“Festival City” BBC recording (Audio)

Terrific BBC recording of the world premiere of Tod Machover’s “Festival City”. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Peter Oundjian.


BBC report on “Festival City”

Last night’s world premiere of “Festival City” went off without a hitch. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra players were on fire, and the acoustics in Usher Hall were excellent. Kudos too to the Edinburgh International Festival audience for their commitment and enthusiasm to new work. Check out this BBC report from the rehearsal, including a video with interviews with Tod Machover and RSNO conductor Peter Oundjian. The entire performance was also recorded and we hope will be broadcast soon. Stay tuned…

Read and watch video here: Edinburgh’s crowdsourced symphony made with MIT apps

Rehearsing Festival City

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Exciting first rehearsal yesterday with full orchestra of FESTIVAL CITY. Here’s the Royal Scottish National Orchestra trying out the piece for the first time, in their rehearsal space in Glasgow. On my way back there now for more rehearsing. More pictures soon.


Play the Cauldron Connector game!

Play Cauldron Connector to win two free tickets to Tod Machover’s “Festival City” premiere at the EIF’s “City Noir” concert on August 27

How’s your auditory and musical acumen? Test it out with the Cauldron Connector quiz designed by Akito Van Troyer and Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab. Correctly traverse your way through the sounds of Machover’s “Festival City”, and your name will be placed into a drawing for two free tickets to the lecture/demo (5pm) and premiere (8pm) of the piece at the Edinburgh International Festival’s “City Noir” concert on August 27th!!

Even if you’re nowhere near Edinburgh and won’t be able to attend the concert, you can still play and if you win, we’ll think of some cool alternative prize.

Play the game here.

Name That Tune

Repertoire Remix: Q&A


The MIT Media Lab has posted a terrific interview with Tod Machover and pianist Tae Kim that takes us deeper inside the collaborative process of creating “Festival City”. In the interview, Tod also speaks about how the experience is changing him:

For Festival City, I have taken a big risk by opening up the compositional process to the public and inviting the submission of material as well as the shaping of the composition to be shared. Besides the obvious reasons to do this–to establish a new kind of dialogue between artist and audience, and to open up the usually closed “black box” of the composition process so that all can peer inside–I am also excited by the potential of hearing new sounds and thinking differently about composing than I would if I had worked on this 100% in my barn-studio outside of Boston. So this is one element of the composition that will take me–and hopefully everyone–to some new musical territories.

Read the full interview here: Repertoire Remix: Q&A with Tod Machover and Tae Kim

The Scotsman previews “Festival City”

This nice article popped up in The Scotsman! We like this quote:

Machover’s Edinburgh project has embraced online participation as far afield as China, Turkey and Thailand. “It’s been a marvellous way of encouraging people to listen to the world around them.”

How very John Cage. “Not quite,” Machover argues. “I think what Cage did was to take the world for what is was – beautiful enough to listen to. I’m trying to find and extract the music. That makes it more interesting, like what happens when Beethoven and bagpipes collide.”

Sounds like Edinburgh alright.

Read the full article: Festival preview: Tod Machover’s Festival City


Inside “Festival City” with Wired UK

Wired UK posted this excellent article today that provides an in-depth look at the Festival City project. Included are detailed descriptions of how the music apps work. We loved this:

To compose Festival City, which Machover hopes will bring out the contrasts of the city, Machover first invited people to submit raw material that reminded of them of Edinburgh during festival time. These could be pieces of music, sounds or recorded stories and anecdotes which were submitted by email, uploaded toSoundCloud or recorded on an answering phone. Sounds that particularly stood out for Machover were those of church bells and people talking in the lobbies discussing shows they’d just seen, as well what he describes as an “indie rock band of traffic”, where each of the cars stood out like soloists, rather than just collaborating to a single mass of traffic noise.

Tod is in Edinburgh this week and next, busy fine-tuning and rehearsing “Festival City”, which premieres next Tuesday, August 27th, at the Edinburgh International Festival. Tickets here.

Read the full article: Festival City: Tod Machover on crowdsourcing music with MIT apps for EIF


Wired UK