New York Times beguiled by “Cheese Steak solo”

If the Philadelphia Eagles can win the Super Bowl, why can’t Philly’s iconic cheese steak have its moment too? So seems to be the question driving New York Times reporter Michael Cooper as he shadowed Tod Machover, who was on a last-ditch quest to capture the perfect audio recording at Pat’s, one of the city’s premier purveyors of the delicacy. In this video, Machover shows how he manipulated the recording to bring out the juicy bits: Continue reading


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.”

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 (…/Mummers-Parade-Still-a-Go…). Quite an experience, and a great way to start off 2018!!!!!

Tonya Matthews speak about Symphony in D

Wonderful interview with Tonya Matthews – director of the Michigan Science Center, PhD in biology, and truly brilliant poet and performance artist – on the occasion of the PBS premiere of the Dennis Scholl/Marlin Johnson documentary on the SYMPHONY IN D project. Tonya speaks beautifully about her work and about describing Detroit in words and music. Read the full interview here: THIS FRIDAY at 8 PM | Symphony in D, A Symphony by Detroit for Detroit

Philadelphia Voices @ National Constitution Center

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


An Emmy for “Symphony in D” documentary

Congratulations to Dennis Scholl, Marlon Johnson and Tod Machover for taking home an Emmy for Best Cultural Documentary for the film of SYMPHONY IN D at the Michigan Emmy Awards last night! Check out the trailer above. Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson picked up the awards in Detroit (photo below). Tod had to stay home to work on his next opera, but he wrote to his co-producers: “Congratulations to the whole team. This was such a great collaboration, one I will never forget.”