TEDx Video of Spheres and Splinters

Bowers & Wilkins put up this post that gives you a chance to hear some of the music from Tod Machover’s most recent work, “Spheres and Splinters”, debuted in Aldeburgh and London last November. The video is a tad confusing because it mixes in footage from other performers and composers at TEDx Aldeburgh, but it provides an evocative record of a special event.


Great responses to TEDx Aldeburgh

Photo from Production Advice

Production Advice posted this great write-up: TEDx Aldeburgh – a rough guide. The post was written by Ian Shepherd, the founder of Production Advice, a professional producer and senior mastering engineer at leading independent mastering facility SRT (Sound Recording Technology), based just outside Cambridge in the UK. The blog covers the entire event, which included talks by such industry luminaries as Thomas Dolby (who hosted and curated the event) and composer and record producer William Orbit.

Shepherd writes:

“But the standout moment of the day for me was Tod Machaver’s [sic] presentation on his astonishing work over the years…

What impressed me most about Tod’s presentation was not so much the way he used complex technical wizardry, but that it was always focused on being inclusive and enabling – for example installations allowing anyone to make music, whether they have just walked in off the street or have a challenging condition like cerebral palsy like Dan Ellsey, who appears in this amazing video.

All of which was perfectly brought together by Peter Gregson’s stunning performance immediately afterwards, playing cello with one Tod’s hyper-bows, and allowing the sound of the instrument to envelop us in ambisonic surround-sound. Any scepticism I had about the implementation of the hyperbow were put to rest talking to Peter later – he assured me that the way it responds to his playing is very consistent and intuitive, and certainly hearing the piece felt very much like listening to a living, breathing performance, rather than simply someone playing with a backing track. This was an excerpt from a longer piece, “Spheres and Splinters”, which premieres next Friday in Snape, and on Saturday in London.”

There was also some nice Twitter feedback: BigBud73: Was lucky enough to catch the stunning Spheres & Splinters Tod Machover collaboration with Peter Gregson tonight at Kings Place.

Additional links of interest:

SOS – TEDx Aldeburgh Music – a success! “Overall, this premier TEDx Aldeburgh Music day-long event could be summarised as a diverse and fascinating exploration of the best of contemporary music.”

TEDx Aldeburgh Web site

Spheres and Splinters – new work by Tod Machover

Photos from Aldeburgh

Tod Machover on his recent New Music New Media residency in Aldeburgh, England:

“Testing UVA’s LED light towers during rehearsal for my new “Spheres and Splinters” at Kings Place, London. During the show, the towers were never bright green…..but this does give a sense of their potential. Only video – or being there:) – can show how subtle and beautiful they are, and how well integrated with sound and gesture.” (In photo, cellist Peter Gregson)

Photo by Tod Machover

“A single LED tower glows behind “hypecellist” Peter Gregson, as he plays a very soft, delicate note which is “shadowed” by the interactive electronics.”

“UVA software system for visualizing light array around cello and controlling it during concert.”

“Me, Joana Seguro and Ash Nehru (UVA) after our successful “Spheres and Splinters” concert at Kings Place, London on Saturday night.”

And check out Ben Bloomberg’s great blog post about Spheres and Splinters. He goes into great technical details about how the piece was put together.

Classical Music Magazine on Aldeburgh project

This week’s Classical Music Magazine features the “Spheres and Splinters” collaborative work that composer Tod Machover, cellist Peter Gregson, sound designer Ben Bloomerberg and artist collective UVA (UnitedVisualArtists) will be working on during their residency at TEDx Aldeburgh and Aldeburgh’s New Music New Media.

Here is the article (click to enlarge):

Tod Machover in Aldeburgh, England, Nov 4-12, 2010

Photo by Peter Chadwick

Tod Machover is spending the next week and a half in the Aldeburgh, a small English seaside town noted for its association with Benjamin Britten and year-round music events. Tod will be leading the New Music New Media course for emerging professional composers and musicians. Working with Peter Gregson, Ben Bloomberg and United Visual Artists, Tod will collaborate on a new work, Faster Than Sound – Spheres and Splinters, which will be presented in two public concerts. Tickets are available through these links:

Tod will also be speaking on November 6 at TEDx Aldeburgh, one of the TEDx conferences which allows organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences. Hosted by Thomas Dolby, Musical Director of the TED Conference, the event will feature live talks by Louis Lortie, Martyn Ware, Tim Exile, Imogen Heap, United Visual Artists, David Toop and others.