From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Fensadense

Finished a great rehearsal period for FENSADENSE in Lucerne today with a fun and imaginative video shoot by Oliver T. Becker for a video trailer for the project. These 10 fabulous players from the Alumni Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL Academy were a great pleasure to work with, and I can’t wait to go home to finish the piece, to exchange ideas with everyone over the next few months, and to meet up again in Lucerne in August. Truly wonderful experience! 

Fensadense workshop

Hyperscore workshops in Lucerne

An update from Tod Machover:

Just came back from doing two Hyperscore workshops in Lucerne as part of my Symphony for Lucerne project for the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. It is always so rewarding to see young people imaginatively and fearlessly express themselves through their own original compositions, and especially through pieces that share something about their lives and their surroundings. Many gems, and 100% lovely kids and brilliant, devoted teachers.

Tod Machover auf Besuch im Schulhaus Moosmatt mit seinem Hyperscore-Projekt.

Tod Machover auf Besuch im Schulhaus Moosmatt mit seinem Hyperscore-Projekt.

Tod Machover auf Besuch im Schulhaus Moosmatt mit seinem Hyperscore-Projekt.

Tod Machover auf Besuch im Schulhaus Moosmatt mit seinem Hyperscore-Projekt.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Improv with Lucerne musicians

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page

Very full day in Lucerne today, with a variety of activities connected to my residency this summer at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Improvisation workshop with brilliant and creative young musicians at the Music Conservatory, Hyperscore workshops, rehearsals for FENSADENSE, and a public workshop of A SYMPHONY FOR LUCERNE, with a sneak preview of a section of the piece. The bright sun was out and all the colors of this glorious city were enhanced. On a day like this, you can see why so many artists – including Wagner, who spent 8 years (and wrote Tristan) here – have been drawn to Lucerne again and again.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Another side of Lucerne

By Tod Machover

Visited Sedel last evening, a former “men’s prison”, converted in the early 1980’s into a rehearsal and performance complex for wild and experimental music. Musicians rent 1, 2 or 3-block former prison cells as practice space, and hang out in small communal spaces and a crazy basement club area which also hosts frequent indie music events. The place felt like a super-compressed, pre-gentrified Manhattan East Village, and was full of mystery and life, with both booming and barely-audible music seeping through the doors of old prison cells. I was hosted by the amazing Fredy Studer, a legendary drummer, as radical and sonically inspiring as ever. Sedel is an incredible contrast to the picture perfect nature and civilization of the rest of Lucerne, and all the more essential for that.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Celebrating Boulez

by Tod Machover

Tomorrow is Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday. There is an excellent article today in Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger; a must-read if you speak German. It talks eloquently about Boulez’s FOUR careers: composer, director (of IRCAM), conductor, and teacher/mentor. The article includes an excellent interview about Boulez with Michael Haefliger, director of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL with which Boulez has had such a close association and where he founded and directed the Lucerne Academy. There is a grand tribute to Pierre and his music at the Lucerne Festival on August 23rd; I am writing a new piece – RE-STRUCTURES for Two Pianos and Electronics – for that occasion.

Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez

Read the Tages-Anzeiger article here.

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

Light in Lucerne (photos)

Tod Machover is in Lucerne this week, working with musicians on a new work to premiere this summer at the Lucerne Festival. He seems very taken by the quality of light in the city. From Tod’s Facebook:

Surprising and intense light everywhere in Lucerne, where we are in a fun work week in preparation for this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Took my favorite morning walk up to the Museggmauer where you can see the sunrise over Lucerne, its Lake, and the surrounding mountains. Nothing quite like it; all of nature and all of civilization are here in one view. Contrasting lights last night in a Lucerne Festival concert, and in the Südpol where we are rehearsing my FENSADENSE project. Working hard, but – as you can see on Ben’s, Peter’s and Garrett’s faces – very glad to be here!

 

Here are some photos he posted this morning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lucerne Festival: Fasnacht Adventure

Check out Tod Machover’s post on the official Symphony for Lucerne blog about his recent Fasnacht adventure, during the annual carnival festival that overtakes the usually calm Swiss city. Here’s an excerpt. Read the entire breathtaking story here.

I had been prepared for the spectacle and the wild masks, but was totally blown away by the diversity of costumes for each group, the individual care that had been taken to create the theme and then the identity for each group and float, and by the fierceness of the musical performances, pounding bass drum and blaring brass, punctuated by many overlapping loudspeaker systems playing wild music both very familiar and extremely strange. The force of the music, the loud chatter of the crowd, the squeals of children, and the sustained energy for almost three hours, contributed a powerful, edgy sound which I had never heard before in Lucerne, and was quite unique in any case…

My favorite thing to do during Fasnacht was to keep walking, zigzagging through tiny streets, along the river, by the lakeside, over the bridges, up the hills to the city walls, and back down again to the Reuss. By doing this, I could make my own mix (and record it on my binaural digital audio recorder) of the contrasting rhythms from different Guggenmusik bands, dive into the middle of chaos where multiple rhythms and chords could be heard at once, or climb to a high promontory where the blend of the – literally – hundreds of different sound sources became somewhat gentle and dreamlike, reminding me of something that my compatriot Charles Ives might have imagined….

Here is “Fasnacht Fantasy” on the Sinfonie für Luzerne’s Soundcloud: