The New World Symphony's Debut
by Tom Austin
Retractable seating in the 756-seat hall will create a commodious dance floor. This is South Beach, after all, where music equals movement. Inside, the concert hall has nearly 360-degree curvilinear projection surfaces and five acoustic “sails”—jib-shaped plaster forms that allow for highly attuned acoustics by Gehry and Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, who also worked with Disney Concert Hall.
The NWS projection wall should also be an incredible space for video art. After the January 26 concert for the opening ceremonies, NWS’ exterior projection wall will launch with the premiere screening of a commissioned video mural by London-based Tal Rosner and digital artist C.E.B. Reas. A professor at UCLA, Reas designed programming for creating images, animation and interaction.
The ever-changing NWS video mural promises to stretch the limits of technology. It required custom-made software and drew from more than 6,000 photographs of the Gehry building and Miami Beach itself, architectural details that were abstracted through computerized regeneration and animation. The mural is intended to bring a sense of ritual and occasion to the park: Every hour on the hour, the mural will suddenly change course, akin to the tolling of a clock tower.
On January 26 and 28, Rosner will debut another NWS commissioned piece of video art, accompanying the premiere of a new commissioned work by British composer Thomas Ades. (In the past, Rosner worked with Ades on In Seven Days: Piano Concerto with Moving Image.)