Nightclub Jitters

And you thought Harry Pussy couldn't get booked on Miami Beach. Ha! The majordomos of the local noise band scene have agreed to play a gig on Thursday, November 16, at Black Box, the multimedia performance space that opened last weekend in the South Florida Art Center's Ground Level gallery on Lincoln Road. Or, if you prefer the arcane idiom of artspeak, Black Box functions as "a conceptual intervention by Steve Bollman/Gene Ray/Alfredo Triff." That last mouthful, incidentally, was cribbed from Black Box's November calendar of events, an everywhere-at-once array of music, visual art, film and video, poetry, theater, lectures, and whatnot, all presented free in an intimate environment.

Alfredo Triff, an MDCC humanities professor, contemporary composer, and, it would appear, conceptual interventionist, avers, "What you will hear here is post-minimalist twentieth-century music, some neo-romanticism. You know, what's going on today."

Accordingly, earlier this week Black Box presented the U.S. premiere of Peruvian singer Susana Baca, whose quietly haunting and beautiful song "Maria Lando" opens the remarkable compilation album The Soul of Black Peru, released this past spring. Tonight, Thursday, November 9, UM professor of composition John Van der Slice hosts a program entitled "Music for the End of the Century," which will include a lecture and performance of up-to-the-nanosecond new music. Later this month, Thomas Sleeper, conductor of the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra, presents "Symbiosis/Synthesis," wherein he'll pit solo instruments in a cage match with electronic music; plus Miami composer Gustavo Matamoros will hatch something called "Regarding Disobedience: Songs of Order and Disorder," a program in which he'll play his own music, as well as that of John Cage, Armando Rodriguez, and Julio Roloff.

Hold on! Here comes Harry Pussy, clambering aboard the highbrow soul train. "Harry Pussy fits into all this because their sound is explored," explains Triff. "It's distinctive. It's risky. The sound is saying, 'Get out of the gallery!'" he adds, with an enormo laugh. "The sound is saying, 'Go!'"

While Triff readily admits he wants to expose Miamians to "experimental" music at Black Box, he also understands the importance of making an occasional reality-check pit stop. "The effort here will be contemporary and avant-garde, but at the same time cool," he notes. "It's not this attitude of `this is the best,' but rather an attitude of 'check it out and find out.'"

Black Box is located at 1035 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. For a full schedule of events at the space, call 674-8278.