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.”
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.
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.
Image Source: Knight Foundation
The Nonprofit Quarterly discusses the Detroit Symphony’s “Symphony in D” project as part of a broader trend to harness technology to engage communities in arts and culture.
Gone may be the days of the thought that “art is not for me,” as our arts organizations continue to engage audiences through a variety of ways beyond attendance at a museum or gallery. We have expanded our thinking to identify that it is just as important to bring art out into our communities as it is to bring the residents of the community into our venues. The Detroit Symphony is a great model for this, as they are actively involving their community in the creation process in addition to opening the gates of access to their community.
Read the full article: DSO’s “Symphony in D”: A Participatory Experiment to Watch
Interesting interview on WGBH TV’s “Open Studio” about the VOCAL VIBRATIONS project, including footage from the Cambridge, Massachusetts, installation open through March 21. The interview is from 6:00-14:40 at http://tinyurl.com/OpenStudioTod, followed by a cool chat with Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues who happens to be a friend, a really lovely guy, and is still touring after all these years!!
Download Vocal Vibrations music here.
Check out this terrific interview Barbara Seisel did with Tod Machover about his recently premiered flute concerto, “Breathless.” The article, temporarily available online to nonsubscribers, provides an in-depth look at how the piece was created. Tod talks about how he collaborated with flutist Carol Wincenc, and how he thought about using electronics, how the three-movement work is constructed, and more. Here’s a gem:
In writing the piece I thought a lot about meeting Carol at 16 and trying to reconcile classical, electronic and rock music influences and also remembering back to high school. It’s one of the big moments of your life – you’re going to leave home and go out and make a life for yourself. It’s extremely anxiety producing for many people. I know for me, I felt that everything was possible, that everything I love should be able to find a place in what my life becomes. I really believed that at 16! When I was putting Breathless together it all of sudden struck me that my younger daughter is now exactly the same age as I was when was when I was at Aspen. I’m seeing this feeling again though her eyes now, as she is planning college, how she’s going to pull together all the things that she cares about and that connection in time was really powerful for me. So I think this idea of looking back and remembering how this precious friendship started and what the world felt like then and seeing it again through my daughter is very meaningful.
Read the full article here: Interview with Tod Machover: A composer’s process. By Barbara Siesel
Listen to Breathless here.