In a couple of days Tod Machover will be flying to Lucerne Switzerland to dig into his next “City Symphony” project, a new orchestral work commissioned by the Lucerne Festival. “A Symphony for Lucerne” will premiere on 5 September 2015, performed by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra, conducted by Matthias Pintscher. Please visit the project blog and heck out the trailer below!
Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea: A Symphony for Perth was composed from October 2013 to February 2014 for Carolyn Kuan and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, on commission from the Perth International Arts Festival. The 25-minute work is a musical, sonic portrait of Perth and surrounding areas, and was created in collaboration with people from Perth of all ages and backgrounds (based on a creative model I developed for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival, both in 2013, designed to cultivate careful listening to the world around us to discover its hidden music).
Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea is a four movement work, played without a break, which conveys Perth’s dramatic geography, the simultaneous complexity and calm I have found there, and the enormous sense of potential and ‘unanswered questions’ that the city and region suggest. You can read more about the ideas behind the piece here and watch a brief trailer for A Symphony for Perth below:
I have travelled rather widely over the years, but I had never been to Perth (nor the rest of Australia) when Continue reading →
Slowly another part of me emerges and takes in the theatre, the darkness, and the spectators’ faces dimly lit from screens on their laps. I tap my screen and a graphical interface comes alive: through dots, lines, and colours I dialogue with feelings, words, and ideas giving them fresh expression. It does not take long for a new mode of split perception to take root and seamlessly shift back and forth from my individual layer to a larger collective one; it’s like keeping open two stereophonic channels at the same time. Trough robot’s eyes now I perceive an ‘inside stage’ point of view… I couldn’t be in Dallas for this performance, but following it here in Stockholm is the next best thing.
Fun NPR Morning Edition piece this past weekend on Yuval Sharon‘s multimedia production of “Cunning Little Vixen” with the Cleveland Orchestra, including some comments by our own Tod Machover about DEATH AND THE POWERS and opera+technology in general. Great food for thought!
Risley, Orth and Harvey in Death and the Powers in Dallas
A pleasant surprise arrived in the mail this week: Opera News in its May 2014 issue gives the Dallas Opera’s production of Tod Machover’s “Death and the Powers” a glowing review. Writer Andrew Sigler praises the opera as “a big work with big ideas,” and notes that “Machover brings to bear his considerable technical prowess in the world of technology, as well as his deep sense of musical history,” to explore the premise of human consciousness merging with computer hardware.
Sigler writes that Robert Orth, in the role of Simon Powers, “embodied the character perfectly,” and praises Patricia Risley’s for giving a “smoky and sensual” performance and “real depth” to Evvy, Simon’s third and favorite wife. In the thrilling final scene, “Machover shows his operatic chops and Joélle Harvey’s Miranda all but steals the show.”
Opera magazine reviewed the interactive simulcast of “Death and the Powers” and pronounced that this experiment in using smartphone technology to enhance the cinematic viewing experience has “huge potential for the technologically engaged operatic culture that Machover continues to pioneer.”