Last week’s 21c Liederabend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music garnered some media attention. Here’s the New York Times’ review: A Wink Toward Tradition in a Modern Evening. Public radio station WNYC provided a preview and aired “Sophia’s Aria” from Tod Machover’s opera VALIS. Listen here: A Modern Liederabend.
This year’s 21c Lieberabend included a performance of “Miranda’s Aria” from “Death and the Powers,” performed by Sara Heaton, who performed the role in Boston and Chicago. Here’s a video of the original performance by Joélle Harvey in Monaco. She will return as Miranda in the Dallas Opera’s production next February.
Tod Machover just celebrated a milestone birthday, and friends and former students submitted some inventive musical tributes. Here are the “Brain Opera Rap” by Eric Metois, an untitled piece by Robert Rowe, and “SoftHyperBrainPowers” by Joe Paradiso. Enjoy!
Hear “Miranda’s Aria” from DEATH AND THE POWERS in New York! Sara Heaton will be singing the aria as part of BAM’s “21c Liederabend” on Friday, November 22 at 7:30 pm. All kinds of wonderful new music by a host of interesting composers, sure to be beautifully performed and produced. Full info here. Hope to see you there.
Photo by Kathering Taylor
Katherine Taylor, superb Boston-based photographer for The New York Times and others, just posted this excellent blog of photos she took a few months ago of Tod Machover’s group at the MIT Media Lab, while shooting for a Times story. View the photos by clicking here.
Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.
Act 2 Scene 2 – Finale
Maslova, now no longer a prisoner, decides to stay with Simonson, much to Nekhlyudov’s despair (“Katusha, you are free”). Nekhlyudov now pleads with her, but although she loves him, she knows he can never really love her as before. She charges him to go back into the world and use his wealth and position to change it as she does in her small way: one person to another.
As the prisoners go wearily to start another day’s work, and Maslova tends Simonson’s wounds, Nekhlyudov walks off into the dawn.
From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:
Am thinking about Michel de Montaigne today, in preparation for a trip to Montréal tomorrow to discuss a project based on Montaigne’s work. Montaigne invented the “essay” in the late 16th century, and his bold, undogmatic and unpretentious writings remain as fresh today as when they were first published. Can’t find a better guide for living. This excellent BBC Radio 4 discussion is a great intro. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tt5kn
Catch up on what Tod Machover has been doing in Perth in this article from The Western Australian. He describes some of the unique nature sounds he has been hearing and talks about an ongoing workshop with school children who are using Hyperscore software to transcribe the sounds of their city into music. Although his recent projects have been described as “crowdsourced symphonies”, he explains that his approach is more of a back-and-forth collaboration than a one-way sourcing of material:
“I enjoy thinking about a big idea and bringing together a group of people, some prominent artists, some students, and to treat everyone as equal. Then to present an idea and just say ‘Let’s look at it together’.”
He says all too often social media is used as a form of marketing by established artists. “Which is fine but it kind of goes one way. It’s easy to follow what somebody prominent is doing but if you want to have a real dialogue it’s probably not going to happen. I’m more interested in a model where everybody gets stimulated somehow and the whole level gets raised for everyone.”
Read the full article here.