Be sure to read–and subscribe to–the City Symphonies blog, which has been posting some captivating stories about the Philadelphia Voices project. Here’s an excerpt from the most recent post, Jam Session with Sister Cities Girlchoir:
I gave the girls a challenge of helping to create Philadelphia Voices by thinking of words and phrases that convey the essence of the city to each of them, and then making melodies or texts to express those feelings. They will all work on this on their own and in Saturday rehearsals, and then we’ll get back together in a few weeks to share results. I am sure that some of this material will end up in Philadelphia Voices; the Sister Cities Girlchoir will be among the several hundred voices on stage for the premiere performances in Philly and at Carnegie Hall. Exciting!
Composer Tod Machover visits the National Constitution Center on Constitution Day, September 17, 2017, for his newest city symphony project, “Philadelphia Voices.” His objective: to collect sounds that capture the spirit of the place that gave birth to American democracy. Add your voice to the project by downloading the Philadelphia Voices app!
Download in the iTunes Store
Download in Google Play Store
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!!!
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….
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.
Reposted from the Lucerne Festival website
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.
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.”
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.