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!!!!!
From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:
“What a remarkable premiere yesterday of A SYMPHONY FOR LUCERNE at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. We gave a pre-intermission “Making Of…” presentation and then played the new work. Matthias Pintscher and theLUCERNE FESTIVAL Academy Orchestra played brilliantly, beautifully. All of the Lucerne performers who we invited to participate – Der Chor Luzern, the Kinderchor des Schulhauses Grenzhof, organist Wolfgang Sieber, and the explosive Barfuessfäger Guggenmusik band – all contributed to the quite diverse but (I think:) integrated portrait of this gorgeous, delicate, complex and characterful city. Electronics and acoustics blended just right (thanks to Ben Bloomberg’s perfect mixing), pros and amateurs complemented each other as I had imagined, mosaic-like textures and sweeping melodies co-existed and supported each other, and the public responded with a warm, loud and long standing ovation. It felt like everyone’s contribution was appreciated, which is what one always hopes. The fact that a high-quality filming was done by Oliver Becker and his team means that the work – and this special premiere – can be shared with all, quite soon I think. Pretty much a perfect premiere, and a reminder of why we do these crazy projects – to bring people together in unexpected, powerful and indelible ways.”
From Tod Machover’s Facebook post today:
Haven’t done THIS for a long while! One the projects I am preparing for this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVALis a full-evening performance of my HYPERSTRING TRILOGY. I am making revisions to the solo and electronic parts, so had to prepare a new version of BEGIN AGAIN AGAIN… this week for wonderful cellist Mariel Roberts, who will be performing it in Lucerne. With all my other Lucerne projects, I didn‘t have time to re-copy everything from scratch, so literally did a paste-up combining beautiful printed score (from the “Norton Scores” edition), vintage 1990’s computer manuscript, and elements from my original handwritten manuscript. Haven’t done a paste-up like this – scissors, rubber cement, and White-Out included – since Juilliard days, so it felt quite nostalgic; I remembered how much I used to enjoy the physicality and craftsmanship of preparing scores like this. I ran into good friend and great pianist Marc-André Hamelin at the local Staples store, and he immediately saw the humor in the situation…..my literally glueing together such a hi-tech and forwarding-looking piece. You do what you have to:)
First page of BEGIN AGAIN AGAIN… for solo Hypercello. Composed for Yo-Yo Ma and recorded by Matt Haimovitz.
Great pianist (and friend) Marc-André Hamelin, who spotted me in Staples in the midst of purchasing rubber cement and White-Out to prepare the new cut-and-paste version of the score to BEGIN AGAIN AGAIN…
Original manuscript from the CODA to BEGIN AGAIN AGAIN.
The Opera of the Future crew spent the Memorial Day weekend in Detroit, doing activities for the SYMPHONY IN D project. The 3 days were packed and each activity was an adventure: from driving in (and recording audio from) a Grand Prix race car, to visiting the Movement techno music festival with young DJ students, to jamming with indie improvisors, to meeting a pioneer of urban gardening, to singing opera with Martha Reeves (of the Vandellas)…and on and on. Detroit is a city brimming with complexity and vitality, individuality and soul. Tod says “I always miss it when I’m gone, and hope to capture some of its spirit in sound and music.”
Learn more about some of the amazing people will have gotten to know:
Expect the unexpected in Detroit, including people you never imagined you’d run into…like Martha Reeves (of Martha and the Vandellas) who we met while leaving Bert’s jazz club on Sunday night. She asked about SYMPHONY IN D (http://www.dso.org/symphonyind
) and sang us an opera aria and a VERY high (pitch-wise) version of America the Beautiful. You couldn’t make this up:)
Detroit’s Grand Prix starts on Friday, but I was lucky enough to get a ride in this souped-up Corvette Stingray on the Grand Prix track. Scary as hell…but what a sound!!!
We didn’t just drive the Grand Prix car in Detroit; we recorded it too…big-time. Jeremy and Josh from Ringside Media put high-res mics inside and outside the car; the sound is spectacular and will definitely find its way into SYMPHONY IN D (http://www.dso.org/symphonyind
Charles Burns, General Manager of the Cehvrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, personally drove me around the track…at VERY high speed. I screamed the first time around, then managed to shut up so that we could record the race car sounds in hi def:)
We had a wild recording session with 20 young musicians in project manager Chad Rochkind’s living room. From cello to electric guitar to synths to winds and more, beautiful Detroit music was made that I’ll weave into SYMPHONY IN D (http://www.dso.org/symphonyind
20 young musicians convened by Bryan Pope improvised around the “sound of Detroit” for my Symphony in D project.
The Z-Lot parking garage is filled with commissioned murals on each of ten floors and in two parallel structures. Where else but in Detroit could you find THAT?!?
Detroit views from the top of the Z-Lot parking garage.
Vivid, mural-bedecked alleyway in downtown Detroit.
Where else but in Detroit???
What?!?!? A “car” spotted on the street in Detroit.
An unusual home in the Hamtramck section of Detroit.
This amazing performance space was built inside an almost-condemned single family home in the Hamtramck section of Detroit. What a great idea to open up the full inside of the house and turn it into this. Inspiring…and wish we’d been able to see a performance there.
Went back to the Heidelberg Project, although it was the first visit for Noa, June and Hana. Powerful, somehow unfathomable.
Viewed at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit.
Baynard Dinkins was sitting on a park bench and told us everything about the history of the Heidelberg Project. He proposed the name to artist Tyree Guyton in 1986! http://www.heidelberg.org/
Garret Koehler coaxing sounds out of the organ in his being-converted (physically, not religiously:) church. The keys don’t play exactly what your expect, but the rushing air and pipes make some indescribable and unforgettable sounds…sure to find a place in SYMPHONY IN D.
This visit to Detroit was scheduled to coincide with the Movement Festival, one of the largest techno festivals in the world (in the place where techno was born). Lots of crazy subwoofers and razor-sharp timbres, with the most interesting sounds and scene in this (literally) underground rave-room.
Spent hours at the Movement Festival in Detroit, one of the largest techno music festivals in the world.
Not sure exactly what these folks were doing at the Movement Festival…but it was very white:)
Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – was at the Movement Festival in Detroit.
Matt, one of the students from the YouthVille DJ class we are working with, trying out an Elektron synth.
With Dave Smith, inventor of MIDI (or so they say), and Morris Porter, visionary composer and producer and brilliant YouthVille mentor of beatmaking and DJ’ing.
With Morris Porter and the YouthVille kids at Detroit’s Movement Festival.
9-year-old Matt from YouthVille (right) stole the show by truly moving with great expression and panache at Detroit’s Movement Festival on Sunday. A star was born, methinks.
With the brilliant musician, poet, storyteller, historian, performance artist and all-around-great person Marsha Battle Philpot.
Although we were super-tired after 3 very full days of Detroit experiences, we went to Bert’s jazz club on Sunday evening…and lucky we did. We heard the brilliant young electric bass player Jonathan Muir-Cotton, who was giving his senior high school graduation concert with his trio plus some extra players. I haven’t heard such exciting, heartfelt music in a long while.
Jonathan Muir-Cotton and his band (including an astounding 13-year old drummer) at Bert’s jazz club in Detroit on Sunday evening.
From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:
Finished a great rehearsal period for FENSADENSE in Lucerne today with a fun and imaginative video shoot by Oliver T. Becker for a video trailer for the project. These 10 fabulous players from the Alumni Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL Academy were a great pleasure to work with, and I can’t wait to go home to finish the piece, to exchange ideas with everyone over the next few months, and to meet up again in Lucerne in August. Truly wonderful experience!
Tod Machover is in Lucerne this week, working with musicians on a new work to premiere this summer at the Lucerne Festival. He seems very taken by the quality of light in the city. From Tod’s Facebook:
Surprising and intense light everywhere in Lucerne, where we are in a fun work week in preparation for this summer’s LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Took my favorite morning walk up to the Museggmauer where you can see the sunrise over Lucerne, its Lake, and the surrounding mountains. Nothing quite like it; all of nature and all of civilization are here in one view. Contrasting lights last night in a Lucerne Festival concert, and in the Südpol where we are rehearsing my FENSADENSE project. Working hard, but – as you can see on Ben’s, Peter’s and Garrett’s faces – very glad to be here!
Here are some photos he posted this morning.