By Jeremy Rose.
Given the task of channeling Philadelphia’s spirit through an orchestra, composer Tod Machover turned to the city’s food and drink scene for some of his inspiration — and for the most prominent solo in his Philadelphia Voices, he tabbed the city’s star performer: the cheesesteak.
‘Philadelphia Voices’ includes a recording from behind the counter at Pat’s.
“Philadelphia’s a bit of a quiet city in the streets,” Machover said in a video explaining his process of getting to know the city. “But if you go inside, especially into cafés and bars and restaurants, it’s one of the noisiest cities I’ve ever been to, which is great — it means that people are talking and enjoying and arguing. That’s a great sound to record.”
PhillyVoice: Composer samples sounds of Pat’s Steaks, Eagles victory to create ‘Philadelphia Voices’
The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform the work Tuesday at Carnegie Hall. He based the composition on recorded sounds, including the sizzle of a cheesesteak.
(Credit: Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra)
By Peter Crimmins.
This week, the Philadelphia Orchestra premieres a new musical composition about its home city, by the city — in a way.
Boston composer Tod Machover has written “city symphonies” in Toronto, Perth, Detroit, and Edinburgh. Machover lands in a city, explores it through a tape recorder and hundreds of interviews with residents, and writes a large-scale work for orchestra.
(Photo credit: Emma Lee for WHYY)
He prefers places where he can weigh the good, the bad, and the ugly. Places populated by people who believe they live in a perfect city make him uncomfortable, he said.
“Here, I think you see all the sides of what’s possible, all the time,” Machover said. “It’s all mixed up. You can’t get away from it.”
“Philadelphia Voices” features the city’s proud history as the birthplace of democracy; a list of civic firsts, including libraries, zoos, electricity (Benjamin Franklin’s name is dropped many times); a paean to the block party; and an extended gush about this year’s Super Bowl win.
It is also about racism, redlining, and trash.
By Natalie Pompilio.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A symphony debuting this week both captures and celebrates the distinctive sounds and sizzle of Philadelphia, from veteran radio announcer Merrill Reese’s call of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory to a cook chopping steak on the grill at one of this city’s iconic cheesesteak joints.
Composer Tod Machover listened to hundreds of hours of recordings and used about a third of all the sounds he received. He selected those he said had “strong personalities” and conveyed some important aspect of the city.
Screaming is even a part of the vocal material.
By Jennifer Logue.
We’ve all gone sightseeing, but have you ever experienced a city strictly through its sounds?
That’s been the mission of Tod Machover, composer and MIT professor, who has spent the past five years creating “City Symphonies.”
His first project took him to Toronto and then he was off to Perth, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Switzerland, Detroit, Miami and now, Philadelphia.
“It’s a portrait of the city using the normal forces of the orchestra, but also tapping into a city’s spirit through the sounds of street life, traffic and parks,” Machover says. “I’m a big believer in the power of music to touch people’s lives. These days, you really have to invent new ways for people to feel.”
By John McDevitt.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sounds of Philadelphia have been turned into a symphony. The Philadelphia Orchestra debuts its community-based commission later this week with thousands of recorded sounds and voices from the area blended in.
Several Philadelphia-area choirs will be on stage performing live with the orchestra for the Philadelphia Voices symphony at the Kimmel Center, April 5-7. Recorded sounds of Philadelphia will also be interspersed at times, like a man making cheese steaks in South Philly, a day at the Philadelphia Zoo, or at the Museum of the American Revolution.