Launch #3 – The City Soaring app!

To start off the New Year as musically as possible, we want to share another brand new music app with you. It’s a variant of Media Scores that we introduced last month, and it will allow you to subtly shape the texture, complexity and feel of the “City Soaring” melody from A Toronto Symphony. Designed by MIT Media Lab PhD student Peter Torpey, “City Soaring” has a pretty unusual interface that literally lets you paint the quality of a melody. Grab one of the four “brush” icons in the top right-hand corner of the app window – weight, complexity, texture and intensity – and paint over the line with it. You’ll immediately see the change in color and texture and will hear the changes when you play back the melody from the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. Use the shift key with the same brushes and you can reduce that same quality. You’ll also notice a set of four curves in the lower half of the screen. Changing the shape of each curve is the same as painting with that quality directly on the line, although the feel is very different: the curves are good for big, overall changes; painting with brushes is better for very delicate and precise changes. Try them both. Continue reading

A guide to the Constellation app (video)

Now I want to show you a brand new app. It’s called Constellation. You’ll be able to experiment with it between now and the beginning of January. It was designed and written by Media Lab graduate student Akito van Troyer. I’ve taken some of the music I’ve composed for A Toronto Symphony, as well as many of the recorded sounds you’ve sent in. Constellation allows us to put those sounds up on the screen and mix them into your own collages, textures and pieces, just by experimenting with moving the mouse and combining these things. I’d love it if you’d go out and try it. Your collages and textures will give me new ideas about how to combine all the musical elements of the piece, and what you do might very well become a part of “A Toronto Symphony”…..which I am composing and collating at this very moment. Continue reading

A TORONTO SYMPHONY Launches CONSTELLATION Web App!!

Constellation screen shot

Try it now!

It has been a very exciting week for the A Toronto Symphony project. We launched our Media Scores app and have received dozens of wonderful contributions and comments from many of you. We had a truly wonderful session last week with school kids from around Toronto who shared their exciting Hyperscore compositions created for the project, many of them performed by musicians from the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Today we are delighted to launch a brand new web app that offers a completely different way for you to contribute to the creative process of A Toronto Symphony. CONSTELLATION has been designed especially for A Toronto Symphony by Akito Van Troyer and my team at the MIT Media Lab. Like Media Scores, Constellation lets you take material I have composed for the piece and then Continue reading

Join Me for A Toronto Symphony

Welcome to the A Toronto Symphony project. Over the coming months, I am inviting you – the citizens of Toronto – to collaborate with me to compose a new symphony which will be premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 2013, at the New Creations Festival. Some of the music will be by you, some by me, and some shaped by us together. My hope is that we will create something that neither you nor I could have done without each other, and that will be surprising, stimulating, and beautiful, a musical portrait about – and by – Toronto.

Take a look at the intro video and see below for how to participate. Scroll down for the latest postings about our activities and ways for you to get involved. Please subscribe so that we can send you alerts. (See links at right to subscribe via email, RSS, Facebook or Twitter.)

Thank you so much for taking an interest. Let’s get started!

– Tod

[media width=”600″ height=”450″ width=”100%” link=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H491i0-nkw”]

There are many ways to get involved!

Connect and collaborate! Our Facebook community page is where we will all share our creations, ask questions, and form groups to collaborate and create new sounds.
Subscribe to me on YouTube Share your video of what Toronto sounds like!

  1. Upload your video to YouTube (you’ll need an account)
  2. Post your video on the community Facebook wall
  3. Or send a link to your video to tod@tso.ca
Share your sound recording of what Toronto sounds like!

  1. Upload your audio recording to Soundcloud (you’ll need an account)
  2. Post your recording on the community Facebook wall
  3. Or send a link to your recording to tod@tso.ca

A Graphic Score by Peter Torpey

Most pieces of music have a score, which shows musicians what to play or helps listeners to listen. For A Toronto Symphony, my colleague Peter Torpey and I have created a score which will help us all to compose and to imagine the shape and sections of the piece that we are creating together. This score tells the “story” of the piece, shows what the sections or “movements” will be, and describes the basic way that we will collaborate to make the symphony.

Here’s the graphic score of A Toronto Symphony, and below the picture is a description of how I imagine each section. This may evolve as we share our music and discuss the project, as a medieval cathedral evolved from blueprint to reality based on the contributions of every sculptor, stonemason and bricklayer. Off we go:

And here is my description of the sections that are shown in the graphic score:

Continue reading