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Early on in the Argentinean film “El Último Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. theatrical debut this week, a deceptively quaint and humorous scene takes place between the film’s protagonist, 88-year-old Abraham Bursztein and his young granddaughter. The little girl refuses to join in a family photo with Abraham surrounded by his many grandchildren. When he cajoles and insists, t..

Gone are the days when filmmakers needed huge budgets, and major movie studios backing them with big bucks to get their films seen, according to two producers who spent decades in Los Angeles, and have now moved their base to Miami Beach. "From a creative standpoint, there are amazing opportunities for filmmakers today," says producer Kevin Chinoy, who, along with producing partner Frances..

Mark St. Germain has achieved ongoing success with small-cast plays involving historical figures in fictional scenarios, and South Florida has been as welcoming to his work as the rest of the country. St. Germain’s “Camping With Henry and Tom,” about a 1920s camping trip involving Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding, was produced in 1996 by New Theatre in Coral Gables..

Mexico City-based theater collective Teatro Ojo's works are constantly evolving. Nothing is ever really finished. That's because they take from every performance. Whatever the audience experiences, observes, feels, and offers feedback, which they highly encourage, all is used, considered, and included in the evolution of the same piece, or introduced into another new work. Two of the ..

“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..

“Once” has always been touched with magic. And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. When Irish director-screenwriter John Carney first told the tale of a heartbroken Irish street musician and the spunky Czech pianist who reignites his passion, a 200..

Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..

Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” began its Off-Broadway run a year ago, closing just six weeks before the now 33-year-old playwright won the Tony Award for writing the book of the acclaimed musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cut to February 2018, and South Florida already has its own exquisite production of “If I Forget,” thanks to GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler. Levenson’s fun..

In a career that continues to soar two decades after his first play was produced, Michael McKeever has premiered his dramas, comedies and short plays at theaters all over South Florida. Nearly always, he’s involved in those productions as the author, sometimes as an actor, at times as a set designer. The plays get their start here, then go on to productions (sometimes multiple product..

When M. John Richard decided to leave the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in late 2008 to become president and chief executive officer of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, he arrived in South Florida with a vision, myriad ideas and a long-term exit strategy. “I knew in 2008 that I had a 10-year run in my tank,” says Richard, 65, who plans to retire from his Arsh..

For many choreographers, a new project is an opportunity to dig into fresh ideas. But for local choreographer Pioneer Winter, his latest work “Reprise” returns to the same terrain he has been..

There are few shortcuts for anyone hoping to make it in ballet, but for black dancers that road has always been particularly arduous. A lack of access to training, scant rewards, and cultura..

For sheer pageantry, there are few dance companies that can rival the Ballet Nacional de España. In its 40th season, with 40 dancers and 11 musicians, Spain’s effusive, no-holds-barred love l..

When the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater returns to town this week, Miami native son Jamar Roberts will take center stage. As one of the company’s star dancers, he has long shined as a performer. B..

He says his dance comes from his dreams. French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi’s most recent work, “What the Day Owes the Night” combines Sufi rhythms with cutting edge b-boy moves, class..

A world premiere always comes with a drum roll. And, throughout the years, Miami City Ballet has brought to light its fair share of resounding new works. Still, Brian Brooks’ freshly-minted O..

Wednesday night at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall the South Florida Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance company presented “Appalachian Spring Suite” and “The R..

Cooking may be Dan Froot’s favorite thing. This is saying a lot since Froot is also a composer, a dancer, a sax-player, a play-wright, an oral-historian -- an all-around performance artist an..

With the closing of Tigertail Productions last year, Miami lost one of its preeminent artistic champions. Under the direction of founder Mary Luft, Tigertail brought an endless parade of boundary-..

Project 305: New World Symphony Crowd-Sources a Miami Symphony

Photo: Tod Machover
Written by: Sean Erwin
Article Rating

Sun-drenched it is, but Miami is sound-drenched as well. Parrots screech complaints from the Grove’s canopy of palms. I-95 is a perpetual sound lab of squeaking brakes, tires rubbing asphalt and the pulse of horns. On Coral Way, abuelaschat in melodic Spanglish about nietos as 747s rumble overhead.

Tod Machover – composer and Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media at the M.I.T. Media Lab – hears music in Miami’s noise and believes its soundscapes are ready to be sampled. With filmmaker David Kane, and representatives from New World Symphony and the Knight Foundation, Machover unveiled Project 305 at the New World Center on Miami Beach to a packed room of reporters, teachers, administrators and artists clutching coffees on an early Monday morning last December.

Looking the part of composer-technologist in black t-shirt, jacket and pants, Machover described Project 305 as a “crowd-sourced city symphony.” For 100 days from January 31to May 12, Miamians will be encouraged to record and submit on smartphone apps short audio files capturing the city’s sounds and images.

Then a team that includes Machover, composer Ted Hearne, Kane, and New World Symphony Artistic Director and co-founder Michael Tilson Thomas, will sift through the submissions. The goal is to gel them into a distinctively Miami symphony.

Similar projects by Machover in Lucerne, Switzerland; Toronto; Edinburgh; and Perth, Australia derived inspiration from cow bells on the sides of Alpine mountains, conductor’s whistles, footsteps on a bridge, ice cubes clinking in glasses, a butcher wielding a cleaver, the clink and hiss of an electric plant. Machover’s Symphony in D, described as “a cacophonous love letter to Detroit,” used over 15,000 sound bites.

Contributions from young people have a prominent role in the project. Machover highlighted the Media Lab’s Hyperscore software that makes music composition accessible to children. Using Hyperscore, students generate music not by writing notes on a staff but by drawing sounds using shapes and colors. He encouraged local schools to access the program, and added there are plans for making that software freely available to educational organizations during the project.

The time frame is compact -- the final work will premiere Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the New World Center, with subsequent viewings taking place at partner venues in communities throughout Miami-Dade County.

Machover’s hope is that Project 305 will shape for Miami, as it has in other cities, a fresh, radical “musical ecology with new connections and new creative centers for Miami-based artists, musicians and writers.”

After the presentation, that ecology showed signs of life as many of the attendees networked, exchanging ideas. Ryon Coote, philanthropy director for McLamore Children’s Center, saw Project 305 as “the opportunity to get some exposure for our demographic” and was particularly interested in the compositional software for children.

Miami will be the first city to accompany its symphony with video and photographs. Ronald Baez, artistic director at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, heard in Machover’s presentation an opportunity for local film-makers to make use of the center’s equipment to generate contributions.

Submissions can be made from January 31 to May 12 by sending sound and video clips using the iPhone or Android app,

For questions or information, contact Stephanie Torok at, or call 305.428.6722.

New World will hold three public launch day events Jan. 31 throughout the city where the community is invited to come out and learn more about the project and how to start submitting their audio/visuals! Details below:

8:00 - 9:30 am, Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, 6101 NW 7th Avenue, Miami.

3:30 - 5:00 pm, Koubek Center in Little Havana, 2705 SW 3rd Street, Miami; Parking - $3

7:00 - 8:30 pm, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 Southwest 211 St., Cutler Bay.


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About The writer

Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.

Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.

He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.

Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see


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