Smartplanet Q&A with Tod Machover

“In 50 years, and probably well before that, every piece of music will be some kind of collaboration.”

Photo by JC Dhien Photography
Photo by JC Dhien Photography

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

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