The 2021 Milestone Edition
Florida | New York

SEP 16 | Soundscape Park, Miami Beach — SEP 17, 18, 19 | Deering Estate, Palmetto Bay

in partnership with
Deering Estate, Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County and New World Symphony
with additional support from The Blank Family Foundation

admission is free and limited with online reservations
for reservations, an Eventbrite link will be posted and advertised here soon
donations are accepted on this website and are very much welcomed

Reservation links go live: FRIDAY SEP 10, 2021 in theSubtropics 25 SCHEDULE & RESERVATIONS menu

Updated Miami-Dade County COVID policy: Masks are again required at all indoor County facilities for employees and for visitors, in keeping with new CDC guidance that even vaccinated people should wear masks in certain settings to maximize protection from the Delta variant. Masks continue to be required on transit and at the airport under federal regulation. We also urge our residents to wear masks around large crowds of people and around those who you do not know to be vaccinated. For more information, please visit the website. You can also review the latest COVID-19 updates before visiting the Deering Estate.

Subtropics XXV poster
Image from an original Subtropics print
created in Miami by Alison Knowles and Jessica Higgins
( click on their names to read more about credits associated with this image )

Since May 1989, Subtropics has built an international reputation among artists and audiences as one of the most creative, consistent and best produced festivals of experimental music and sound art. To celebrate its 25th edition in 2021, artistic director Gustavo Matamoros has curated one of the most extraordinary retrospectives of Experimental Music, Sound Art and Improvisation to occur in Miami since New Music America/Miami in 1988

Subtropics 25 will offer an unusual opportunity to experience events featuring performances, screenings, readings, digital media and multichannel works by pioneering and leading proponents of sound-centered art, experimental music, sound poetry, performance, radio and new media art rarely ever showcased together in the same physical place

Subtropics 25 will open Thursday, September 16th at Soundscape Park in Miami Beach with the four-hour-long premiere of Sound Paintings by Frozen Music — a 120 channel sound film adaptation based on an original digital media piece by FM’s David Dunn. The Festival will continue Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the theater at The Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay for the most exciting three-day festival marathon event to date

Co-hosted by The Deering Estate, our 2021 festival menu offers live performances and fixed media presentations of works by internationally recognized artists including: MacArthur fellows and Subtropics advisors George E. Lewis and Trimpin; Guggenheim fellows Jin-Hi Kim and Pat Oleszko; Alpert Award winner David Dunn; MoMA’s first Poet Laureate Kenny Goldsmith; renowned pianist and Cage expert Margaret Leng Tan; sound artist Russell Frehling; noted improvisors Jill Burton and LaDonna Smith; free jazz musicians Abbey Rader, John McMinn and Kyle Motl; baritone Thomas Buckner performing the work of Subtropics advisors Alvin Lucier and Robert Ashley; readings by sound philosopher/critic Christoph Cox (author of Sonic Flux); sound art curator Suzanne Delehanty and more… plus tributes to Sam Ashley, Bob Gregory, Carles Santos, Chris Mann, Davey Williams, and John Cage, tributes that feature recorded content from our Subtropics Archive/Collection; and live performances by some of our favorite South Florida residents, artists such as Richard Garet (who recently moved to Ft. Lauderdale from NYC and happy to be closer to Subtropics); Tampa-based musicians, trombonist David Manson, saxophonist David Pate, drummer Jim Stewart, and cellist Tom Kersey; as well as composers Nestor Prieto (now living in Connecticut), Federico Bonacossa, Jose Hernandez Sanchez; noisemakers Nicole Martinez and Frank (Rat Bastard) Falestra; and media artist Freddy Jouwayed; filmmaker Barron Sherer; all with strong Miami roots; plus pieces by Aislinn Quinn/Absolute Zero, Armando Rodriguez, Brenda Hutchinson, Charles Recher, Helen Thorington, Julio Roloff, and Gregory Whitehead.

NOTE: At the time of this launch, Florida appears RED on the maps tracing the Delta Variant Pandemic. Because the current situation continues to be unpredictable, all events are subject to change at a moment’s notice. Please check out the individual artist posts for updates about their attendance status and possible alternative programming representing that artist which we may produce specifically for audition or screening during the festival from content in our Subtropics Archive and Collection. This website is still a work-in-progress and missing posts will be added periodically according to the dynamics of this changing environment. I encourage you to keep monitoring this website as things may have changed by the time of its first publication.

A Bit of History

Subtropics Festival turned biennial in 2009 and over its 30-year history has featured in performance, exhibitions, major commissioned projects and premieres, such guest artists as: Joseph Celli (1989); Robert Dick and John Giorno (1990); John Cage and Russell Frehling (1991); Pauline Oliveros, Joan LaBarbara and Richard Teitlebaum (1992); George Lewis, Alvin Lucier and David Tudor (1993); Jan Williams, Helen Thorington, Brenda Hutchinson, Fumiko Miyanoo, Mary Jane Leach, Ushio Torikai, Richard Landry and Augusto de Campos (1994); Morton Subotnick, Balanescu Quartet, Tom Guralnick and Fred lonberg-Holm (1995); Tom Buckner and Luc Houtcamp (1995); Shaking Ray Levis, Trans Duo, Meridian Arts Ensemble and Gerardo Gandini and Robert Ashley (1997); The Glass Orchestra, Gino Robair and Charles Recher (1998); Yasunao Tone, Derek Bailey, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, James Tenney, Maya Beiser and Trimpin (1999); Ellen Band, Victoria Hanna, Lucas Ligeti and Jon Gibson (2000); Lou Mallozzi and Duo Kol-Tof (2001); The Sound Artists, Sam Ashley, Jens Brand, Ann Hamilton and Meredith Monk (2002); Alison Knowles, Jackie Humbert, Absolute Zero, Pip Pyle, Chris Cutler, David First, Morl Drammaz (2003); Chris Mann, Jaap Blonk, Fried Dahn, Malcolm Goldstein, Bugallo-Williams Duo (2004); California Ear Unit, Michael Schumacher, Tom Hamilton, Stephen Schick, B Blank, Guillermo Gregorio (2005); David Dunn, David Watson, Seth Josel (2006); David Behrman, Tahehisa Kosugi, Alison Knowles, Larry Miller, John King (2007); Davey Williams, Jim Staley, Ikue Mori, Phill Niblock (2009); On Structure, FM with David Behrman (2011); Paula Matthusen, Ron Kuivila, Alvin Curran, Wade Matthews, Jill Burton (2013); Alba Triana, FM Soundscape Park, Claudia Quintet, Charles Curtis, John Bischoff, Fast Forward, Tom Buckner, LaDonna Smith (2015); and Jennie Gottschalk, Christoph Cox, Olivia Block, Kidd Jordan/Abbey Rader, Charles Recher, John Driscoll, Jack Wright, Miguel Alvarez-Fernandez, Richard Garet, Barbara Held (2017) … and many, many more …

The 2021 Subtropics 25 Festival is brought to you in Miami by Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the City of Miami Beach; and by The Deering Estate; in Fort Myers by The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery; and in New York by Roulette Intermedium

Artistic Director’s Note: Lean… No Fad

“The festival’s goal was never to propel people’s careers as artists. And although It does make us proud, Subtropics takes no credit for the career accomplishments of the guest artists it has presented over its 32-year history. Our aim has been instead to foster community among experimentalists, and to offer artists a laboratory for experimentation. What has surfaced over the years is the spontaneous emergence of a truly original artist-led culture unique to Miami that lives within analog and digital media as well as documents inside of our extensive Subtropics archive

The mission of Subtropics has been to identify within the emerging art forms of Experimental Music and Sound Art those sources of originality in the development of ideas rooted in discovery. Our trust has been placed on artists (often community based and self-funded) who investigate sound with devotion, and with the kind of integrity that nudges their ideas within a realm of social research removed from the influences of a market forward, like we do with children, into a life of their own and as reflections of the inevitable virtues of our evolving society

In the company of our trusted guest artists and advisors Subtropics 25 will take a look back at its history to determine its destiny moving forward… to ascertain its most natural next step. We do all of it for ourselves and for the public which continues to discover new sounds along with us and shows us it is hungry for it. Our audience is quite diverse yet united in its intrinsic curiosity and genuine support of experimental music and sound art. To all of you out there: Thank you! and please, above all, be safe, be sound, come out and enjoy!”

— Gustavo Matamoros, artistic director, Subtropics Biennial

Click here for a copy of our Press Release