Gustavo Matamoros Talks Subtropics XXI Experimental Biennal of Music and Sound Art

Shut your trap and just listen for once. Have you ever heard the sound of your own blood cells moving through your body? Gustavo Matamoros has, and now you can too.

Here's how, "Go somewhere quiet and put your index fingers in your earholes. You'll hear two sounds. One is high and sustained, the other is low, and pumping, sort of pulsing. That's the sound of your blood in circulation, and your nervous system in operation."

Yes, that is some crazy shit, and you can hear a lot more mind blowing soundage at this year's 21st annual Subtropics Experimental Biennal of Music and Sound Art. We spoke to festival organizer, and Miami's most prolific promoter of sound art Gustavo Matamoros about this year's festival. Here's what he had to say.

NewTimes: What kind of crazy shit are people gonna get to hear this year?

Gustavo Matamoros: It's not crazy. It's sane, and it's a beautiful thing.

WMC is going on at the same time as Subtropics. Is there any relationship between the two?

A lot of what they do in WMC comes from the experimental music of the 1940' and 50's, and the composers that we work in the tradition of like John Cage, and David Tudor. There wouldn't be one without the other

Why do you think sound art is sort of shunted to the side by most people?

Sound for sound's sake is too weird for most people, but it shouldn't be. It's good for your brain, your body, and your soul. It makes you a whole person. Where do you think the expression "to have a sound mind" comes from?

Your group Frozen Music (Matamoros and Rene Barge from the band Cavity) are performing right, what's that like?

We don't improvise in the traditional sense. We come into a situation with the intent to activate the space sonically and explore the environment and architecture. All of it combines and forms an interaction, where nobody knows what the other person is going to do, but everything comes together.

Would you say there's a scene for sound art in Miami now?

Well, this year it's really a community festival, where in the past it was people from outside Miami coming in. We have FLEA, the FIU Laptop Ensemble, The Wolfsonian, Harold Golen Gallery, Dorsch Gallery, the Inkub8 space all working together.

What else is happening this year?

Well we are just a few thousand dollars away from matching our grant from the Knight Foundation and that's going to allow us to create our Listening Gallery on Lincoln Road, where 14 million ears a year will be exposed to sound art.

Find out about all the events of the Subtropics Music Festival, 99% of which are free, by clicking here for the festival website.

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Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel