Sounds and sights of the Mummers Parade

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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!!!!!

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“A Symphony for Lucerne” a triumphant premiere

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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.”

Beginning Again

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:)

Detroit Notes

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:

 

 

Fensadense workshop

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Fensadense

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! 

Fensadense workshop

Light in Lucerne (photos)

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.

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