Join our interactive live-stream event Tuesday, July 9th!!


Special Interactive Improvisation Session for
Tod Machover’s Festival City

Commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival
Created at the MIT Media Lab
Hosted by The Guardian

Composer Tod Machover is in the midst of creating a “collaborative symphony” called Festival City, to be premiered on August 27th at the Edinburgh International Festival. The work is a sonic portrait of Edinburgh – the city and the festival – created with input from Edinburgh lovers, both residents and visitors. For the past few months, Tod has been soliciting audio samples of – and stories about – the city, as well as providing tools created by his team at the MIT Media Lab that allow everyone to help shape the composition.

Now is your chance to participate in a one-time-only special event to further shape Festival City. From 2-3pm Boston time (7-8pm UK time) on Tuesday, July 9th, you will be able to help select musical elements from the repertoire of pieces performed at the EIF since its inception in 1947. Here’s how it works:

Tod has studied the composers and pieces performed at the Edinburgh Festival over the years, and has preselected the ones most frequently performed, as well as pieces that interrelate in interesting and sometimes surprising ways. He has been working with Boston-based pianist Tae Kim on strategies for linking these works together, sometimes as fleeting memories, other times as interlaced collage fragments, and finally as new hybrids…all connected with the “glue” of Tod’s own musical material.

For this live-stream event, Tae will weave the repertoire fragments together in constantly evolving ways, following input from…you!!! The simple web interface shows a colored bubble for each composer selected. “Stir” with your mouse on the screen, and the closest “composer bubble” will grow in size. “Stir” directly on a bubble, and that composer’s presence will be augmented. Simultaneously, Tod will be controlling a second interface which will determine how the composer-fragments overlap, bounce against each other, or fuse together. Your input and Tod’s will immediately change the size, appearance and behavior of the bubbles, and this in turn becomes Tae’s “score” for the improv session. He will follow the community’s preferences and will perform accordingly.

During the one-hour session on July 9th, Tod and Tae will create three different versions of this composition, of 15 minutes, 8 minutes and finally 3 minutes, refining the musical content and flow at each iteration. Between each performance, Tod and Tae will discuss the last version and how to make it tighter and more effective, and you will be able to send your comments as well. The final 3-minute version will be captured in video, audio, MIDI and data versions, and will be used by Tod as he crafts the “repertoire fragments” section of Festival City over the coming weeks.”

Please join us for this unique event on July 9th and help shape Festival City. The interactive live-stream will be hosted by The Guardian. Click here to join.

Tod, Tae and Akito rehearsing the live-stream event
Tod, Tae and Akito rehearsing the live-stream event

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