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Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

Those who attend film festivals aren't looking for the mainstream, Cineplex offerings. That isn't the goal. Amid the indie films, the foreign entries, documentaries, and the world premieres, there's another reason to canvass the program for something you might not see anywhere else. Given the Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university..

{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

First things first. Actor-playwright Elena María García does explain the meaning of “¡FUÁCATA!” somewhere deep into the 90-minute running time of Zoetic Stage’s “García Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe.” The familiar Cuban term, she confides from her perch on Michael McKeever’s Mondrian-evocative set, suggests the sound of a slap. As in, “¡Fuácata! You really stepped in i..

Sales of George Orwell’s chilling dystopian novel “1984” have soared during the early days of the Trump administration, the headlines pouring out of Washington having repositioned a 1949 literary classic as a 21st century cautionary tale. The late Czech president and playwright Václav Havel brought his deeply observed, hard-earned perspective on life under totalitarianism to the stage..

“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..

Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..

Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..

Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..

Miami choreographer Augusto Soledade has been a fixture in the local dance world since he arrived here in 2004. His cast has shifted over the years and he continues to challenge himself artis..

In one duet, two dancers use their bodies as counterweights, springing forth from each other’s bodies with explosive power. In another, dancers form a sharp line before torsos undulate and fa..

Teacher, choreographer and activist Dale Andree is known for her ability to merge activism with dance. Andree founded and directs National Water Dance, a site-specific project that joins danc..

In 2016, Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance company crossed their 25-year mark. To celebrate, the company returns to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with a 25th anniversary..

From singers like Joan Baez to poets like Maya Angelou to anonymous knitters of pink pussy hats, creative women have played an essential role in this country as agitators and activists. Likew..

When Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) takes the stage this weekend, it will present a program rich in the cultural milieu of Miami. Co-founders Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra i..

It is an awe-inspiring experience to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers perform. They are well trained dancers, athletes and artists. Not often known is that some of the dance..

Back for an 8th season in Miami, the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater packs the house every year. With Liberty City hometown hero Robert Battle in his fifth year, we have many rea..

Awash in sunlight, around 50 women stand in a circle on the rooftop performance space of Casa Gaia in Old Havana, Cuba, as part of a belly-dance festival. Biodanza facilitator Karen Rodríguez..

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, project305.org.

For questions or information, contact Stephanie Torok at Project305@nws.edu, 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 erwinsean.com.

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About the Writer

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