Terrific article in today’s Detroit Free Press by Mark Stryker. On his Facebook page, Tod Machover comments: “Stryker paints the background for the project beautifully, and describes the paradoxical nature of this “ephemeral” work – that tries to capture this moment in Detroit’s history with a not-likely-to-repeat cast of characters – with the simultaneous goal of leaving something lasting and significant. We sure are trying to do both.”
Our favorite quote from the article:
“He had such an inclusive view of the story he wanted to tell about Detroit,” said Marsha Music, a longtime writer on African-American music and culture in Detroit and a 2012 Kresge Fellow. She’ll be reading a poem during the symphony’s fourth movement, “Memories and Dreams.”
“Right off the bat, he wanted to include voices that had historically not been heard, particularly in a classical milieu. I was so impressed with his desire to capture so many of the archive sounds of the city, this important ephemera, and merge them into a musical form. He had a true curiosity. He never gave off the feeling, ‘Oh, I got Detroit under my belt.’ “
Read the full article here.
Buy tickets to the DSO’s world premiere here.
The composer Tod Machover with students at YouthVille in Detroit. They will take part in his “Symphony in D,” a “city symphony” that will have its premiere with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Credit Laura McDermott for The New York Times
New York Times reporter Zachary Woolfe shadowed Tod Machover on a recent visit to Detroit and published his story in today’s paper: Detroit Symphony Tackles an Adventurous Premiere.
The story does an excellent job of depicting the arduous process of building relationships with diverse communities within the city and developing collaborations that will be integrated into the final work, which premieres later this month, on November 21.
Opera News critic David J. Baker found much to praise in the DVD of the Dallas Opera’s simulcast production of Death and the Powers, which he named a “Critic’s Choice” selection:
…Machover’s range is impressive, starting with the beeps and blips of Nicholas’s manic gadgetry, which inspire antic brilliance from tenor Hal Cazalet. Evvy’s operatically intense interactions with her disembodied husband (both a mad scene and a sex scene) are a marvel of glamour and poignancy thanks to mezzo Patricia Risley. There’s also a beautifully textured duet between the two women. The climax of the work is the confrontation between father and daughter, as Miranda rejects the “system,” in a lyrical, incandescent aria of humanistic defiance (not without echoes of Samuel Barber). Soprano Joëlle Harvey is a revelation here, deploying a superbly focused timbre with ideal dramatic immediacy.
This Dallas Opera production has the precision and commitment of a Houston space mission, marking advances over the original 2010 staging in Monte Carlo. Like the best parts of the music, the pliant, mobile sets (by Alex McDowell) and stage direction can be spellbinding. The filming is so fluid and multidirectional that you forget it’s confined to a theater stage. The camera lens occasionally distorts to maximize dramatic alienation, twisting faces and tinting whole scenes an eerie blue. Conductor Nicole Paiement maintains admirable balance, proving herself, like Machover, a techie with heart.
Holiday shopping anyone? Head over to CD Baby.
Read the full review: Machover: Death and the Powers
Musical America has named Tod Machover its 2016 Composer of the Year.
Read more here.
The Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra with Matthias Pintscher
Terrific review of the Lucerne Festival’s “Day for Pierre Boulez” celebration in the Financial Times. Tod Machover’s Re-Structures for two pianos and electronics received its world premiere and was praised as “lush and playful.”
Seldom have all aspects of the Lucerne Festival, from its educational initiatives to its big-stage concerts, come together as harmoniously as in its Day for Pierre Boulez last weekend. The world scoffed when Schoenberg declared that one day milkmen would be whistling his tunes like Puccini’s. As Boulez’s Dialogue de l’ombre double for clarinet and tape was broadcast across the railway forecourt and the popular space between Lake Lucerne and the culture and conference centre (KKL), it began to feel as if Schoenberg’s prediction had come true — just a generation later.
Read the full article here: The festival’s ‘Day for Pierre Boulez’ was a triumphant celebration of the composer
Tod left last night for Lucerne, where he’ll be Composer in Residence for the next month at the Lucerne Festival. Here’s a fun article in the Luzerner-Anzeiger newspaper:
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.”