Throughout his career Brazilian-born saxophonist and composer Livio Tragtenberg has innovated in the field of electronic music under the influence of John Cage and in the concrete and visual poetry movement of his native land.
In Tragtenberg's latest work, he partners with real-time video artist Benton C. Bainbridge (who has done visual work for the Beastie Boys, among others) for Nervous City Orchestra, which premiered in São Paulo this past October with the participation of several local professional street musicians. For the work's U.S. debut, Tragtenberg conducts a group of twelve acoustic musicians from Haitian, Peruvian, Cuban, and other backgrounds. They will accompany Bainbridge's video with sampling, layering, and acoustic sounds. "The only traditional part of this orchestra," promises Tragtenberg in a press statement, "is the tuxedo that the musicians wear onstage."