A “Philadelphia Voices” choir rehearsal

Tod Machover was in Princeton on February 26th, 2018, to work with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, one of the three choirs that will be performing in the premiere of “Philadelphia Voices.” He posted on his Facebook page: “It was amazing to hear the melodies and harmonies of PHILADELPHIA VOICES come to life through the powerful, articulate and sensitive singing of these very talented musicians, conducted by the brilliant Joe Miller. I was also able to spend time with some of the creative and intelligent music students at Westminster Choir College, majoring in composition, conducting, music theory and education, and all other music-related fields–a much more extensive program than I had realized. What a great group of collaborators, and it is truly exciting to be working with them to prepare the premiere of this new piece.”


All set for Perth premiere

Hyperscore composers with Tod Machover on the stage of the Perth Concert Hall

Hyperscore composers with Tod Machover on the stage of the Perth Concert Hall

The Western Australia Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Carolyn Kuan was hard at work this morning polishing up Tod Machover’s brand-new “Symphony for Perth,” which premieres tonight at the finale of the 2014 Perth Festival. The much-anticipated work was featured in an extensive article published in today’s The Australian:

The ears of an outsider, particularly ones as attuned as Machover’s, can yield new interpretations of the familiar. One of the things that impressed him about Perth was a musical culture that was open to possibilities. “Perth is an interesting city where different groups of people intersect: an indie musician, an Aboriginal musician, a young person discovering music for the first time, someone playing the violin … There are so few preconceptions about the way things have to fit together.’’…

“I think that the ability to listen to the world, to hear the beauty, complexity and subtlety of what is already around us, will make each of our lives richer,’’ Machover says. “It is the way we can connect our imaginations with the outside world and communicate our deepest desires and dreams with others. I am trying to make a step in this direction with the process and the result of projects like a Symphony for Perth.’’

Read the full article: Tod Machover’s symphony for Perth pits man versus machine

Dallas rehearsal photos!

Opening night this Wednesday!! The whole crew is in high gear at the Winspear Opera House.  Here’s the evidence:


Rehearsal Pics – “Jeux Deux”

The Toronto Symphony’s New Creations Festival opens today!

With Machover as guest-curator, the 2013 New Creations Festival takes a suitably technology-driven perspective, exploring the evolution of music from past to future with a selection of boundary-bending works which bring the past to the present and redefines the instruments of an orchestra. The Festival opens with the Canadian première of Arcadiac, where Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s work will have the orchestra perform live accompaniment to vintage arcade games of the 1970s and 1980s, followed by Machover’s Jeux Deux, an interweaving of hyperpiano, orchestra, interactive software and live graphics (Mar 2, 2013). The Festival’s opening programme closes with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan leading the Canadian première of the Mason Bates’s symphony-scale piece Alternative Energy, which depicts the past, present, and future of energy using field recordings and acoustic orchestra.

Here’s Tod Machover yesterday onstage at Roy Thomson Hall with “hyper pianist” Michael Chertock rehearsing “Jeux Deux”, composed for the Boston Pops in 2005. Chertock performed in the world premiere (watch video clip).

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Final Dress Rehearsal Photos

Last night was the final dress rehearsal before the show opens tomorrow night, and even I was anxious running around backstage with my camera. Though I’ve seen the show from start to finish several times start to finish (as proven by the fact that my dinner table and I sang through almost all of scene 1 during dessert), I still watched wide-eyed and with bated breath. We have a truly amazing show that’s about to open tomorrow night – to put it modestly, Tod came up to me after and said, “well, I think we have a show,” – and it’s hard not to get excited. Here are a few shots I took during the rehearsal:

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Rehearsal Photos

Yesterday afternoon during rehearsal I spent a good two hours, armed with my camera, crouching in the front row of the Salle Garnier. Besides getting a few strange looks from conductor Gil Rose and almost getting tripped on more times than I can count, I managed to get a few good shots of the last run-through before the sitzprobe. Check them out:

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Sunday Rehearsal at Cutler Majestic

I’m currently sitting in the audience at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston watching Jim  and Joelle rehearse one of the pivotal scenes in the opera. “We evolved as meat to want sugar and fat/once that was good, but now that is fatal,” croons Jim, writhing in anguish on a blanket on stage. I watch mesmerized until choreographer Karole Armitage stops them, reminding them that they shouldn’t touch during this section. “When does the touching start?” Joelle asks into the dark audience of mostly empty seats, save for director Diane Paulus. “Let the touching begin,” deadpans Jim.

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and despite the fact that it’s the weekend the majority of the cast and crew are working hard at perfecting lighting cues, tweaking the sound balance, and fixing everything else that needs to be finished before everything ships to Monaco next week. Today is one of the last rehearsals before Wednesday, when the Opera of the Future team will hold a complete run-through of the opera in preparation for shipping everything to Monaco. More rehearsing and a full dress rehearsal will take place after everything ships, but even now anyone can see that things are really starting to come together. At the same time, though, everyone has also been working nonstop for the past few weeks, and it’s all coming down to the wire in these last few days.

(l-r) Peter Torpey, Elly Jessop, and Ben Bloomberg

Elly and Peter work with the visualizations for the walls

A chorus of robots wait for their cues backstage.

Needless to say, it’s a thoroughly exciting time to be hanging around in the wings of Opera of the Future. Tonight is the sitzprobe, or the first time the singers will be performing with the orchestra, and in the next few days there’ll be more staging and the full run-through on Wednesday. So be sure to watch this space for more behind-the-scenes footage of Death and the Powers!