Last night’s world premiere of “Festival City” went off without a hitch. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra players were on fire, and the acoustics in Usher Hall were excellent. Kudos too to the Edinburgh International Festival audience for their commitment and enthusiasm to new work. Check out this BBC report from the rehearsal, including a video with interviews with Tod Machover and RSNO conductor Peter Oundjian. The entire performance was also recorded and we hope will be broadcast soon. Stay tuned…
Exciting first rehearsal yesterday with full orchestra of FESTIVAL CITY. Here’s the Royal Scottish National Orchestra trying out the piece for the first time, in their rehearsal space in Glasgow. On my way back there now for more rehearsing. More pictures soon.
Play Cauldron Connector to win two free tickets to Tod Machover’s “Festival City” premiere at the EIF’s “City Noir” concert on August 27.
How’s your auditory and musical acumen? Test it out with the Cauldron Connector quiz designed by Akito Van Troyer and Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab. Correctly traverse your way through the sounds of Machover’s “Festival City”, and your name will be placed into a drawing for two free tickets to the lecture/demo (5pm) and premiere (8pm) of the piece at the Edinburgh International Festival’s “City Noir” concert on August 27th!!
Even if you’re nowhere near Edinburgh and won’t be able to attend the concert, you can still play and if you win, we’ll think of some cool alternative prize.
Wired UK posted this excellent article today that provides an in-depth look at the Festival City project. Included are detailed descriptions of how the music apps work. We loved this:
To compose Festival City, which Machover hopes will bring out the contrasts of the city, Machover first invited people to submit raw material that reminded of them of Edinburgh during festival time. These could be pieces of music, sounds or recorded stories and anecdotes which were submitted by email, uploaded toSoundCloud or recorded on an answering phone. Sounds that particularly stood out for Machover were those of church bells and people talking in the lobbies discussing shows they’d just seen, as well what he describes as an “indie rock band of traffic”, where each of the cars stood out like soloists, rather than just collaborating to a single mass of traffic noise.
Tod is in Edinburgh this week and next, busy fine-tuning and rehearsing “Festival City”, which premieres next Tuesday, August 27th, at the Edinburgh International Festival. Tickets here.
The M.I.T. Media Lab Opera of the Future group’s work is the subject of a full-page article by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in the August 16th issue of the New York Times. It’s an engagingly written piece that covers the history of Tod Machover’s work in music composition and technology, from hyperinstruments to “Death and the Powers” to “Festival City”, including a description of the Cauldron app in action. Accompanying the story is a terrific slide show of photographs by Katherine Taylor. Tod’s newest work, “Festival City”, premieres next week, on August 27th, at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Last month, composer Tod Machover joined an online audience together with pianist Tae Kim in an experience that fused Web-based interaction with a live piano performance. This demo centered on the Cauldron app built at the Media Lab for the “Festival City” project commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival. The app is populated with the sounds of the music most frequently performed over the history of the festival. The pieces are represented by colored circles, and participants online can “stir” the musical brew by positioning their cursors over the circles, which move and grow in response. During this live demo, Tod worked on a second interface to determine how the musical fragments would interact with one another, and piano virtuoso Tae Kim used the evolving images as a “score” to improvise music. His improvisations in turn will inform the final piece, which premieres on August 27th. Watch the demo in the video above.
This guide from The Scotsman and WOW247 highlights its top 13 picks from the Edinburgh International Festival. “Festival City” gets a nice shout out…
13 stand-out shows at the Edinburgh International Festival
The RSNO perform a suite of works inspired by “film noir, big-band jazz and the movies of David Lynch”, which includes a world premiere of Tod Machover‘s Festival City – an attempt to gather “sonic memories of Edinburgh” to help shape an orchestral work, between now and August.
Special Interactive Improvisation Session for
Tod Machover’s Festival City
Commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival
Created at the MIT Media Lab
Hosted by The Guardian
Composer Tod Machover is in the midst of creating a “collaborative symphony” called Festival City, to be premiered on August 27th at the Edinburgh International Festival. The work is a sonic portrait of Edinburgh – the city and the festival – created with input from Edinburgh lovers, both residents and visitors. For the past few months, Tod has been soliciting audio samples of – and stories about – the city, as well as providing tools created by his team at the MIT Media Lab that allow everyone to help shape the composition.
Now is your chance to participate in a one-time-only special event to further shape Festival City. From 2-3pm Boston time (7-8pm UK time) on Tuesday, July 9th, you will be able to help select musical elements from the repertoire of pieces performed at the EIF since its inception in 1947. Here’s how it works: Continue reading →
We just made a new version of Constellation and it is ready to go at edinburgh.media.mit.edu/scores. It has a completely new set of sounds based on new sounds submitted, sounds Tod recorded during his recent trip to Edinburgh, along with mixes that he has started to make. “It is really cool, and gives a sense of how the piece is developing,” he says. “We also changed a few features and the mixes are beautiful, plus the differences between the 5 different parameter versions is remarkable…it is worth trying them all.”
The new setting is called “Edinburgh Soundscape 2″, and it is the default setting when you now go to Constellation. The previous one – “Edinburgh Soundscape 1″ – is still available as well.