Mark your calendars for “Philadelphia Voices”

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Tod Machover’s highly anticipated Philadelphia Voices will be presented this April in a series of performances at Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall. The latest of Machover’s City Symphonies projects, the new work is inspired by conversations, poetry, sound, and music contributed by thousands of Philadelphians contemplating the state of their city (before and after the Eagles’ Super Bowl epic win) and the meaning of democracy today in the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution. Philadelphia Voices was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Performing alongside the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Sister Cities Girlchoir, and Commonwealth Youthchoirs.

Tickets are now on sale:

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Sounds and sights of the Mummers Parade

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From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Was in Philadelphia for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, to experience various Philadelphia Orchestra events (New Year’s Eve concert and New Year’s Day Open House) and the be present for all the Mummers famous New Year’s Day events, including the Parade (in totally freezing weather – I thought my body was going to meld with the metal viewing bleachers), the music and performance competitions, and the Fancy Brigade performances at the Convention Center. The Mummers are definitely an indispensable part of the Philly Picture, as I expected, and I will be weaving their story into PHILADELPHIA VOICES, now in the heat of composition/production. The rich sax-banjo-bass sound of the Mummers, plus the straightforward, non-ironic imagination of their lavish costumes and performances is something to behold – down-to-earth, exuberant, and strangely touching (which is not the press they often get). I was very glad to be there…although I am still waiting for sensation to come back into some of my fingers and toes!!!

Here’s a little video…of one of the groups at the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia…they were a sort of Boston Tea Party meets Philadelphia Revolution:) Conveys some of the spirit of being in the middle of this crazy celebration. You can get an extra sense of just how cold it was down there from this Philly TV report (https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/…/Mummers-Parade-Still-a-Go…). Quite an experience, and a great way to start off 2018!!!!!

Shadowing artist Jake Winterstein for Philadelphia Voices

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Here’s a fun new video – made by Xi Wang of Kirshbaum Associates – of a very unusual bike expedition I took recently in Philadelphia as part of my PHILDAELPHIA VOICES project. I spent a morning following performance artist/poet Jacob Winterstein, who has tasked himself with biking on/to every single block in Philly, asking people he meets what they do to overcome life’s difficulties. People can write their responses on white strips of paper which Jake attaches to a cart-like structure on the back of his bike. All of these comments become a visual, sculptural, kinetic representation of the resilience and adaptability of Philly folk. I recorded audio from Jake’s encounters to use in my symphony, and Xi recorded both Jake’s process and mine. Learn more about Jacob’s work at http://www.jacobwinterstein.com, and about PHILADELPHIA VOICES at https://www.media.mit.edu/pro…/philadelphia-voices/overview/.

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A sneak peek at Philadelphia Voices

Hot off the laser printer, the first page of the choral/keyboard part for Philadelphia Voices! In case you’ve been wondering what Tod Machover has been doing, holed up in his barn for the past month… The new symphonic work for the Philadelphia Orchestra is scheduled to premier in early April (check out the event calendar). No pressure!

“Schoenberg in Hollywood” receives OPERA America grant

OPERA America has awarded a grant to the Boston Lyric Opera for “Schoenberg in Hollywood” by composer Tod Machover and librettist Simon Robson, which was commissioned for the BLO’s fall 2019 line-up. OPERA America announced grant awards for 11 opera companies through the Repertoire Development Grants program, supported by The Opera Fund. A total of $225,000 was awarded to 11 opera companies. See the full story at OperaWire.

 

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Brainstorming with the Kronos Quartet

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“Wonderful couple of days working with the Kronos Quartet at the MIT Media Lab, trying out ideas and techniques for a new piece I am composing for them as part of their “Fifty for the Future” series. The Kronos and I have known each other for many a moon, and it is always a pleasure to reconnect with their artistic adventure, their generous spirit, and their political and social engagement. I think that they were equally entranced by the Media Lab spirit of imagination and playfulness. A good match, and lots of creative fun ahead.”–from Tod Machover’s Facebook page.

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