Subtropics Experimental Sound Arts Festival
Feb. 24 – Mar. 5

Subtropics 17 Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival launches its ten-day festival on Thursday, February 24, with a performance by the West Coast new music group E.A.R. Unit.

E.A.R. Unit combines acoustic and computer-generated sounds with video components. Consisting of winds, strings, percussion, piano and computer, E.A.R. Unit performs eclectic selections, ranging from austere minimalist works to lighter, more humorous pieces, and others with political content.

E.A.R. Unit will perform a series of works, including Amy Knoles’ autobiographical music/video work, “Squint,” exploring the phenomenon of squinting your eyes while stuck in traffic in order to alter your environment, while absorbing the ensuing audio collage of myriad car radios. Yes, really.

Highlights: Festival Schedule

February 24, 2005 [7pm-9pm] Opening Reception
“Sounds in Space: Works from the Diapason Archive”
Twelve unique sound works, scheduled by a computer to play installations at random intervals. “Sounds in Space” features the work of Tom Hamilton, Doug Henderson, Leif Inge, Tetsu Inoue, Stephen Vitiello and Amnon Wolman.

Tom Hamilton’s “London Fix,” a sound installation featuring music that changes with the price of gold, is featured on opening night, with special performances by street theater troupe “Urban Disturbance.”

Friday, February 25, 2005 [9pm]
Makihara/Meneses: Electro-Acoustic Percussion Duo
Makihara/Meneses is the duo project of percussionist Toshi Makihara and marimbist Jim Meneses. Makihara/Meneses present dynamic and original electro-acoustic percussion soundscapes, using a variety of conventional and home-made percussion instruments, discovered and invented sound media and digital sampling systems.

February 26, 2005 [7pm]
“Mathematics of Resonant Bodies”
From his home in Alaska, John Luther Adams has created a unique musical world, reflecting the “choirs of inner voices” in natural noises. His music is grounded in wilderness landscapes and indigenous cultures, and in natural phenomena from the songs of birds to elemental noise. His music includes works for orchestra, small ensembles, percussion and electronic media.

Saturday, February 26, 2005 [9pm]
jamJam Strawberry
Featuring Sony Mao, Sawako Kato, Dino Felipe and Otto Von Schirach
Web-based band, jamJam Strawberry a.k.a. The Strawberries, is an online, computer band which improvises, layer by layer, from server to server, on the world wide web.

The first notes were 'sounded' with an .aiff file placed in the "sonymao" drop box on the Microsound list's hotline-client server, intercepted by Sawako Kato in Tokyo, passed back to Miami’s Sony Mao, then to the "sonny browsers" uploads folder on a kdx-client server, picked up by Øivind Idsø in Oslo, Norway, and then swiftly routed back to Sony Mao.

For their in-the-flesh world premiere, the Strawberries are Sawako, a.k.a. Tokyo Digital Mutation Girl, and Beta Bodega Coalition's agent of chaos, Sony Mao. They are supported by solo performances from Miami's prince of computer cabaret, Dino Felipe, and, fresh from a North American tour with industrial band Skinny Puppy, Otto Von Schirach.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 [7pm]
“Body Over Water”
Body Over Water is a new work by Maria Jose Arjona inspired by the passage of time. “When I think about water, generally, I think of life. Life as a fluid element that changes in stages generating a rhythm and multiplying itself endlessly over time,” says Arjona, who has been working in performance and installation since 1997. Arjona has participated in solo and group shows in Bogota, Miami, and New York City.

Thursday, March 3, 2005 [7-11pm]
Digital media artist Matt Roberts, a member of DeLand’s duo DropBox,
has taken a day job – driving a taxi. Sort of.

Roberts offers no ordinary cab ride.Customers create their own unique multi-media works by directing Roberts to their destination of choice. As the taxi travels, the passenger experiences a real-time manipulation of live video and audio.

Utilizing GPS technology coupled with custom real-time audio/visual manipulation software, Roberts enhances the mundane experience of a cab ride by marrying its own locomotion with the passing visual environment. Pick ups in and around South Beach.

Thursday, March 3, 2005 [7pm]
“Shared Frequencies”
“Shared Frequencies” is a mobile electro-acoustic studio producing a fluctuating changing sound installation culled from acoustic transmissions and environmental sounds, modulated by sound artist Kabir Carter.

Carter's work zeroes in on the confluence of speech, urban environmental noise, acoustic feedback, analog sound synthesis, transmissive acoustics, specialized microphone technologies, tone sequences, and other sound events germane to General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Family Radio Service. His compositions, live performances, and sound installations have been presented at PS122 and d.u.m.b.o. arts center.

Thursday, March 3, 2005 [9pm]
Subtropics Videos: Selections from the Festival for Art on Film
A varied program of video works by national and international artists. Kristen Baumliér’s “Antenna” is a three-minute work investigating the nature of communication technology.

Francesca N. Penzani’s “Donne, Citta' ed in Vestito Nero/Women, Cities and a Black Dress” is a trilogy of short dance videos performed by three women in three different cities wearing the same dress.

Regis Ferguson Collective from Minneapolis presents “Gesture Lesson,” which knits together disembodied gestures, digital sound and algorithmic imaging.

“Texture Mapping II” by Claudia Esslinger exposes the interaction of organisms and industry reliant on water and the ensuing ecological dangers.

Friday, March 4, 2005 [9pm]
“Sound Mess and Other Poems”
The Be Blank Consort performs “Sound Mess and Other Poems.” The works in “Sound Mess” convert the raw material of spoken signs and messages to produce a cacophony which is a new language, with its own rhythms, structures, and signifiers.

The simultaneity of texts and meanings produces a three-dimensionality of language which is ordinarily absent in writing and speaking. The members of Be Blank subvert the linearity of conventional language and offer an experience more akin to music.

Saturday, March 5, 2005 [711 pm]
Closing Concert: Subtropics Marathon
The Subtropics Marathon unites artists and sound practitioners from various disciplines. The Marathon has been a catalyst and springboard for collaborations that are subsequently recorded and produced beyond the Festival.

This year’s Marathon features the work of Rene Barge (Miami), Kabir Carter (New York), Charles Recher (Miami), Guillermo Gregorio (Argentina), John Vanderslice (Miami), Absolute Zero (Miami) and Gustavo Matamoros (Miami).

Find it: Dorsch Gallery
151 NW 24th St.
Miami, FL
Get info: (305) 981-0600

Find additional music-related content, in the FEB/MAR 2005 issue of "Arte Six."