The new movie “Anonymous” shows that our culture is more obsessed than ever with celebrity and genius, and that we look for transcendent heroes capable of leading us through the darkness. On the other end, masses of people meet online as “friends” to share intimacies or to solve problems collectively. The truth is that the real power of invention lies in between these two extremes, where experts can collaborate as equals with everyone else, combining unique and broad perspectives for the benefit of all. Music provides an ideal test bed for this new mode of collaboration.
Tod Machover’s group at the MIT Media Lab has spent the last 25 years developing technologies to enhance the musical expression of virtuosi like Yo-Yo Ma, to open the expressive and creative musical potential for amateurs, children and the infirm, and to breakdown barriers between artist and audience. We are now entering a bold new phase of inter-skill collaboration, informed by the recent successes of Guitar Hero, Björk’s Biophilia, and RjDj’s mobile music apps. Through physical composing, sequenced sonic objects, morphing Mozart-to-merengue, and creating City Symphonies and Personal Operas, Tod believes that a more satisfying musical ecology can be forged which – in turn – will be a powerful inspiration for a more creative society.
Watch Tod’s recent TEDxNewEngland talk: