On Michigan Radio: How to create a symphony of Detroit

Composer Tod Machover works with a Detroit Symphony Orchestra percussionist on what the beat of Detroit sounds like. CREDIT EMILY FOX / MICHIGAN RADIO

Composer Tod Machover works with a Detroit Symphony Orchestra percussionist on what the beat of Detroit sounds like.
CREDIT EMILY FOX / MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox chats with Tod Machover about the “Symphony in D” project. You can listen here to How to create a symphony of Detroit

In the interview, Tod explains how he is working with people from all over Detroit to convey the story of the city’s vibrant history and diverse communities through sound, which he will transform into an orchestral piece. One of our favorite quotes:

Machover says another part of this project is to send the message that classical music isn’t just something that only a few special people can make.

“I think classical music is one of the domains where we’re most scared or intimidated about participating because the level of expertise is so high and of course there are certain things you can do in classical music that you can only do if you devote yourself to it for 20 years, but it would be such a more vital field if everybody was touching it somehow,” he says.

That point is getting across to the students. 13-year-old Emiilah Shuler and 11-year-old Samuel Pickens felt inspired after composing their mini Symphony in D.

“I think it gives us a chance to believe that we can do that one day, when we are all grown up, anything is possible,” says Shuler.

Pickens adds, “I’m glad to be helping my hometown make a symphony and I feel proud.”

Preparing to Capture a City Through Sound

Chantine

Chantine

Hi there! I’m Chantine, a (recently graduated) undergrad researcher with the Opera of the Future group in the Media Lab, giving you an update with the group with regards to the forthcoming city symphonies.

Recently, Tod and Co. have been quite busy with final preparations for A Symphony for Lucerne, to be debuted September 5th, even as we ramp up for Symphony in D, coming November 20th. It’s beautifully hectic, this city symphony making process that is. As such, it is quite fun, so I would like to share with you some of our experience here at the Opera of the Future of producing Collaborative City Symphonies like A Symphony for Lucerne and Symphony in D coming from the perspective of one who assists and observes the collaborative process. Continue reading

Hyperstring Trilogy liner notes

Tod Machover’s Hyperstring Trilogy will receive a rare live concert performance this August at the Lucerne Festival. “The 70-minute Hyperstring Trilogy has been recognized as one of Machover’s most important works,” according to the Boston Globe. David Patrick Steard ns in his Philadelphia Inquirer review enthused, “The music on this disc is so good, you’d be tempted to proclaim it one of the best new-music discs of the decade were the pieces not 10 or more years old.”

Posted here are the liner notes from the recording, which is available on CD Baby. Click on images for an expanded view.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Machover’s musings on “Eine Sinfonie für Luzern”

ComposingForLucerne

Tod Machover has just posted an essay about the process of composing his new collaborative symphony for the Swiss city of Lucerne. An excerpt:

With both the recorded sounds and the Hyperscore pieces, I have spent the last weeks not only listening to them and getting to know them, but also imagining what special synergies and surprises could happen when one sound or piece blends into another to create new kinds of relationships. For me, allowing sounds and phrases to communicate in unusual ways is one of the great pleasures of working on these collaborative symphonies.

The symphony will premiere on September 5. Read the full article here.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Forward-looking orchestra projects

Interesting article in the current issue of SYMPHONY Magazine on forward-looking orchestra projects that connect with cities in unusual ways. Along with a project for the Seattle Symphony by John Luther Adams and one for Miami’s New World Symphony by Michael Gordon, the article discusses Tod Machover’s SYMPHONY IN D project for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Check out the full article here.

What’s happening in Lucerne

Tod Machover landed on the cover of PIU, the magazine for this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Check out the very interesting article about his composer-in-residency that begins in mid-August, and all the new music that he will be presenting (and which he is feverishly working on right now). How about including lovely Lucerne in your summer travel plans to experience some of these events? Links to tickets in the right column. Download the article here.

Beginning Again

From Tod Machover’s Facebook post today:

Haven’t done THIS for a long while! One the projects I am preparing for this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVALis a full-evening performance of my HYPERSTRING TRILOGY. I am making revisions to the solo and electronic parts, so had to prepare a new version of BEGIN AGAIN AGAIN… this week for wonderful cellist Mariel Roberts, who will be performing it in Lucerne. With all my other Lucerne projects, I didn‘t have time to re-copy everything from scratch, so literally did a paste-up combining beautiful printed score (from the “Norton Scores” edition), vintage 1990’s computer manuscript, and elements from my original handwritten manuscript. Haven’t done a paste-up like this – scissors, rubber cement, and White-Out included – since Juilliard days, so it felt quite nostalgic; I remembered how much I used to enjoy the physicality and craftsmanship of preparing scores like this. I ran into good friend and great pianist Marc-André Hamelin at the local Staples store, and he immediately saw the humor in the situation…..my literally glueing together such a hi-tech and forwarding-looking piece. You do what you have to:)