Next Machover opera: “Schoenberg in Hollywood”

The Boston Lyric Opera just announced the commission for Tod Machover’s next opera, called “Schoenberg in Hollywood”. The premiere will be in November 2018. Machover is taking a sabbatical from the MIT Media Lab to work on the opera. Read about the basics at tinyurl.com/TodBLOrelease. More to come!!!

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Listen up! Great recording of Symphony in D (video)

For your listening pleasure, here’s an excellent version of the “Symphony in D” recording. And here’s a new press release just out about the symphony and Tod Machover’s “Composer of the Year” award.

“Imagination is the strongest tool we have. The reason that we make music is of course to reach our audiences, but also to change the world, and nothing less than that is worth doing.” -Tod Machover

Symphony in D, the symphony written for and by the people of Detroit, premiered November 20 and 21 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and was lauded by the press for its uniqueness of sound and for bringing vast numbers of people from all different communities together through music and technology. Anticipated by nearly every local publication and a great many nationally and internationally, the “love letter to Detroit” (Hyperallergic) was commissioned by the DSO and conducted by Leonard Slatkin, resulting in “big, amassing smorgasbords that invariably proved exhilarating” (Musical America) and “made Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand look like a chamber piece” (Classical Voice North America). Read articles from TheNew York Times, BBC World Service, Associated Press, USA Today, andMusical America….

2016 Musical America honorees from left: Mark Padmore, Jennifer Koh, Gil Rose, Tod Machover and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Musical America 2015 honorees from left: Mark Padmore, Jennifer Koh, Gil Rose, Tod Machover and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Named 2016 Composer of the Year by Musical America, Tod Machover has captivated audiences worldwide with innovative musical technologies of his own invention and brilliant, passionate scores. Machover, alongside the other outstanding Musical America awardees, was honored at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on December 8. Mark Swed, music critic at the Los Angeles Times, describes Machover as “the true futurist,” his work as “a vast network of musical neurons enthusiastically making connections between musical traditions, past and present, not normally joined,” in his feature article written for Musical America.

Composer in residence Lucerne

Reposted from the Lucerne Festival website

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Contemporary music: something meant only for the “happy few”? Tod Machover provides evidence to the contrary. In his Symphony for Lucerne, which will be premiered by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra, he has created a sonic portrait of the city from the sounds and noises of Lucerne – while closely collaborating with its residents in the composition process. This American composer has also broken new ground in the field of music and technology as evidenced by his research at the MIT Media Laboratory in Boston. He has developed a novel composition program that allows children and young people in Lucerne to write their own pieces under his guidance. Machover also experiments with electronically enhanced “hyperinstruments” in works such as Hyperstring Trilogyand Fensadense, his new composition for LUCERNE FESTIVAL Young Performance, which is the Festival’s special workshop devoted to the concert forms of tomorrow.

23 August | Tribute to Boulez 6
Machover Re-Structures for Two Pianos and Live Electronics (world premiere)

29 August | Late Night 3
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Ensemble
Machover Hyperstring Trilogy

5 September | Symphony Concert 24
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra | Matthias Pintscher
Machover A Symphony for Lucerne (world premiere)

12 September | Young – Family Concert 2
LUCERNE FESTIVAL Young Performance
Machover Fensadense for Hyperinstruments and Interactive Electronics (world premiere)

12 September | Late Night 5
LUCERNE FESTIVAL Young Performance
Machover Fensadense for Hyperinstruments and Interactive Electronics

Further information can be found at www.sinfoniefürluzern.ch.

 

On Michigan Radio: How to create a symphony of Detroit

Composer Tod Machover works with a Detroit Symphony Orchestra percussionist on what the beat of Detroit sounds like. CREDIT EMILY FOX / MICHIGAN RADIO

Composer Tod Machover works with a Detroit Symphony Orchestra percussionist on what the beat of Detroit sounds like.
CREDIT EMILY FOX / MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox chats with Tod Machover about the “Symphony in D” project. You can listen here to How to create a symphony of Detroit

In the interview, Tod explains how he is working with people from all over Detroit to convey the story of the city’s vibrant history and diverse communities through sound, which he will transform into an orchestral piece. One of our favorite quotes:

Machover says another part of this project is to send the message that classical music isn’t just something that only a few special people can make.

“I think classical music is one of the domains where we’re most scared or intimidated about participating because the level of expertise is so high and of course there are certain things you can do in classical music that you can only do if you devote yourself to it for 20 years, but it would be such a more vital field if everybody was touching it somehow,” he says.

That point is getting across to the students. 13-year-old Emiilah Shuler and 11-year-old Samuel Pickens felt inspired after composing their mini Symphony in D.

“I think it gives us a chance to believe that we can do that one day, when we are all grown up, anything is possible,” says Shuler.

Pickens adds, “I’m glad to be helping my hometown make a symphony and I feel proud.”

MIT students interview Tod Machover

Two MIT undergrads, Chantine Akiyama and Sue Liang, did this interview with Tod Machover about his SYMPHONY IN D project. It’s fun and refreshing, and conveys their perspective on the project. Tod speaks about the main goals for the project. They include:

First, the music that emerges as the Symphony must be a piece that can stand on its own. It must be an emotional human statement about a place, and a specific one: Detroit.

Second, the Symphony is a research goal. The creation of this symphony is a great way to develop models where all different people of different cultures can come together and care about each other and contribute something. Every individual deserves to be represented and given a voice, and art is fantastic because you can create a model of how you want society to be. Through this project we can create spaces for collaboration and compassion..

Read the full interview here.

A Symphony for Perth

Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea: A Symphony for Perth was composed from October 2013 to February 2014 for Carolyn Kuan and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, on commission from the Perth International Arts Festival. The 25-minute work is a musical, sonic portrait of Perth and surrounding areas, and was created in collaboration with people from Perth of all ages and backgrounds (based on a creative model I developed for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival, both in 2013, designed to cultivate careful listening to the world around us to discover its hidden music).

Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea is a four movement work, played without a break, which conveys Perth’s dramatic geography, the simultaneous complexity and calm I have found there, and the enormous sense of potential and ‘unanswered questions’ that the city and region suggest. You can read more about the ideas behind the piece here and watch a brief trailer for A Symphony for Perth below:

I have travelled rather widely over the years, but I had never been to Perth (nor the rest of Australia) when Continue reading