Updated Constellation App

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.

Listening to the sounds between the words

Tod Machover and the Festival City project were recently featured in a BBC interview with host Jemimah Knight. Perhaps the conversation about listening attentively to the sounds around us inspired Knight to try her own experiment. She writes about it with great charm on her personal blog, “How radio leaves you breathless”:

I particularly like Tod’s work because I love the sounds of cities. It’s one of the reasons why I love to live in London. I live near a fire station, not far from a busy enough road and a high street. When I work from home, I can hear life all around me and I value that a great deal.

Contributed sound is a lovely thing to work with. There’s a great deal of trust involved and it pushes you to think your way through audio to include something that is new to you.

Here’s her SoundCloud file of the “Reverse Interview” – pretty funny!!

The full June 18th BBC show can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/pods

You can listent to the portion with her interview with Tod is here: http://tinyurl.com/TodBBCout.

Some helpful articles

Tod Machover was in Edinburgh last week meeting with various musical groups. Pictured with him is a female student from the Gaelic choir and a boy from the teenage bagpipe ensemble. Machover worked with both groups to listen to and then experiment with their sounds.
Tod Machover was in Edinburgh last week meeting with various musical groups. Pictured with him is a female student from the Gaelic choir and a boy from the teenage bagpipe ensemble. Machover worked with both groups to listen to and then experiment with their sounds.

We’re starting to see some lovely media coverage of the Festival City project. Check out:

The Scotsman – Sounds of Edinburgh to be used in festival symphony – “Birdsong, buskers, traffic and even tramworks could all end up being part of Tod Machover’s crowd-sourced work, Festival City, which he will work on until just shortly before it is premiered. Billed as a “sonic portrait” of the city, it will be unveiled at the Usher Hall in August in a one-off show to be performed by the Royal ScottishNational Orchestra.”

Boston Business Journal – A score for the world’s biggest music fest? There’s an app for that – “Machover said he said he sees Edinburgh as a divided city, with beautiful, 18th Century architecture on one hand, but the historical backdrop for “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde” and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” Series. He said that while the Toronto project was “like a journey where it ends up pretty classical,” the Edinburgh music will be different, because he’ll be letting the Cauldron – and everything residents stir into it – to determine its flow.  ‘I think this piece may end up being more experimental,” he said. “I don’t want to write a simple melody to tie everything together. What’s going to tie everything together will be the soup.'”

West End Broadway World – 2013 Edinburgh International Festival Launches New ‘Cauldron’ App “With Cauldron we grow closer and closer to the idea of a sonic portrait of Edinburgh. I want Cauldron to give users a feeling akin to standing on top of Arthur’s Seat and absorbing the entire city at once. Having spent time working the RSNO and different school groups across Edinburgh, I’ve been directly inspired by their enthusiasm and energetic input, and am excited to share further the sounds created through Cauldron’.”

Thoroughly Good Blog – Submit material for Tod Machover’s Edinburgh 2013 commission Festival City – This blogger tried out the Constellation and Cauldron apps and offers helpful tips on how to play with them. We’re very happy to know that “seeing and hearing my finished mini-score was a joy to behold both visually and aurally.”

Come stir the pot!

The Constellation and Cauldron apps are now live! You can start creating your own scores for Festival City. With the brand new Cauldron app (designed by Akito Van Troyer and Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab), you’ll be able to create and experience a bubbling brew of Edinburgh sounds that have been concocted and collected for Tod Machover’s Festival City , currently being composed by Tod – with your collaboration – for the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival. Starting now, you can experiment with our first selection of musical and audio ingredients to stir up your own special mix. We will be adding new features and sounds quite regularly over the coming weeks, so please visit the app often. Each time you’ll find something new to add to the Cauldron and will experience new ways that the elements blend, bubble, and surprise.

Image-App Click here to play with the Constellation and Cauldron apps!