Sound Art Exhibition at The Bass Museum

By Manuela Gabaldon

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.

Curated by interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop (iSAW) artistic director, Gustavo Matamoros, in collaboration with composer David Dunn, this exhibition of the art of sound will be one of the most complete exhibitions of its kind.

SOUND, composed of sculptural works, sound installations, and site-specific and interactive pieces, is a computer controlled exhibition. The pieces within the exhibition will be placed together in one room and, “will be orchestrated as a group ensemble, allowing different combinations of unique pieces to be experienced at times as solos, duets, trios, quartets, and also as a full ensemble.”

This unique genre, that uses the Subtropics Music Festival as its main conduit, is intended for audiences of all ages introducing itself as a new and important part of the arts. SOUND will also present a combination of media installations and performance related pieces such as Alvin Lucier’s Music for Pure Waves, Bass Drums and Acoustic Pendulums, a work in which ping pong balls bounce simultaneously off of bass drum skins energized by low-frequency waves, and Tom Hamilton’s London Fix, which applies a unique compositional system to convert fluctuations in spot gold price charts into streams of pitched electronic sound mirroring the ebb and flow of the market. Also in the exhibit, Small Sounds on a Table Top by Matamoros, himself.  This is a wonderfully complex production that promises to deliver an inventive, interactive, and revitalizing experience to its public.

SOUND will be on exhibit at the Gertrude Silverstone Muss Gallery at the Bass Museum of Art from February 27th through March 29th, 2009. It is meant for a general audience of all ages, specifically for students. Sonorama, a Family Day is schedule for Saturday, Mach 28th, 2009, and will include performances, activities, demonstrations and interactions within the exhibition.

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