Toronto Life: Musical Visionary Tod Machover Crowd-sourced a Symphony for Toronto—Now Other Cities Want One Too
By Sue Carter Flinn.
In early 2011, Peter Oundjian, the music director for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, enlisted Tod Machover to compose a piece for this year’s New Creations Festival, a week dedicated to contemporary orchestral music. The theme for 2013’s event is technology and the orchestra, and Oundjian wanted something that wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. The 59-year-old Machover is a Boston-based musical innovator who believes that with the right technology, even those who skipped the childhood ritual of piano lessons or who are cursed with a tin ear can create a piece worthy of a concert hall. He came up with an ambitious plan to merge public contributions into an orchestral composition. It’s called A Toronto Symphony, and it premieres this month—a half-hour piece that incorporates thousands of sounds submitted by ordinary Torontonians, sounds that are meant to represent everyday experiences of the city.