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.
“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.
If you live in and around Philadelphia and want to participate in Tod Machover’s newest City Symphony project, be sure to download the free “Philadelphia Voices” app (iPhone; Android). The app allows you to record yourself and upload clips to be used in the collaborative composition. The app has received close to 1,000 submissions so far, but we are still looking for more (submit by Thanksgiving to be included).
In mid-November, we’ll be releasing a sister app developed in collaboration with Google, called “Nebula.” This app allows you to navigate a “vocal cloud” of all the Philly sounds collected so far as you record, creating an aura around your voice that will hopefully encourage you to make creative noises. Continue reading
From Tod Machover’s Facebook:
“Project 305 premiered last night at the New World Symphony in Miami, and went really well. This was the first major CITY SYMPHONY that I mentored and guided, with major creative work done by videographer Jon David Kane and composer Ted Hearne. Miami came shining through (although the global warming/you’re-gonna-be-submerged-in-water theme was quite somber), as did the CITY SYMPHONY model, which clearly can scale and travel.”
For background, check out this Huffington Post article: Project 305 and The New World Symphony
Tod Machover – composer, inventor and professor at the MIT Media Lab – began his career as the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM institute in Paris. His Re-Structures for 2 Pianos and Electronics was commissioned in 2015 by the Lucerne Festival, and was premiered there to celebrate Boulez’s 90th birthday. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Re-Structures “morphs from hardcore 1950s serialism into fresh, rhythmically driving, all-cylinders-firing, electronically enhanced Machover…Thrilling!” The work – which was recently recorded by Quattro Mani for Bridge Records – will receive its East Coast premiere by acclaimed piano duo Quattro Mani on November 13 at ArtScience Gallery in Cambridge, AM, and New York City premiere on November 15 at Carnegie Hall. Continue reading
Wonderful interview with Tonya Matthews – director of the Michigan Science Center, PhD in biology, and truly brilliant poet and performance artist – on the occasion of the PBS premiere of the Dennis Scholl/Marlin Johnson documentary on the SYMPHONY IN D project. Tonya speaks beautifully about her work and about describing Detroit in words and music. Read the full interview here: THIS FRIDAY at 8 PM | Symphony in D, A Symphony by Detroit for Detroit
Be sure to read–and subscribe to–the City Symphonies blog, which has been posting some captivating stories about the Philadelphia Voices project. Here’s an excerpt from the most recent post, Jam Session with Sister Cities Girlchoir:
I gave the girls a challenge of helping to create Philadelphia Voices by thinking of words and phrases that convey the essence of the city to each of them, and then making melodies or texts to express those feelings. They will all work on this on their own and in Saturday rehearsals, and then we’ll get back together in a few weeks to share results. I am sure that some of this material will end up in Philadelphia Voices; the Sister Cities Girlchoir will be among the several hundred voices on stage for the premiere performances in Philly and at Carnegie Hall. Exciting!