"Philadelphia, It's Time to Lean In."
CBS Philly's Vittoria Woodill takes a look into how you can bring your voices to Tod Machover's symphony for Philadelphia.
WRTI: Want Your Sound In a New Symphony for The Philadelphia Orchestra? There's an APP for That!
By Susan Lewis.
Steak sizzling on a grill at Pat's King of Steaks. A chorus of birdsong at the Philadelphia Zoo. These are just a few of the hundreds of sounds composer Tod Machover is collecting from people who live here for a unique musical profile to be performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra in April.
By Danya Henninger.
If you see a pack of teenagers singing, hooting, howling and shouting as they march down Germantown Avenue this weekend, don’t be alarmed. They’re doing it for democracy.
Saturday’s traipse down the cross-city corridor will be led by MIT Media Lab music professor and inventor Tod Machover. It’s one of several meetups Machover has planned when he returns to Philly (see details below) for another swipe through its aural fabric to collect sounds for his latest undertaking: a semi-crowdsourced symphony called “Philadelphia Voices.” The symphony will be performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra next spring.
That’s right, come April 2018, the illustrious Kimmel Center stage will be filled with shouts and screams and yowls and yips from the street.
How’d Machover convince orchestra bigwigs to let this happen? Well, he has quite the reputation. He’s mounted similar projects in various cities around the world — Toronto, Lucerne, Detroit, Perth — turning each one’s urban cacophony into a unique overarching symphony. All have been hailed as successes.
NBC10's Ted Greenberg Gets the Details on the Philadelphia Voices Project from Tod Machover
By Peter Crmmins.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has commissioned a new piece of music, to feature the voice of you.
Everybody in Philadelphia is invited to download a mobile app to his or her phone, and use it to record anything they want, then upload it to a server. That sound will be used to make a new symphonic composition to be performed next spring.
Composer Tod Machover calls his crowd-sourced pieces "City Symphonies." He works at MIT in Boston to find new ways to use technology to connect people to music. With the MIT Media Lab and Drexel Uiversity's ExCITe Center, he has created not just an app that allows users to make recordings and submit them, but also easy-to-use plug-ins to manipulate sound according to its inherent tonal qualities.
"You'll be able to talk or sing into it and it will pull up 20 other people whose voices have a quality similar to yours," said Machover, whose enthusiasm seems heightened by his flyaway hair. "Or, it might have a bunch of orchestral instruments, and as you talk and the instruments color your voice."
By Linda Poon.
It’s easy to disregard the hum of a city—the incessant honking or indistinct chattering—or to cast it off as noise pollution. There’s real concern that these sounds pose a health risk, but a handful of artists have a different take. To the likes of Tod Machover, a composer who combines music with technology at the MIT Media Lab, these sounds are what makes a city sing.
Machover has turned the sounds of Toronto and Edinburgh into symphonies that reflect the characters of each city. His first piece for an American city, Symphony in D, invited Detroiters in 2015 to contribute over 15,000 sounds unique to the city—drumming from the streets, sounds from factories, and spoken words by local poets—that were combined with instruments played by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
“Like so many things in our culture, there's a growing gap between experts and ordinary people, and I thought music is such a great laboratory to show how things can be different,” says Machover. “So I wanted the project to be a representation of connecting people—no matter what their background was in music—as equals.”
His latest project, called Project 305 and funded by the Knight Foundation, takes him to Miami, where he’s teamed up with the city’s New World Symphony academy to create an audio and visual masterpiece. He’s helping lead community tours to collect sounds and videos, and working with schools to teach students how to do the same. He’s also launched a similar project in Philadelphia, in partnership with the Philadelphia Orchestra.