Tod describes the launch of the new web application "Media Scores," designed by his team at the MIT Media Lab to generate sounds and collaboration with the city of Toronto. The material generated through Media Scores and the input of its users this coming month will become the finale of A Toronto Symphony, to be premiered in March 2013, at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations festival.
Composer Tod Machover leads the talented young players of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra through the opening chord progression of his work-in-progress, "A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City."
The sounds made by this friendly mob of two-wheeled musicians and revelers will make you all kinds of happy! Do they make you want to compose your own music?
We’re delighted to announce that the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival has joined forces with us to create music and recordings for A Toronto Symphony. Scheduled for September 15 this year, the wonderfully quirky festival enlists dozens of musicians and music-lovers to cycle their way from neighborhood to neighborhood, stopping to so bands can perform at various locations. All the electricity is generated by pedal power!! Check out the video:
You can find out more about the festival here. Performers at this year’s festival will include Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Rae Spoon. We hope you can join the fun and help capture some fresh Sounds of Toronto for us!
Tod will be attending the ALL CAPS! Island Festival on August 11th and 12th, a festival of Indie music. We have several fun activities planned for Sunday the 12th, and we hope to see you at the festival so you can be a part of this next step. First, any interested members of the audience or performers will come together to listen to a select few of the submitted Toronto sounds and then begin to reflect these sounds in actual music. Tod will be working with this group to give suggestions, and they will work to get as close as possible to those sounds using instruments in both traditional and non-traditional ways. During this time, the bands will also have a unique opportunity to join in on the project. By setting up a recording studio at the festival, we will be able to collect the one chord, sound, or short phrase that represents each individual band. The idea here is similar to with the sounds in that we hope these clips will be instantly recognizable to any of each bands’ fans. This should be a great weekend to begin to both listen to Toronto music and to take the next steps of the project together; we hope to see you there!
So I hope you’ve had a chance to take a look at the first bit of music I made with the Toronto Symphony musicians. Now it’s your turn, to see what your reaction is to the Launch Music and maybe to see if you want to add something to it. You can look at the chords, play them on the piano, look at the video, you can hear the chords, you can hear the full piece. It’s a combination of my chords, what the musicians wrote in response to my chords, and then some improvisation we did back and forth. You can look at the score (below), and it would be great to hear any comments.
To officially launch our A Toronto Symphony collaboration, I created a series of chords last month to serve as a kind of “genetic” code for the project, and also to serve as material that we could share back-and-forth to modify and to make new things. Chord progressions are great because they are both simple – a kind of musical backbone or skeleton – yet complex enough to truly tell a story. Just think of the chords in a classic piece by The Beatles like “Michelle”, or the way Bach squeezes a universe of expression out of his seemingly simple 4-part Chorales.
What’s your signature Sound of Toronto? Business consultant and visual artist Derek Wong says one sound in particular is most memorable: the three-note melody that plays when the TTC subway doors close. “It actually drives me crazy,” he says. Watch: