Tod Machover will be back in Toronto on Thursday, May 9, to give a talk at the Jackman Humanities Institute of the University of Toronto at 5pm. He will be speaking about A TORONTO SYMPHONY, related projects, and the future (!). If you’re in town that day, go and check it out!
Tag Archives: music technology
From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:
Did a fun live interview today on BBC Radio Scotland about my new Edinburgh “Festival City” collaborative symphony project. It was for a brand new show – The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth – that premiered…today! My segment starts at 1:34:00 and runs to the end of the show http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rlrmh. There is also a fantastic interview with David Hendy (at 1:21:00), a UK media historian, who talks about the role of noise in human history (and even plays a soundscape from an imagined early 19th century Edinburgh. Plus a superb interview with Annie Lennox (at 0:04:21). Enjoy the lot of it!!
Listen to The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth here, with guests Annie Lennox, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Hendy and Tod Machover.
The official blog for Tod Machover’s newest project, “Festival City”, has just been launched. Please visit and sign up for updates! “Festival City” is an orchestral work commissioned by the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival. It will receive its world premiere on August 27, 2013, by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Saturday evening saw the successful debut of Tod Machover’s “A Toronto Symphony”, described aptly by conductor Peter Oundjian in this BBC News interview as “the most collaborative piece of music that has ever been written.” Nearly a year in the making, the new work was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony for its New Creations Festival. Scored for a full symphony orchestra, the half-hour-long piece involved thousands of citizens of Toronto who contributed acoustic samples, compositions, and manipulated parts of the work-in-progress using apps developed by the Opera of the Future group at the M.I.T. Media Lab.
You can see footage of some of the collaborative activities as well as hear parts of the world premiere performance in the BBC News video here: Tod Machover: composer’s social media symphony for Toronto.
The Toronto Symphony’s New Creations Festival opens today!
With Machover as guest-curator, the 2013 New Creations Festival takes a suitably technology-driven perspective, exploring the evolution of music from past to future with a selection of boundary-bending works which bring the past to the present and redefines the instruments of an orchestra. The Festival opens with the Canadian première of Arcadiac, where Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s work will have the orchestra perform live accompaniment to vintage arcade games of the 1970s and 1980s, followed by Machover’s Jeux Deux, an interweaving of hyperpiano, orchestra, interactive software and live graphics (Mar 2, 2013). The Festival’s opening programme closes with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan leading the Canadian première of the Mason Bates’s symphony-scale piece Alternative Energy, which depicts the past, present, and future of energy using field recordings and acoustic orchestra.
Here’s Tod Machover yesterday onstage at Roy Thomson Hall with “hyper pianist” Michael Chertock rehearsing “Jeux Deux”, composed for the Boston Pops in 2005. Chertock performed in the world premiere (watch video clip).
In case you are wondering why Tod didn’t emerge from his barn-studio for the past two months, he was busy orchestrating “A Toronto Symphony.” In this new SoundNotion interview, Tod explains his work process, along with sundry other hot topics from the Media Lab and Opera of the Future. (The interview was recorded over Skype, and you can see bits of the barn in the background.)
A symphony orchestra work has a whole lot of parts! Just to give you an idea, here’s the list of instruments (not including strings) for the piece:
Mark your calendars! San Francisco’s public
radio TV station KQED will be airing a one-hour-long interview with Tod Machover this week. Here’s the scoop:
Meet musician and inventor Tod Machover, the creator of technologies behind “Guitar Hero” and ”Rock Band.” Computer History Museum’s John Hollar speaks to the influential composer, whose work has been performed internationally, about the future of digital music and his research as the professor of music and media at MIT Media Lab, where he directs the Opera of the Future group.
• KQED Plus: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 — 7:00pm
• KQED Plus: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 — 1:00am
• KQED Plus: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 — 11:00pm
• KQED Plus: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 — 5:00am
Visit the KQED program page and scroll down. You can have an email reminder sent to you.
Chamber Music America’s National Conference is coming to New York City this week, from January 17-20. This year’s conference is packed with sessions about building audiences, exploring fresh musical territory and navigating the technologies for sustaining music. Tod Machover will be giving the opening Keynote on Friday, January 15, 10:30 AM, on “High Tech Music: Problems and Potential.” Check it out!
“In 50 years, and probably well before that, every piece of music will be some kind of collaboration.”
As the ambitious “A Toronto Symphony” project heads into its final phase, journalist Molly Petrilla checked in with composer Tod Machover for an update. In this excellent Smartplanet interview, Tod describes his motivation and vision for this unprecedented collaborative “concerto for composer and city”, and also talks about lessons learned:
Twenty percent of the interesting stuff has been seeded and developed purely online, but about 80 percent has been from contact with real people sitting face to face trading music, trading ideas and trying things. It’s taken a lot of time but it’s been so rich.
It’s important that it ends up being a piece of music people simply want to listen to and that creates an emotional effect and speaks for itself, but I also hope it’s something that everybody who participated feels like it’s theirs somehow — including me. If it feels like something we all made and that none of us could have made without each other, that would be a great success.
Tod also imagines the future of music:
Over these last 30 or 40 years, sound has been liberated. Music is a combination of learning how to listen and learning how to tell stories through sound. We have every sound in the universe in front of us as a possibility now. I think one thing in the future will be a sound where the orchestra is everything around us, and the language that will begin to emerge is a language that makes harmony out of all that — a new kind of harmony where all the elements fit together in ways we can’t quite imagine now.
Do you see this happening already? What are some interesting examples?
Read the full article: Q&A: Tod Machover, composer and inventor
Several hundred school children in Toronto have been giving their Hyperscore programs a good workout, composing music about their city for composer Tod Machover’s collaborative “A Toronto Symphony” project. Some of it may end up in the new work, to be premiered in March 2013 by the Toronto Symphony. Take a listen to some of the kids’ compositions here.