Mentions by the PBS News Hour and The Guardian

PBS NewsHour – Former Poet Laureate Pinsky: Poetry ‘Too Fundamental, Large’ to Need Advocate
Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky is one of the rare “public poets” who enjoys sharing and performing poetry in settings as wildly diverse as The Colbert Report, The Simpsons and the musical performance stage. Pinsky has performed his poetry with jazz musicians and supplied the language for the libretto of the opera Death and the Powers.

From The Guardian: MIT students at a physics class take measurements in 1957. Photograph: Andreas Feininger/Time & Life Pictures

The Guardian (UK) – The MIT factor: celebrating 150 years of maverick genius
“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has led the world into the future for 150 years with scientific innovations. Its brainwaves keep the US a superpower. But what makes the university such a fertile ground for brilliant ideas?” The article begins with Tod Machover’s hypercello project with Yo-yo Ma and comes full circle at the end with Noam Chomsky on the eve of his musical debut as the narrator with the Kronos Quartet in Machover’s newest work, “Chomsky Suite”.

Eternal Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Robot fans blog about Death and the Powers! The technology: “It’s spooky good. The 3,000-pound “operabots” directed by Xbox controls move and speak like you’ve never seen.” Is “Death and Powers” good opera? Initial reception has been good, even in picky Opera News. Is it genius engineering and application? Posing Big questions worth asking? Yes and yes.


FAST Festival MIT 150th anniversary (video)

Highlights of MIT’s Festival of Art, Science and Technology, introduced by festival director Tod Machover. What a feast of gorgeous images,  ideas and inspiration, from brain research and Marvin Minsky’s theories to an electronic gamelan orchestra, Guitar Hero, Chinese lute, a robotic opera, Otto Piene’s sky art and more. Catch a glimpse of one of the late computer music pioneer Max Matthews’s last public talks. Scenes from Death and the Powers and Chomsky Suite.

Behind FAST – Interview with Festival Director Tod Machover

Archinect just published an extensive interview with composer Tod Machover about the process and thinking that went into the creation of MIT’s Festival of Art, Science and Technology (FAST). This article provides a great deal of fascinating insight into how this festival came to be. If you’re in Boston this weekend, don’t miss FAST Light, an extravaganza of illuminated installations that will light up the campus and Charles River.

Read the full article: MIT, Going FAST After 150 Years

Dis(course)4, by Craig Boney, James Coleman and Andrew Manto. On display in the stairwell of the Maclaurin Buildings.

FAST Light – Photos and Video

Update May 11, 2011. Nice write-up in The Tech (M.I.T.’s campus newspaper).

Update May 9, 2011. Check out these beautiful photos of FAST Light taken over this past weekend. There must have been tens of thousands of people there, thronging the campus and the riverbank. Joyous and moving.

Getting very excited about tomorrow night’s launch of FAST Light. A stretch of Memorial Drive along the M.I.T. Campus will be closed to traffic, and the Massachusetts Avenue bridge will be illuminated. Check out this NECN-TV spot about the event.

Here are some photos of the installations being put into place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FAST Light this weekend

Update: Here’s a Boston Globe article with additional information about FAST Light: “Illumination of imagination”: ““The arts and the way they connect with things on campus are one of the best kept secrets at MIT,’’ says Tod Machover, the composer and professor of music and media at MIT who chairs the FAST steering committee. “These installations are a laboratory for experiments in reimagining the campus.’’

Message from Tod Machover:

"Soft Rockers" from MIT FAST Festival

If you are in/near Boston this weekend, come to FAST Light, the culminating event of the FAST Arts Festival that I have been running this spring to help celebrate MIT’s 150th anniversary. On the evenings of May 7 and May 8, the MIT campus will be illuminated and interconnected with amazing installations and experiences that FAST has commissioned from MIT faculty and students. On Saturday and Sunday from 7-10 pm, with a special SKY ART event by Otto Piene on Saturday at 7. Full info below, and great weekend preview at

In other news, Death and the Powers is attracting growing attention as a result of the recent Boston and Chicago performances ( Preview presentations will take place this month and next at venues such as the Opera America Conference (Boston), the Dallas Opera, TEDxMunich, NIME (Oslo), the Prague Quadrennial, and ECHO Digital (Sage Gateshead, UK). Stay tuned to the Opera of the Future blog for news about upcoming performances of Powers.

In the meantime, come to FAST Light this weekend at MIT. I predict that it will be an astonishing, joyous and unforgettable event.

Featured in China’s Lifeweek special issue on MIT

The Chinese magazine Lifeweek produced a special issue on MIT in its October 11, 2010 issue. The Media Lab was prominently featured, and included an article about Tod Machover’s work. Here’s a translation of the title and abstract (thanks Google Translator!):

Tod Machover: Music Liberator
Machover is a genius inventor Professor. Twenty-five years at the Media Lab, he invented many instruments and software, “hyperinstrument”, “Brain Opera”, “hypermusic”, “music toys”, etc., which enable everyone interested in music to more quickly reach the core of the music.”

Download the Lifeweek cover and full article here (pdf)