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Project 305 Aims to Create a "Portrait of Miami" With Locals' Recordings

The Frank Gehry-designed New World Center in Miami Beach.
The Frank Gehry-designed New World Center in Miami Beach.
Photo courtesy of the New World Symphony
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What does Miami sound like to you? How do you see your city? These are the questions the New World Symphony is asking locals as part of its latest endeavor Project 305.

Over the course of 100 days (January 31 through May 12), the New World Symphony is asking Miamians to share their impressions of the city they call home by submitting audio and video clips via the Project 305 App or project305.org. These personal entries will then be combined to create an orchestral work as well as a partner video that will illustrate a portrait of the Magic City as seen through the unique lens of its residents.

The project is a joint effort among Miamians, the New World Symphony, MIT Media Lab, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Composer Ted Hearne, filmmaker Jonathan David Kane, and MIT composer, inventor, and educator Tod Machover will work with the New World Symphony’s artistic director and cofounder, Michael Tilson Thomas, on this multifaceted project.

Jonathan David Kane is a Miami-born-and-bred filmmaker who says he got excited about this endeavor because, as a first-generation Miamian, he’s fascinated with exploring the city’s identity. “We’re a really young city, and we’re a city of immigrants. Understanding how we all identify and why we feel at home here was interesting to me,” Kane says.

He has made many ethnographical documentaries over the course of his career and also works with Borscht Corp., a local nonprofit with the goal of redefining cinema in Miami. Although the submissions are welcome until May 12 and the orchestral work and film will premiere in the fall, Kane is already impressed by the highly personal nature of many of the entries. He hopes this collaboration allows the city’s inhabitants to learn more about one another by sharing their individual stories. He wants his film, which will run about 20 to 30 minutes, to highlight the similarities that unite Miamians as a people while also bringing out what makes them unique.

Kane says now is an especially interesting time to create this film because Miami has changed so much over the past 20 years and the city faces so many unknowns because of political and environmental factors. “This could create a portrait of our city at this point in time, and I’m really happy to be part of it.”

The resulting audio and video work will be premiered by the New World Symphony October 21 at the New World Center, with additional viewings taking place at partner venues throughout Miami-Dade County.

Follow Valeria Nekhim Lease on Twitter and Instagram.

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