Tod’s current project, “A Toronto Symphony”, is about active, mindful listening to the world around us, in this case the city of Toronto. The composer asks the inhabitants to focus on the sounds that evoke strong feelings, images and memories about their city and their lives, raw sounds that he will transform into music. As an example, Tod turns to his 2008 opera “Skellig”, based on David Almond’s beloved modern classic. About “Skellig”, Tod writes that it is
…an opera about the relationship between the natural world that surrounds us, our everyday perception, and the heightened perception – and action – that comes when we pay close attention – and listen – to what is really there. Hence the opera combines recorded sounds as well as transitions that find the music in those sounds via voices (a young people’s chorus) and instruments (a chamber orchestra).
Here are some examples: Continue reading