the outdoor space by the New World Center, in Miami Beach, on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. But it also includes a concert of music by Cage, an intimate, Listening Club session featuring the music of Robert Ashley and a show by The Claudia Quintet, one of the truly original groups in contemporary jazz. We asked Artistic Director Matamoros about this eclectic mix over the years.
All Ears on the Listening Club, George Fishman
Regionally Syndicated Column, Artberstmiami.org
Not satisfied with the challenges of presenting the Subtropics Music Festival, Audiotheque, Frozen Music and the Listening Gallery — among others — Gustavo Matamoros has added a new series of events to his list of contributions to Miami’s new-music community. “It’s an opportunity for exercising our ears and having somebody pick out the theme or a reason for us to gather together and listen to sound.” The monthly gatherings bring together a wide range of sonic adventurers. Matamoros, a Venezuelan-born composer, musician, and producer of experimental music and sound art projects, has devised a nine-session Listening Club, curated by guests Brook Dorsch, Alba Triana, John Van Der Slice, Kerry Ware, José Hernandez, and Armando Rodriguez. Each has a different area of expertise and passion. “My preference for presenting is always free improvisation, avant-garde music, experimental stuff, which is the theme of the Subtropics festival,” Matamoros explains. “But with the Listening Club, by inviting people who have a connection to sound from different ‘points of ear,’ then the whole thing opens up, and all kinds of music can be received.”
Breaking Miami’s Sound Barrier
Brett Socol, Culture Magic City, pages 118-120, Ocean Drive Magazine, September Issue
Experimental Composer Gustavo Matamoros Keeps Searching for New Sounds for his Listening Club and Subtropics Music Festival.
Best music options for a Miami vacation
Travel Feature, Necee Regis, Boston Globe
IN ITS SIMPLEST DEFINITION, music is sound. Enter Gustavo Matamoros, Venezuelan-born composer and sound artist and longtime Miami resident. For more than 20 years, Matamoros has curated experimental music and “sound art” events at his Subtropics Festival. This year, he’s running a monthly Listening Club at Audiotheque (786-206-7886; subtropics.org), his studio in Miami Beach. If you miss the Listening Club, simply stand beneath the awnings of ArtCenter/South Florida (305-674-8278; artcentersf.org /listening-gallery) and experience the Listening Gallery, an ongoing sound art installation. “My function in the community is to promote a listening attitude,” says Matamoros.
Rene Barge & Gustavo Matamoros Sound Installations: Room 1/Room 2
Past Projects, Red Bridge Studios
Sounding The Everglades: Sound Artist Gustavo Matamoros and An Unusual AIRIE Residency
David Dunn, Irreversible Magazine, Winter issue
Gustavo Matamoros is one of America’s most important sound artists in addition to being one of the most dedicated advocates for this artistic genre alive today. This is most evident by his untiring commitment to the region of southern Florida as an artist, producer, and community organizer of Miami’s Subtropics Festival for over 25 years.
Abbey Rader Generations Quartet at Audiotheque
Feature Article, George Fishman, Artburst Miami
The most recent Audiotheque concert, hosted by South Florida Composer’s Alliance (SFCA) and Subtropics Music Festival director Gustavo Matamoros — a sound artist himself — featured the Abbey Rader Generations Quartet, a locally based instrumental ensemble whose leader’s origins are in the ’70s bebop style of such notables as John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman.
Making The Right Choices: A John Cage Centennial Celebration
Review, Michael Edward, Palmese, American Muic, Vol.31, No.3 (Fall 2013), pp.375-377, University of Illinois Press
Of topical importance for Miami concertgoers was a lecture given by Gustavo Matamoros that covered Cage’s multiple visits to Miami from 1975 through 1991. Presenting rare archival recordings of Cage’s time in South Florida, the session revealed an intimate portrait of the composer in his later years. Matamoros, himself a composer and sound artist, chose to rebroadcast his adaptation Sounding Through Empty Words IV at the Listening Gallery, an innovative laboratory for sound art located at 800 Lincoln Road in South Beach. Featuring the voice of Cage himself performing Empty Words IV during the 1991 Subtropics Festival in Miami, Matamoros’s work ran throughout the duration of this 2013 centennial festival just a few blocks from the New World Center.
Audiotheque Listening Club: egg(s)travinsky
Jesús Manuel Rojas Torres, What’s Up Miami (WVUM online)
SFCA’s artistic director, Gustavo Matamoros will kick start the series on Wednesday October 16th, 2013 with “egg(s)travinsky,” an exploration of audible links between progressive rock and modern music based on recordings by Egg and Stravinsky. Audiotheque will be closed during the month of September while artistic director Gustavo Matamoros is out on a month-long AIRIE artist residency to document the sounds of Everglades National Park.
Remix The News: How The Dolphins’ Stadium Debate Can Be Turned Into Sound Art
Interview, Kenny Malone, Sports, WLRN 91.3 FM
Most recently, we worked with composer and sound artist Gustavo Matamoros. Born in Venezuela, Matamoros now lives in Miami and runs the annual Subtropics experimental music and sound art festival in Miami. We had Matamoros take a listen to about 40-minutes of curated audio from press conferences, commission meetings and committee meetings that, quite frankly, was pretty boring. Matamoros then hacked that down to one minute and thirty-seconds of Dolphins renovations debate that we’re 99.9% sure you’ve never heard before (and certainly never before like this). Matamoros wrote this about the sound art piece he created: …
Subtropics Festival Will Explore ‘How Sound Speaks About What’s Around You
Dan Dickinson, WLRN 91.3 FM
“From the beginning, the idea was that the festival would feature mostly composers who perform their own music,” he says. In the early years, Subtropics brought in national luminaries such as Cage, David Tudor, and Pauline Oliveros, but it also served as an important outlet for regional artists.
The Seeds and Sounds of the Subtropics Festival
Artburst Team, Regionally Syndicated Column, Artburstmiami.com
Since its launch in 1989, the Subtropics festival has offered South Florida a multi-day event focused squarely on experimental music and sound art. This year the two-week Miami Beach festival starts with a symposium on sound and architecture, then relaxes into a series of concerts.
New World Symphony celebrates a century of John Cage with a 3-day festival
Jordan Levin, Miami Herald
“He wasn’t so interested in music as a tool for self-expression but in how music can represent the world around us,” says composer Gustavo Matamoros, founder and director of Miami’s Subtropics Music Festival, where Cage was the focus in 1991. “That totally changed how people talked about music. Every piece Cage wrote is a deeply thought-out idea about the role of sound and music and what it means.” The NWS festival aims to render those ideas as richly as possible. Tilson Thomas describes Cage’s music with words like beautiful, haunting, sensual, elegant and magical — language not usually used for a composer seen as rigorously conceptual and detached. But he believes that, particularly in his earlier music, Cage often chose sounds to fit “a kind of elegant, exotic, gestural, vaguely mournful sensibility.” And that his “natural, wondrous sense of sound” and fascination with everything from cacophonous city streets to chirping birds meant Cage was acutely sensitive to the consequences of his choices.
Listen to art, too
Opinion, Letters to the Editor, The Reader’s Forum, Gustavo Matamoros, Miami Herald
As a sound artist, I understand the importance of sound as a vehicle for understanding our world, which has changed dramatically in the past few decades. We now navigate it with personal devices that produce word-sounds and sound-words. Random acts of culture spring from places such as the Peoplemover, with cellphones ringing like parrots and a variety of disembodied noises adding meaning to the saying: It’s a jungle out there. Composer John Cage suggested that sounds have a tendency to get along, and that music happens in the mind of the listener. I would add that acoustically resonant space is necessary for the ear to be able to appreciate each sound’s character and quality. Most architects design museums to meet the demands of visual language. Few display expertise in sound or auditory language. Unnatural, is an important exception. This digital media art exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach works at both levels. The secret is in the selection of the pieces and in the qualities of the soundscapes that accompany each work. The experience is that of a unified exhibition, with wonderful opportunities for discovery. This is important to celebrate — it helps set high standards for the presentation of sound in museums.
Acconci Comes Back to Continue the Conversation
Anne Tschida, Arts Article, knightfoundation.org
Last year, Acconci was here in Miami during Art Basel for a fascinating panel discussion that included local sound artist Gustavo Matamoros ( whose Listening Gallery is a Knight Arts grantee ). Now, Acconci’s back to continue the dialogue.
Events Honoring John Cage at 100
Arts & Culture, Los Angeles Times
“sounding through empty words iv,” Miami Beach, Sept.5-Oct.31, 2012
Remembering John Cage
Artburst Team, Regionally Syndicated Column, Artburstmiami.com
“As far as I know, [Cage] came to Miami four times,” remembers Gustavo Matamoros, sound installation artist, composer, educator, and founder and artistic director of the SFCA and the Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival, which presents audiences with new sound works in diverse contexts (the next edition is in March). “The first was in 1975. He was in a residency at Broward Community College, and he was there for two or three days. We have footage from that visit,” says Matamoros. “The next time he came was around 1980, 1981, when he visited the University of Miami. I was a student there. We organized some events for him, and then he gave a lecture. After that, in 1988, the New Music America Festival, a big festival, brought around 150 experimental artists to Miami, and he came as part of that. And then what happened, a few months later, I began to organize the Subtropics Festival. In 1991 we had the third Subtropics Festival, and I invited John Cage. I wanted to do four, five different concerts of his music, and one of those concerts was his performance of Empty Words.” Empty Words serves as the inspiration for a public art installation, which opens on the night of the 5th under the awnings at the ArtCenter, buildings 800 and 810, at the corner of Lincoln Road and Meridian Avenue.
NiteTalk: Gustavo Matamoros Leads a Cavalcade for American Icon John Cage, Interview
John Hood, NBC.Miami.com
His 4’33” went beyond the sound of silence; his prepared piano pieces pushed dance beyond mere movement. He took Henry Cowell’s tone clusters and Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique, dosed them with Zen, and changed forever the way we hear and listen. He was composer extraordinaire John Cage, an irascible American icon if ever there was one. This week subtropics, iSAW and the FETA Foundation present an unforgettable John Cage Centennial Celebration. Subtroopics’ own Gustavo Matamoros explains.
John Cage: Hunted with Empty Words
Gustavo Matamoros, Art Article, knightfoundation.org
On September 5, 2012, the Listening Gallery—A Knight Arts Challenge public art project on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road—will unveil a new sound installation in celebration of John Cage’s Centennial. Sounding Thru Empty Words IV is my multichannel adaptation of John Cage’s 1991 performance of his piece Empty Words IV, “ recorded during his participation at Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival.
The Art of Sound: Rene Barge and Gustavo Matamoros
Abel Fogar, MAP Magazine issue #4
The sounds in the work are related to the resonance of the space: you put it in another space and it won’t work. I like to find situations to hear sounds in a way I’ve never heard before. The setup is a discovery for me and the audience.
Architecture of the Air: The Sound and Light Environments of Christopher Janney
Architecture News, Miami Art Guide
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 3:00 p.m. – Panel discussion on contemporary issues in art, architecture and sound, moderated by critic Beth Dunlop with Janney, Gustavo Matamoros and Vito Acconci.
Listening Gallery, Miami
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
The Listening Gallery, a project masterminded by Gustavo Matamoros, opens tonight on Lincoln Road on Miami Beach, and will continue into the future. I was there for the soft opening at Sleepless Night for another installation by Frozen Music. The sound transformed my whole sense of that space, and it was fascinating to watch passers by stop in the space to listen. The site is a 16-channel system installed under the awning of ArtCenter South Florida, spanning the southwest corner of Lincoln Road and Meridian.
Frozen Music: PLAZA
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
Within the context of a Frozen Music installation, I learned once before that the listening experience doesn’t have much to do with individual sounds or moments. What is fascinating is how sounds and systems interact and what they bring out in each other. David Dunn refers to a “collective fabric that is infinitely variable and to which we all remain attentive.” Late in the performance, I listened as two of the performers returned from a short break. The whole body of sound shifted in an indescribable way. There was no single new type of sound but a deeper field of interaction. It was like a complex chemical reaction that no one, including the performers, could expect to decipher.
Prick Up Your Ears: Soon, you can hear art as well as see it at the ArtCenter
Arts Article, Anne Tschida, knightfoundation.org
Matamoros says he will be working with some old collaborators who have appeared at the Subtropics festival for several works; other pieces will be from its extensive archives. As the ArtCenter stands somewhat alone on the road, with no restaurants directly surrounding it, people will easily hear the sound art. As Matamoros says, that can expose as many as 7 million people a year to something they may never have encountered before. He describes sound art as a previously hard-to-access art form — in museums or other private spaces, the experience can be very limiting, in hours, in access. This will be the opposite: totally public and 24 hours a day.
Second Sight: Art exhibition encourages visitors to stop, look and listen
Feature Review, Beth Dunlop, Miami Herald
The first suggestion that there is an intriguing new exhibition at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is an insistent low hum that seems to reverberate around the lobby. It’s coming from the direction of the museum’s ever-elegant staircase that leads to the second floor galleries. In fact, the reverberation is an integral part of one of nine installations that form Site Specific: Explorations in Space, Vision and Sound. Which will run through September 4. It’s from the artist Gustavo Matamoros, who recorded the ambient sounds around the stairs and—on one occasion, fortuitously enough, during an event that featured a string quartet—and transformed them into resonant frequencies transmitted through foam-core panels that work as speakers an are hung at ascending intervals. Walk up the stairs, or just stand and listen, and the sounds change subtly. In all the sound score includes 202 different tones in what Matamoros calls an “acoustical signature.” The piece titled Stairway, is rich in ideas and has a threefold purpose: to respond to the building, to the gentle curbed form the staircase helps form; to interact with the viewer and the listener and to force the visitor to respond to the architecture of the building.
Feature, Jacob Katel, Plum Magazine
Beyond think glass double doors at the 924 building, the hall of the ArtCenter/South Florida is lined with speakers, eight in total, each playing different chirps, hums, tones and feedback. The oscillations swim through the hallway and around each other like fish in a tank.The show is called Polyphony, and Rene Barge and Gustavo Matamoros are producing it live by manipulating parameters on two laptop.
Miami Art Museum’s “New Work Miami 2010” showcases breath and scope of local talent
Review, Carlos Suarez De Jesus, Miami New Times
Front the sonic squeaks of shrimp sizzling in a skillet, to a walking kaleidoscope, to a bridge created from crushed cockroaches, a sprawling new exhibit at Miami Art Museum offers a widely engaging snapshot of the creative forces shaping our city.
Sound Check for Radio Day
Anne Tschida, Arts Article, Anne Tschida, knightfoundation.org
Dust off your portable radio and head over to Miami Beach’s Botanical Garden on Sunday to experience some serious sound art, and get your radio prepped for hurricane season, all in one. Subtropics.org, Miami’s long-lasting experimental music and sound art organization, is presenting “Emergency Radio Battery-Check,” in collaboration with Frozen Music and Talking Head Transmitters, which will transform the “acoustic topography” of the tropical environment.
CANAL (Miami Beach)
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
I kept a sort of journal during the CANAL event performed by Frozen Music as it developed over the night of November 7th (as part of Miami Beach’s Sleepless Night), from 6pm-7am. Frozen Music’s members are Gustavo Matamoros, David Dunn, and René Barge. This was the group’s first performance, and it was very exciting to be there to hear it.
John Cage Arrangements
Laura Kuhn, johncagetrust.blogspot.com
But here’s a bit of archival footage of Cage himself playing the work in 1975 in a classroom setting at Broward Community College in Dade County, Florida, shared courtesy of Gustavo Matamoros, Director of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop.
Already Sleepless, Dreaming of Frozen Music
Celeste Fraser Delgado, knightfoundation.org
This weekend I’ve been resting up, and looking ahead to the 130 events crammed into just 13 hours for this year’s Sleepless Night from 6pm to 7am on November 7 on Miami Beach. I do plan to get some sleep on Sleepless Night, though, as long as I can hunker down beside the banks of the Dade Canal and drift of on the “sonic cloud” of Frozen Music. The canal is alive with wondrous sounds our over civilized ears cannot hear. Sound artists Gustavo Matamoros, David Dunn, and Rene Barge promise: an exploration of an outdoor environment in Miami Beach using specialized audio devices capable of hearing the hidden sounds that occur underwater, inside the ground and surrounding plant life, and above or below the normal human hearing range.
Why are we here?
Review, Alfredo Triff, tumiamiblog
El sonido/ambiente de la instalación de Gustavo Matamoros -a cuatro bocinas-, nos transporta a un Orinoco digital, ecológicamente prehumano, acuoso. El cuarto induce a quitarnos ropa y renunciar el examen empírico.
Keko Bola, kekobola.blogspot.com
La exposición, comisariada por Gustavo Matamoros (compositor experimental y director del ISAW), con la colaboración del también compositor David Dunn, (nombres que muy posiblemente volverán a aparecer en este blog), incluyó una instalación llamada Bass Soundfield Russell Frehling, una sesión de pesca de resonancias de hora y media de duración, que trabaja con las longitudes de onda más altas del espectro audible, extraidas del ambiente.
Klein + Hummel Speakers Are The Invisible Artform
Heather Davis, The Wire, mixonline.com
“Museum spaces are seldom acoustically blessed,” admitted Matamoros, who is a creator of mixed pieces, recorded sound portraits, sound installations, text, video, and radio-phonic works. He has been the director of iSAW since 1989. He continued, “The gallery we were given in Bass has a seven-second reverb time! The usual way people tackle this is to alter the architecture to create isolated rooms. We wanted to curate a show where we didn’t have to do that; one where the pieces could live next to each other without conflict. It’s kind of like when you go to the park and hear children playing and birds singing and dogs barking.”
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
One advantage of going to festivals is the opportunity to get to know what artists are doing in much fuller dimensions than is possible otherwise. The subtropics festival provided ample opportunity to learn about the visiting artists, in panels, the SOUND exhibit at the Bass Museum, informal conversation between events, and of course the concerts themselves. In many cases, I felt like I was beginning to get a sense not only of what they were doing, but of what impelled or even compelled them to do it. As I wrestle with questions and ideas about my own artistic purpose and trajectory, these opportunities are like gold to me. What I found in common among the artists I met was the determination to pursue an idea wherever it leads, however simple or daunting it might seem at the outset.
Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Art Biennial
Events News, Miami Art Guide
Interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop (iSAW) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Art Biennial in 2009. Subtropics 20 will feature works by American pioneers and long time members of isaw’s advisory committee, Alison Knowles, Alvin Lucier, Chris Mann, David Dunn, Jim Staley, Phill Niblock, Russell Frehling, George E. Lewis and Steve Peters. And in typical Subtropics fashion, audiences will experience the participation of equally important artists like Davey Williams, Ikue Mori, Lou Mallozzi and Kabir Carter, and of their Florida based equivalents Rene Barge, David Manson, Paula Matthusen and Gustavo Matamoros, among many others.
Experimental Music in Miami
Necee Regis, Globetrotting, Boston Globe
Produced by iSAW, the weekend will showcase performance-based work by some of the most celebrated proponents of experimental music and sound art in the United States, including Fluxus artists Alison Knowles, Long Tube composer Brenda Hutchinson, Compositional Linguistics minstrel Chris Mann, composer/research scientist David Dunn, sound installation artists Russell Frehling and Steve Peters, improvisational artist Jim Staley, intermedia pioneer composer Phill Niblock, and scholar and director of the Society for Ethnomusicology Steve Stuempfle.
Jennie Gottschalk, Signal-To-Noise Magazine
The SOUND exhibit at the Bass Museum of Art was the centerpiece of the festival, and included work by all of this year’s featured composers. The innermost room included David Dunn’s recorded micro-environments of bark beetles, bats, freshwater invertebrates, and ants—inaudible except when your ear was inches from the speaker. Gustavo Matamoros’ Small Sounds on a Table Top used hyper-soinc sound to create the illusion of tiny objects moving on a table top.
Sound Art Exhibition at The Bass Museum
Manuela Gabaldon, Editorial, Miami Art Guide
It is hard for us to imagine, as members of an incredibly active community of the arts, there was a time when art was a limited institution. Luckily for us, we have the opportunity, in our present day existence and exploration of different means of expression, to experience the innovative concepts of the artists of our time. These visionaries, who have worked hard to reach a place in which their concepts can be shared, take extraordinary risks that more often than never render successful results. This may very well be because Miami art lovers are a remarkable group of individuals – always ready to receive the new with an open mind, our desire for more is uniquely satisfied every so often with the arrival of something different. This month, The Bass Museum of Art presents us with SOUND, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Art Biennial.
Fern Up The Volume – Experimental Sound Studio teams up with Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lauren Weinberg, Art & Design, Chicago Time Out
Palm Date conservatory visitors enjoy Rene Barge and Gustavo Matamoros’s 2008 Florasonic installation, Cardinal Points.
The Stroke That Kills
Jennie Gottschalk, soundexpanse.com
Seth Josel has just released an electric guitar solo CD with New World Records called The Stroke That Kills. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it once I’m back in the US. I’m most interested to hear Alvin Curran’s, Tom Johnson’s, and Gustavo Matamoros’s pieces, and I’m sure there will be something else on the album that grabs me, too. Seth really knows his way around the repertoire. (Take a look at Sheer Pluck, and you’ll see what I mean.)
Wynwood: A retrospective
Anne Tschida, Miami Art Guide
Wendy Wischer, now one of the main artists in David Castillo’s gallery, remembers the “rum drinks out of coconuts” at The Yard@Casa Lin. This tropical garden outside of Lin Loughheed’s Wynwood house has been transformed every December into a quirky, uniquely Miami space, showing local art strewn about the flora and fauna of Lin’s yard. While sipping out of those coconuts, visitors to the garden may have listened to the earth, through headphones attached to subterranean microphones, courtesy of sound-artist Gustavo Matamoros; or played musical chairs with on online champion through a Web Cam, thanks to multi-media artist Mark Koven.
Jorge Barlett. Living Life as Art
Anne Tschida, Editorial News, Miami Art Guide
Sadly, Bartlett / Kendallman stopped smiling sometime before June 28th, and ended his life in a park – in Kendall. But for those who knew him, or just bumped into him over the past two decades, his eclectic presence remains. “His work and performance (could be) a commentary on war,” says sound installation artist Gustavo Matamoros, who remembers Kendallman from encounters on the street and in more private settings. “But he was a man of peace. And he was bold. He didn’t do things in a shy way, he didn’t care what people thought (of his bold persona)… He lived his art, and he embraced his calling. We need more artists like KMAN.”
Música Venezolana de Todos los Tiempos
Yayitta Rainiero, Cita y Folklore, Blogspot.com
Muchos compositores venezolanos han completado su formación académica en el exterior, a través de las becas concedidas por el Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONAC), y por la Fundación Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho, en los Estados Unidos, Alemania, Austria, España, Francia, Holanda, Inglaterra, Italia y Suecia.
Gustavo Matamoros at Art@Work
News, Visual Arts, Miami Art Guide
Gustavo Matamoros is a sound media artist and composer of experimental music living in Miami since 1979. This exhibition, Small Sounds in the Workplace, represents a continuation of his work with sound produced by small objects. In this case, several autonomous sound sources are distributed around the work area, each containing iterations of small sounds, some human-made, others natural. The sounds blend into the work environment in ways similar to what happens in a relatively quiet garden.
Subtropics Fest shines with Merce connection
Review, Lawrence A. Johnson, Classical Music Critic, Miami Herald
Bugallo and Williams also showed their poetic side, with a hypnotic performance of Morton Feldman’s canonic Two Pianos, the measured, widely spaced notes, distilled with the greatest concentration. More astounding even than the Nancarrow Studies was the Sonata for Two Pianos by Salvatore Sciarrino. Though the notes are confined entirely to the top half of the keyboard, the Italian composer makes tortuous demands with lightning alternation between 14 types of specified trills, cluster chords and sweeping glissandi played with the forearm. The women’s digital and physical virtuosity was nothing short of jaw-dropping as they managed to surmount all the technical hurdles and put across a graceful communicative musical performance that stands as one of the most thrilling feats of musical virtuosity heard this year.
Alesh Houdek, Critical Miami
Rene Barge and Gustavo Matamoros’ sound installation at Dorsch. This reminds me of the story where the Velvet Underground wanted to record a 24-hour piece of music, and then have their engineer do custom mixes of it for each listener, based on their personality… But seriously, it’s interesting how easily people seemed to take to the idea that the way sound activates a space is very similar to the way that paintings on a wall do. 24 channels, and you walk around to experience each one, but what you’re really doing is absorbing the whole thing as a continuous experience.
Acoustic Ecology and the Experimental Music Tradition
David Dunn, NewMusicBox
Here is a list of 20 such diverse practitioners just off the top of my head: … Gustavo Matamoros—sound artist and community designer.
La Música en Venezuela Durante el Siglo XX
Prof. Alfredo 447, Educación Musical en Venezuela, Blogspot.com
Por otra parte, Rugeles (2001) hace mención de compositores que se han destacado en el medio artístico venezolano y que por alguna u otra razón no pertenecen a ninguna de las escuelas mencionadas, aunque quizás hayan tenido algún contacto esporádico con ellas, o bien su formación ha sido directamente realizada fuera de Venezuela, en Latinoamérica, en los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica o en Europa. Así, tenemos nombres como Alfredo Del Mónaco (1938), Diógenes Rivas (1942), Juan Carlos Núñez (1947), Gustavo Matamoros (1957), Adina Izarra (1959), Álvaro Cordero (1954), Eduardo Kusnir (1939), Julio D’Escriván (1960), Beatriz Bilbao (1951), Ricardo Lorenz-Abreu (1961), Alonso Toro (1963), Mercedes Otero (1953), Jacky Schreiber (1961), Diana Arismendi (1962), Manuel Sosa, Alfonso Tenreiro (1976), Efraín Amaya, Marianela Machado, Arcángel Castillo (1959) y Diego Silva (1954) entre otros.
John Cage Revisited at Subtropics 19
Abel S., MAG Magazine
March 3rd will be Fluxus Day around Miami Beach with concerts and activities inspired by the works of Fluxus members. Fluxus on the Beach is an event dedicated to the memory of Nam Jun Paik, including performances by Larry Miller, Alison Knowles and Gustavo Matamoros. Other activities for this day include Flux Fair, a free community event inviting audiences to participate in a number of interactive arrangements of classical event scores, to be staged outdoors at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts’ Thompson Plaza. Thumbs up for Subtropics 19!
Merce in Miami, a city-wide arts festival celebrating the legendary choreographer’s work and featuring the local debut of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, gets underway this evening at the Carnival Center with a world premiere
Vivian Schweitzer, Playbill
While Cunningham’s dances are performed throughout the complex, Gustavo Matamoros’s 19th edition of the Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Festival will present music by Cunningham collaborators including John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow and Morton Feldman. One highlight is the performance of an oral history of Cunningham’s artistic and life partner John Cage, which was created in collaboration with Laura Kuhn, director of the John Cage Trust, and will feature stories and anecdotes gathered during the festival.
Interview: Gustavo Matamoros
Ana Maria, Podcast, KadmusArts.com
In this podcast Ana Maria talks with Gustavo Matamoros, artistic director of the Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival, taking place in Miami, Florida from February 23rd through March 4th. This year the festival honors John Cage, in collaboration with the citywide tribute to Merce Cunningham, Merce in Miami. Gustavo and Ana Maria discuss John Cage, the music of bark beetles, and how ever-changing funding scenarios can make for a fresh and vibrant festival.
John Cage Continues to Influence
Zach Layton, rhizome.org
Gustavo Matamoros, curator of the 19th Annual South Miami-based Subtropics Experimental Music & Sound Arts Festival, has assembled a massive and impressive festival and mini-retrospective of Cage’s work in conjunction with Merce in Miami, a two-week celebration of the 50-year collaboration between John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. The festival explores Cage’s enduring influence in the field of dance, his central presence in the ‘New York School’ of experimental music and his involvement in the ‘happenings’ of the Fluxus and Intermedia movements.
Immersed in Merce
Guillermo Perez, Sun-Sentinel
Merce in Miami is a 10-day arts festival centered around five performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The festival opens at 8 p.m. Friday with the world premiere of eyeSpace, a new Cunningham work commissioned by the Carnival Center, at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, paired with 1993’s CRWDSPCR. At 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Ziff, rock band Sigur RM-ss makes its South Florida debut in the Miami premiere of Cunningham’s 2003 dance piece, Split Sides. (Also on the bill is the 1960 work Crises.) On March 1, the dance company performs Ocean, a collaboration by Cunningham and composer John Cage, at the Carnival Center’s Knight Hall. Cage’s work will also be featured at Subtropics 19, the annual experimental music festival being staged this year in conjunction with “Merce in Miami” and hosted by the Carnival Center. Subtropics presents: I, IV, V by 5 — The Music of John Cage, at 9:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the center’s Studio Theater, and will present other performances throughout Merce in Miami.
Edition #29: Justin McDonnell and Gustavo Matamoros
interview, Jill Spalding, Art On Air, Art International Radio
Frank Houston, Miami New Times
The sounds are spectral. They drift into the cavernous courtyard of Vizcaya as though borne aloft by lumbering ghosts. Each note is a product of the South Miami Avenue estate’s 1917 organ, but some sound like deep, rumbling gongs, others like delicate, trilling flutes. Organic Pipes is a sound installation by local artist Gustavo Matamoros, who bears a vague resemblance to a bearded Dennis Hopper, but with a kindly twinkle — instead of a malicious glint — in his eyes.
Miami Nice: Florida In The Frame
Alex James, Indy Life, Independant, UK
Vizcaya has all the usual palatial trimmings, indoor forests and gilt candelabras. The trustees are an intensely nice group of people. They want to share this wonderful place and fill it with interesting things. This event was a rarefied, elegant gathering of couture frocks and dazzling rocks. I’ve never seen a diamond as big as the one the lady next to me was wearing. It was as big as an acorn. Gustavo Matamoros, the artist, was a nice man, but I couldn’t hear a single, as we say in the music industry. He explained how he had spent weeks measuring the resonant frequencies of the space to create his sonic textures. Nobody knew if it was good or not. Except me. God, it was awful. I will definitely go there again next time I’m in town. Bad art is way better than bad television.
Greg Baker, Miami New Times
The project launches tonight at 7:00 with Organ, a sound installation by well-known local noise manipulator Gustavo Matamoros that plays off the place’s architecture via surround sound. The project runs through February 15.
Subtropics pt. 2
Alesh Houdek, Critical Miami
Another evening with Subtropics. Gustavo Matamoros and Gino Robair variously played bowed saw, bowed percussion, bowed styrofoam bowl, prepared piano, beer bottles, and electronics, while Jorge Gonçalves performed the video projection live, using a powerbook with a pen tablet running Photoshop. Absolutely. Fucking. Stunning.
Music News, Miami Art Guide
For this festival performance, their presentation ranges from controlled to free improvisation, exhibiting a variety of contemporary instrumental and vocal techniques. Also, following their experience with Cars & Fish, Charles Recher and Gustavo Matamoros have developed Hypersonic Test: Florida I + II, experimental essays on themes portraying the good, the bad, and the boring of Florida living to further their exploration into the nature of hypersonic technology. This technology uses sound generators that produce audible directional sound beams that exist outside the human hearing range.
Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival
Alesh Houdek, Critical Miami
Subtropics opened tonight. Ordinarily, you’d have received advanced warning, so apologies on that front . This yearly music festival represents the true cutting edge of avant-garde music, and it’s amazing that Miami has been able to support it all these years. (‘Nuff respect to Gustavo Matamoros for keeping this thing going long before the MPAC money started coming in.) Suffice it to say that for anyone interested in sound art, Subtropics should be the highlight of the year.
Falling On Deft Ears
Lyssa Oberkreser, Music, Miami New Times
Eighteen years is a long time for anything — or anyone — to stick around in Miami. Artists come and go; structures are built and torn down; businesses launch and then go bankrupt. But for something as awkward and funky as teenage dramanoid, the Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival has been able to sustain existence and grow stronger every year.
One Dead Groove
Review, The Bitch, Miami New Times
Then intriguing local composer and occasional Bitch brain teaser Gustavo Matamoros took the stage to perform a piece he wrote for the snare drum. Instead of using brushes or drumsticks, Matamoros held the drum’s underside to his mouth every time he used the word right or write or rite or — you get the point. The Venezuelan trilled his r’s with an intensity that vibrated the drum and shook its snares. After a twenty-minute blizzard of rrrrrrrrr’s, The Bitch was exhausted, and stepped outside to chat with Matamoros. “There aren’t many venues that would support this,” he said of Luna Star, adding he’d like to see the city’s bars and cafés embrace more experimental performances.
Strange but True
Octavio Roca, Arts, Miami New Times
Not many events at Art Basel Miami Beach — and possibly just as few exhibitions shown over the course of Art Basel Switzerland’s 36-year history — are as rambunctious as “Cars & Fish” promises to be. The Miami Performing Arts Center’s (MPAC) official opening is still more than a year away, but beginning at dusk December 2, “Cars & Fish” — MPAC’s first large-scale public event — will mark the inauguration of its Plaza for the Arts. This street performance encompasses a commissioned suite of pieces that boasts several art forms, including digital video projections the size of a couple of football fields from Charles Recher, plus hypersonic and interactive musical textures by Gustavo Matamoros that will be emitted from performers that weird science has managed to turn into walking human amplifiers.
Downtown Music and its Misrepresentations
Kyle Gann, Postclassic Art Journal
Meanwhile, the Downtown scene that had started in 1960, when Yoko Ono opened her loft for La Monte Young and Richard Maxfield to give concerts at, survived and continued. The aesthetics of conceptualists like Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, Nam June Paik, Alison Knowles, Yoshi Wada, Dick Higgins, and Phil Corner, and of early minimalists like Young, Terry Jennings, Angus Maclise, Charlemagne Palestine, Phill Niblock, Tom Johnson, Tony Conrad, Jon Gibson, … were inherited by further generations: Meredith Monk, Elodie Lauten, Brenda Hutchinson, Ellen Fullman, Richard Lerman, … Trimpin, Alison Cameron, Gustavo Matamoros, …
Vispo at Durban Sergnini Gallery
Carlos Luis, Foreword, Durban Sergnini Gallery, Miami
Now after 10 years of working side by side with those wonderful creative minds, I have tried to promote them to a more wide audience. The publication of the first volume of “Writing to Be Seen” by Bob Grumman and Craig Hill provided me with the opportunity to prepare an exhibition at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery in 2003, plus a presentation at Books and Books. This was our first inclusion in the Miami art world. Now I have attempted to widen the scope of that exhibition, adding other names and joining forces with the “Subtropics” festival of experimental music, led by the young composer Gustavo Matamoros in order to present other variations of a poetical movement that continues to renew itself through the years.
Sound Device: Making music of mayhem
Lyssa Oberkreser, Miami New Times
Subtropics is celebrating seventeen years of infiltrating alternative sounds into Miami’s music scene. SFCA founder Gustavo Matamoros started the festival after his involvement with the New Music America event in 1988. “I saw the impact it had on the community … and we’re in the business of trying to promote new and experimental music in town,” says Matamoros.
Light and Sound Sensation: Cars and Fish Draws a Crowd
Art Basel Notebook, Front Page, Miami Herald
Clara and Joey Azout and 16-month-old daughter Alexandra take in the light show projected on the walls of the still-under-construction Miami Performing Arts Center during the center’s inaugural performance Friday evening. The one-time-only spectacular was a collaboration of video artist Charles Recher and composer Gustavo Matamoros.
Festivals From Piano Ivory To Baroque Steel
Lawrence A. Johnson, Sun-Sentinel
Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Miami New Times
“Experimental music is an attitude,” Matamoros posits. “It’s the attitude to go beyond and learn more from the evaluation and experience of art. What’s exciting about it is that you’re in front of something that is unbelievable, and you get to connect things that we don’t usually connect.” What Goldstein connects to is the idea that all music, all sound lives inextricably not just in the human psyche, but in the human anatomy as well. In that realm he identifies more closely with folk music than with classical. Where the classical tradition is drawn from a narrow focus on expression, Goldstein explains, folk music is drawn from a penetrating response to the artist’s environment. As a result the musician must take in as much as he gives out. To best illustrate what he means, Goldstein paraphrases Jean Genet, who wrote about Palestinian soldiers improvising songs while in the desert in his book Prisoner of Love. “Genet observed that new music is not something that is invented,” Goldstein says. “But rather it is something that is in people, and all a composer does is to make apparent the external things that are already in people.”
John Anderson, Nouveau Notes, Miami New Times
One man’s noise is another man’s music. And nobody pushes that expression to the limit like the performers at the annual Subtropics Experimental Music Festival. Now in its 16th year, Subtropics has garnered a reputation for exploring the outer musical limits with a combination of local and national new music artists and composers. Opening night of the 5-week fest features electroacoustic artist and Web blogger Kabir Carter and a rumored surprise performance by violinist Malcolm Goldstein and Gustavo Matamoros on the saw.
Edge of Sound: Experimenter redefines music
Javier Andrade, Home Grown, Miami New Times
Experimental musician Gustavo Matamoros is one of the leading tinkerers in a field that is often underrated or plainly overlooked. Still he believes Miami is fertile land for experimental music, and he offers the 15-year-old annual Subtropics Festival, which once featured the legendary John Cage, as proof. “It’s really hard to get recognition,” says Matamoros. “My goal has to be different, and it is. I love to explore music and sound possibilities and, as such, I feel I’m part of a global community that needs me here.” Matamoros’s lecture, titled “Sound and the Alternative Use of Tools,” takes place at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books, 933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Admission is free.
John Anderson, Miami New Times
Then there’s the Subtropics Experimental Music Festival. Taking place throughout the month, it may be the most impressive event of them all in terms of breadth and artistic vigor, as well as the fact that it has survived fifteen years without a raft of fans arriving from all corners of the globe, with headliners few people have ever heard of.
Sounds Like Art
Alfredo Triff, art writer, Miami New Times
SFCA (South Florida Composers Alliance) is one of the most underrated marvels of Miami. For more than a decade, this organization has presented its annual Subtropics Festival — at number fifteen this year. Artists like Sonny Rollins, John Cage, Don Pullen, Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveiros, and other nonconformists, electronica mavericks, and cyber-poets have come — from all over the country — to Miami to perform for the love of sound experimentation. “Sound is and means everything here,” says Gustavo Matamoros, the festival’s director. “It is a record of human activity and it means history. As long as there are ears, there is sound, but many people don’t understand it.” A well-known local composer and performer, Matamoros speaks with the knowledge of having dedicated half his life to the study of sound.
‘The Balseros Project’ Not Propaganda But Art
Tim Smith, Music Writer, Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale
Gustavo Matamoros, director of the South Florida Composers Alliance and co-producer of The Balseros Project, likes the nonpolitical slant. “How the Cuban community will react remains to be seen, but I think the opera should be beyond taking sides,” he says. “And people should not expect a score full of Latin folk tunes. That would make it like any other piece; it wouldn’t have any impact.” Matamoros, who suggested Ashley for the project, knows that some may criticize the choice of an Anglo composer. “This should be the kind of piece that will be relevant to the world,” he says. “Someone too involved with the subject would end up with an opera that only Cubans could understand. Robert Ashley is a composer who can take this project beyond Miami. There already is talk of touring it in Europe.”