“Festival City” was featured yesterday in the inaugural episode of BBC Scotland’s new show, “The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth.” Janice’s interview with Tod Machover starts at 1:34:00 and runs to the end of the show. There is also a fantastic interview with media historian David Hendy (at 1:21:00), who talks about the role of noise in human history and plays a soundscape from an imagined early 19th century Edinburgh. Plus a superb interview with Annie Lennox (at 0:04:21). Enjoy!
The idea behind “Festival City” — of inviting a community to collaborate on composing a musical work — developed over many years of musical and technological exploration at the M.I.T. Media Lab, as explained in this article in the Guardian. Composer Tod Machover describes his hopes for “Festival City”:
…he envisages it as a collaboration with anyone who loves the Scottish capital. The work will, he hopes, be a kind of “tone poem” that “feels and sounds like the city and its festivals”. Anyone interested can submit a recording, or simply suggest a particular sound that they associate with the city. Machover adds, somewhat darkly, “It may be hard to imagine avoiding bagpipes completely.” (GuyFromPortugal has already submitted a snippet entitled “The sounds of constant wind”.) From early June, via an app, there will also be the chance for members of the public to manipulate and alter the weight, complexity and texture of melodies composed by Machover, who will use the best in the final piece.