Without a lot of fanfare but before an immensely appreciative crowd, the most exciting orchestra in town was born last weekend at the Byron Carlyle Theater in Miami Beach. Livio Tragtenberg's Nervous City Orchestra, an only-in-Miami version of the Brazilian composer's 2004 Neuropolis, was a premiere, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of producer Tigertail Productions, and a chance for local audiences to feel the thrill of world music's front lines. Tragtenberg's inspired rainbow of sound (provided by twelve superb Miami musicians of varied backgrounds), his forced marriage of world beat and Miami heat, and his adventuresome musical spirit will linger long after his saxophone's last cry.
Tigertail Productions continues its
Brazilian minifestival Friday and
Saturday night with Cristina
Moura's new urban dance piece
Like an Idiot 305-545-8546;
The Byron Carlyle Theater, 500
71st St, Miami Beach;
Here's what happened: On the heels of a lonely phrase from an Argentine bandoneon came the low rumbling of an Australian didjeridoo, their curtain of sound parting to reveal a gentle conversation between flute and violin. A sort of Brazilian neo-samba beat emerged -- and returned again and again -- only to be overtaken by a Cuban son montuno or by laughing peels of Bahamian steel drums. Tragtenberg's Apple laptop added myriad samplings. There was a minimalist insistence to the whole affair, an audible sense of process that kept the score just this side of chaos: short melodic figures with daringly little harmonic development, repeatedly punctuated by found melodies, including a giddy final fantasy on "Matilda." Benton-C Bainbridge's live video projections, needing a taller stage to make an impression, kept the background bouncing.