Check out this wonderful interview with David Almond on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs series. David discusses children’s literature and the music he’d want if he were a castaway. Thirty minutes into the interview he talks about the opera version of Skellig, on which he collaborated with composer Tod Machover. Here’s what BBC program says about David:
Most of his work is for children but the adults who populate the juries of heavyweight literary prizes really like it too. The accolades began with his first novel Skellig published in 1998 when he was 47; it won the mighty “Whitbread Children’s” award and then many others besides.
Ever since, he’s been acclaimed for his ability to craft complex, philosophical narratives with strikingly down to earth characterisations.
Listen to the interview here: BBC Desert Island Discs with author David Almond.
David Almond (from the BBC)
Tod returns by popular demand to speak with opera lovers at the Dallas Opera on September 18. He’s joined by Sara Heaton, who performed in “Death and the Powers” in the role of Miranda. Here they are in “Composing Conversations”:
Listen for Tod Machover on WBUR (90.9FM) series on Boston Visionaries this Tuesday, April 10. The program airs during Morning Edition at 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., and All Things Considered, at 5:50 p.m. Reporter Bianca Vázquez Toness visited Tod in his 18th-century barn-studio for a wide-ranging conversation, met the chickens, goats and cats, and even asked daughter Noa for funny stories about her dad. We have no idea what will end up in the program!
Click on this link to listen via livestream.
Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed made the 90-minute drive up to Santa Barbara last week to attend Tod Machover’s talk on ”Music, Mind and Health: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Well-being through Active Sound,” one of four lectures he gave recently at the university’s Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. In today’s issue, Swed reflects on the concept of music as therapy and a future in which each of us could have music that is tailored to our individual psyches. Tod’s new CD “…but not simpler…” gets a nice mention too!
Here’s an excerpt:
“Machover, an intriguing futurologist as well as an inventive composer, runs the departments in hyper-instruments (acoustical instruments given spiffy electronic features) and opera of the future at MIT‘s ultra-high-tech Media Lab…Music, Machover said, touches on just about every aspect of cognition. There are theories that music exists to exercise the mind and to help coordinate its separate functions. Music lovers intuitively know what researchers have verified, that music modulates our moods, helps us move, stimulates our language skills, strengthens our memories and can wondrously bring about emotional responses without their bothersome consequences…
“In an inspiring feedback loop, Machover and his MIT minions, which include some of the nation’s most forward-looking graduate students, are applying their musical gadgets to therapy. The process of making remarkable restorative advances is changing how they think about and make music. And that could affect how the rest of us might think about and make music in the not-so-distant future.”
Read the full article here: Musical therapy is making breakthroughs
Dan Ellsey and Tod Machover (credit MIT Media Lab)
We just received another magazine interview in Czech, this one from Novy Prostor (download PDF: On connection between music and people). Here’s what it looks like:
The Czech publication Novy Prostor just posted this lengthy interview, recorded when Tod was attending the Prague Quadrennial (see article here) this past June. The article is in Czech, but this Google translations captures the gist of it (with some hilarious mangled syntax):
A BRIDGE BETWEEN MUSIC AND PEOPLE
by VINKELHOFEROVÁ M., J. FIALA
The combination of music and cutting-edge technologies can result in the emergence of remarkable tools, treatment, severe illness and cognition itself. American composer Tod Machover of it trying for many years in the linkage of faith in human creativity and change for the better.
You are in the Czech Republic for the first time?
I honestly do not know what to expect. List your work here will conclude his new opera, Death and The Powers, but the Czech audience know. I assume however that the role of music is great, wherever you are. Music can change human life and should get to everyone – which is both democratic and difficult. To put it combines, using technology, that is the most open way. Intrigued me, because I seemed to be neutral and able to adapt to every situation. Technology can expand horizons excellent musician, as well as create a bridge between music and people who love her, but she can not play, or between music and children or disabled. For those that can be miraculous way of relief. Continue reading
Composer and M.I.T. professor Tod Machover takes listeners on a guided tour of music at the M.I.T. Media Lab on BBC Radio 3′s flagship classical music program, “Music Matters”. The program airs tomorrow (Saturday, April 23) and spotlights Boston. In addition to music at M.I.T. the program will feature two-time Grammy Award winning clarinettist Richard Stolzman, Boston’s acclaimed early music ensembles (Boston Camerata and Handel and Haydn Society) and El Sistema USA, modelled on Venezuela’s now legendary music education system.
Listen live on MUSIC MATTERS Saturday 23rd April 2011, 12.15pm BBC Radio 3
Download the complete program on this week’s Music Matters podcast.
Here are the final questions from New Vilna Review Editor Daniel Levenson’s recent interview with composer Tod Machover:
NVR: Can you give us a little glimpse of what you might be working on right now?
TM: Whenever I finish a project as large and involving as Death and the Powers (which took me about 10 years to realize from the moment of original conception), one of my main goals afterwards is to evaluate what we have actually accomplished and what that suggests for future work. Continue reading
Here is question 5 from New Vilna Review Editor Daniel Levenson’s recent interview with composer Tod Machover:
NVR: You are currently the Head of the Media Lab’s Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group – can you tell us a little about how you became involved with the Media Lab and what role you see the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group playing in the world of art, music and technology beyond MIT? Continue reading