Miamians invited to submit sights and sounds from the city and help create an audio/visual symphony of Miami – Knight Foundation

Miamians invited to submit sights and sounds from the city and help create an audio/visual symphony of Miami

Composer Ted Hearne and filmmaker Jonathan David Kane to lead creative team for the audio/visual symphony of Miami   

MIT Media Lab’s Tod Machover to work with Miami community on “Project 305,” a large-scale community effort funded by Knight Foundation

MIAMI, FL –  What does Miami sound like? Look like? What sounds and sights represent home? This January, Miami residents will be invited to share their impressions of and emotions for Miami by submitting audio and video clips to the New World Symphony, as part of Project 305. Those submissions will be used to compose an orchestral work and partner video reflective of the city as seen through the eyes of its people. In capturing the visuals and sounds of Miami, residents will be asked to draw from their own personal experiences of living in the city, submitting creations of their own.

The collaborative project — a partnership between the New World Symphony, MIT Media Lab and the John S. and James L.  Knight Foundation — will invite all of Miami’s communities and cultures to work alongside composer Ted Hearne, filmmaker Jonathan David Kane, and MIT composer, inventor and educator Tod Machover through community events, workshops and gatherings for 100 days, from Jan. 31 to May 12, 2017. Hearne and Kane will work with New World’s Artistic Director and Co-founder Michael Tilson Thomas, who will be responsible for the overall artistic direction of the work.

The resulting audio and video work will be premiered on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at the New World Center, with subsequent presentations in communities and neighborhoods throughout Miami. The premiere performance at the New World Center will be a WALLCAST™ concert.

            Submissions can be made from Jan. 31 – May 12. Contributions for the final work can be made by:

  • Submitting sound and video clips using the iPhone or Android app Project 305, designed by MIT Media Lab, or on the project website
  • Hyperscore workshops: The Media Lab’s Hyperscore composition software will be used in schools and other educational settings, and at the New World Center, to encourage the public to create compositions that might be part of the final symphony.
  • Web-based online applications: Media Lab apps such as Constellation, Cauldron, Repertoire Remix and others allow users to explore and influence different aspects/sections of the symphony during the creation process by shaping music created by the composer or other collaborators/members of the public., the project website, will include tutorials and a toolkit for those who would like to explore specific themes and/or organize outings and workshops to capture and produce sound and video submissions for the project. 

“This project allows residents to participate in a creative experience using the tools they carry with them every day — their phones and mobile devices,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “Living in Miami is always a sensory experience. We’re excited to discover which sounds and sites participants are moved to record.”

The New World Symphony will host an introductory ambassadors event at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, at the New World Center in Miami Beach for those who would like to learn more about the project and meet with project organizers. For information or to RSVP to the event, which will include breakfast and beverages, contact Stephanie Torok at 305-428-6722, or via email at [email protected].

Additional project details, along with a call for submissions, will be announced in late January 2017. 

The project is modeled after the collaborative City Symphonies created throughout the world by innovative and influential composer Tod Machover. With a vision for blending technology, music and culture, and for boldly building community, Machover has produced these works in cities as diverse as Lucerne and Perth, and was brought to Detroit and the United States by Knight Foundation. New World Symphony is now partnering with Knight Foundation, Machover and the MIT Media Lab — at which Machover is a co-founding professor — to bring a video component to the crowdsourced symphony concept. Sight represents a significant way to experience the world, and the inclusion of sourced video will help to convey and represent the rich cultural and natural diversity of Miami.

Composer, singer and bandleader Ted Hearne (b.1982, Chicago) draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music’s full terrain, to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works. The New York Times has praised Hearne for his “tough edge and wildness of spirit,” and “topical, politically sharp-edged works.” Pitchfork called Hearne’s work “some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory — from any genre.” Hearne’s newest theatrical work, The Source, sets text from the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, along with words by Chelsea Manning (the U.S. Army private who leaked those classified documents to WikiLeaks), and was premiered to rave reviews last October at the BAM Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn. The New York Times called The Source “a 21st Century masterpiece,” and included it on its list of the best classical vocal performances of 2014 and best albums of 2015, noting that the work “offers a fresh model of how opera and musical theater can tackle contemporary issues: not with documentary realism, but with ambiguity, obliquity, and even sheer confusion.” Upcoming performances of The Source will be seen at LA Opera in October 2016, and San Francisco Opera in February – March 2017.

Jonathan David Kane (b.1984, Miami) combines light and sound to convey narratives. Over the past decade, he has contributed to numerous fiction, documentary, and experimental short and feature films, series content for television and the web, and interdisciplinary performance art. Kane’s work as a film director, producer, and cinematographer has screened at festivals and museums worldwide including Sundance, SXSW, Toronto International, Rotterdam, Sheffield Doc Fest, Clermont-Ferrand, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, the MoMA in New York, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Tod Machover (b. 1953 in New York) has been called a “musical visionary” by The New York Times and “America’s most wired composer” by the Los Angeles Times. He is Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music & Media at the MIT Media Lab, where he also directs the Opera of the Future group. Machover is widely recognized as one of the world’s most significant and innovative composers, and is also celebrated for inventing new technology for music, including Hyperinstruments that expand expressivity and creativity for both virtuosi and amateurs, and video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which grew out of this Lab. Tod Machover’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles and soloists, and his work has been awarded numerous prizes and honors worldwide, including a “Chevalier of Arts  and Letters” from the French government , the inaugural Arts Advocacy Award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the award for “2016 Composer of the Year” by Musical America. He is particularly known for his groundbreaking operas, including the “robotic” Death and the Powers that was Finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s belief in inclusive and participatory communities has driven inventive and creative programs in Miami and other Knight cities.  Through previous partnerships with the New World Symphony, Knight Foundation has been instrumental in the development of innovative programming such as WALLCAST concerts, Pulse: Late Night at the New World Symphony, the annual Network Performing Arts Production Workshops (NPAPW) and video commissions and presentations at the New World Center.

Actively promoting a unique, antidisciplinary culture, the MIT Media Lab goes beyond known boundaries and disciplines, encouraging the most unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas. It creates disruptive technologies that happen at the edges, pioneering such areas as wearable computing, tangible interfaces, and affective computing. Today, faculty members, research staff and students at the Lab work in 25 research groups on more than 350 projects that aim to radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play. In this spirit, future-obsessed roboticists, nanotechnologists, biologists, neuroscientists, data-visualization experts, industry researchers, pioneers of computer interfaces and artist-designer activists work side by side to tirelessly invent — and reinvent — how humans experience, and can be aided by, technology, and to make sure that developments are deployed throughout the world for maximum benefit to individuals and societies.

Additional information about the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, is available at