Weekend Highlight – Glenn Gould Variations

Tod's cello

This weekend, Tod will join 50 other presenters (from Robert Wilson to Atom Egoyan to Lang Lang!) at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall for an extraordinary gathering of “Dreamers Renegades Visionaries” to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the iconoclastic pianist and boundary breaker’s birth. Check out this terrific article about the event in Whole Note (“Spinning Gould – 30 years after”).

Tod is scheduled to speak and perform at 5pm on Saturday, the 22nd. He posted this photo on Facebook this morning and gave a hint about what he’ll be presenting:

Here is my cello resting this morning in our barn outside of Boston, preparing to travel to Toronto tomorrow for the big Gould event. I’ll be playing the solo cello (something I don’t do often these days, but am happy to do to pay homage to Gould) to “shed a light” on – and make connections between – shards of music hidden in hundreds of sound images sent from Toronto as part of my A Toronto Symphony project…I promise it will be unusual:)

Here’s a teaser from Tod’s montage of sounds of Toronto –

Getting high on music

The CN Tower

This Sunday, September 23, Tod Machover is leading a vocal workshop with a group called FYI Kids at an unusual location – atop the CN Tower! They will take over an event room from 10-Noon. We hear the kids are preparing several a cappella songs to perform. FYI Kids’ founder and President Dwayne Dixon says “nothing gives me greater joy than to bring the inner-artist out in each child.” What a fantastic partner for A Toronto Symphony!!

The workshop is not open to the general public, but we’ll be posting photos as soon as we get ’em!!

 

 

Hot off the Press! Bicycle Music Festival Photos

The Toronto Bicycle Music Festival rolled across the city this past weekend. A colorful throng of cycling enthusiasts pedaled their way through Toronto’s streets and parks with a motley assortment of amplifiers, guitar-strumming minstrels and small children in tow. Enjoy these photos by Jennie Green (click to enlarge image). We captured some fantastic sounds! Videos coming soon.

The Bicycle Music Festival hops on board!!

We’re delighted to announce that the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival has joined forces with us to create music and recordings for A Toronto Symphony. Scheduled for September 15 this year, the wonderfully quirky festival enlists dozens of musicians and music-lovers to cycle their way from neighborhood to neighborhood, stopping to so bands can perform at various locations. All the electricity is generated by pedal power!! Check out the video:

You can find out more about the festival here. Performers at this year’s festival will include Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Rae Spoon. We hope you can join the fun and help capture some fresh Sounds of Toronto for us!

Sounds of Toronto – Impromptu Music

Toronto Pride Parade

Toronto is renowned for its musical life – a thriving indie scene, classical concerts, musical theater, buskers galore and a cavalcade of street festivals. What impromptu music brightened up your day, or made you stop dead in your tracks and transported you to another place?

Share the music that made an impression on you. Send it via video or audio recording, or describe it in writing using the Comments section. Share your Toronto musical sounds on our Facebook page or SoundcloudDeadline: August 10, 2012 – because we will be incorporating your sounds into an exciting activity that takes place August 11-12 at the ALL CAPS! Island Festival. Contact Rachel McDermott <rachelmc@mit.edu> if you need technical assistance. Thanks!

Sounds of Toronto – People at Work & Play

Whether they’re sealing a deal at the market or expressing their feelings at a Blue Jays game, people make a lot of noise!! Which ones are indelibly part of Toronto’s cityscape? Wherever you find yourself today, take a moment to record the sound, or if technology is not your thing, just tell us about it using the Comments section. Provide the location and time, and we’ll send an intern out to record it for you.

Share your sounds of Toronto on our Facebook page or SoundcloudDeadline: August 10, 2012 – because we will be incorporating your sounds into an exciting activity that takes place August 11-12 at the ALL CAPS! Island Festival. Contact Rachel McDermott <rachelmc@mit.edu> if you need technical assistance. Thanks!

Sounds of Toronto – A Cool Find!

Multimedia developer and blogger Shawn Caza has put together a wide-ranging series of podcasts over the last year with mix-tapes of specially chosen Toronto indie music representing various aspects of life in the city. There’s a whole lot of interesting music there. Tell us which tracks pop out as an evocative “sound of Toronto”.

Listen here -> Toronto Sounds Good: A Local Music Anthology

How We’ll Use Your Sounds of Toronto

A new message from Tod Machover – 

Over the past few months, you have been collecting sounds from all over Toronto, and now we’re nearing the time for me to explain how these sounds will form the concerto.

So far, I’ve thought of a couple of ways to incorporate these sounds into the final piece.  First, it’s possible that the sounds you recorded and sent in will be directly incorporated into the piece.  However, this has been done before, such as by the revolutionary composer John Cage.  What will be more common for this project and also a much newer musical idea is the practice of taking these sounds and playing them with traditional instruments found in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  By breaking down the sounds and interpreting them musically together, we’ll be able to closely relate these urban sounds in a much more classical way.

I experimented with this before while composing another opera of mine, “Skellig”, but accomplishing this transformation of sounds on this scale will require quite a lot of playing around with music and reflecting on what does and does not work.  This is where you come in, as your help in listening to and tweaking these interpretations will be necessary in order to attain the most accurate reflections of the city.  I can’t wait to move forward on the project with you and bring these collections of sounds to life.

Yours, Tod

Click here to listen to excerpts from the opera “Skellig.”

Sounds of Toronto – Nature

We’re in our final week of sound collecting, so don’t procrastinate!

Amid the concrete, machines and urban bustle of the city, Nature’s voice makes itself heard too. Do the cries of birds and hum of insects provide an aural backdrop to your neighborhood? Are there locations marked by a particular way in which the wind whistles or water splashes? Which sounds of Nature need to be part of A Toronto Symphony?

Grab your smartphone, digital camera or recorder and capture the sound. Or describe it in writing using the Comments section. Include the location and time, and we’ll send someone to record the sound. Save your sound/video file and share it on our Facebook page or SoundcloudDeadline: August 10, 2012 – because we will be incorporating your sounds into an exciting activity that takes place August 11-12 at the ALL CAPS! Island Festival. Contact Rachel McDermott <rachelmc@mit.edu> if you need technical assistance. Thanks!