CN Tower lighting pays tribute to World Première of Tod Machover’s A Toronto Symphony

Check out this press release from the CN Tower!!


March 9, 2013, approx. 9pm

March 7, 2013 (Toronto, ON) Toronto residents and all those within sight of the CN Tower are invited to watch a unique CN Tower light show synchronized to the world première of A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City – the first symphony created for, by and about Torontonians.

Tune in to TSO.CA for a live webcast where you will hear a live audio feed of the concert as well as see visuals, which will include graphics, video, and photos illustrating both the piece and the process of its creation, alongside a live video feed of the CN Tower’s light show. The complete concert is performed live at Roy Thomson Hall on March 9, 2013 beginning 8pm, and the webcast and CN Tower lighting will be live with the A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City première at approximately 9pm.  Continue reading

Culture Days – photos

Tod was in Toronto on September 29 to lead a workshop with members of the Toronto Youth Orchestra, as part of Culture Days festivities. Here are some photos of Tod directing the talented young instrumentalists through a collaborative exploration of “sounds of Toronto.” Video and audio coming soon!

Using Hyperscore for “A Toronto Symphony”

Over the summer, a couple dozen Toronto music teachers convened workshops to develop an exciting new music curriculum incorporating Hyperscore, a music composition software that uses a graphical annotation interface enabling anyone to express themselves creatively through music. Here’s Tod Machover explaining how the curriculum is now being taught to several hundred Toronto school kids.

From Tod Machover:

Now that I’ve collected a range of sounds from you all, we’re ready to begin using Hyperscore to create music!

Hyperscore uses lines and color as opposed to typical musical notation to express musical ideas so that people of all ranges of skills and musical training can compose.  Over the past months, we have had the opportunity to work with teachers from the Toronto School District to create curriculum that will encourage students to compose with Hyperscore.  This spans across middle and high school levels, and we’re hoping to connect younger and older students to collaborate on the same pieces.  Younger students can create melodies that older students can combine into compositions and send back to the middle school for reflection and thoughts on improvement.  Eventually, these projects will become part of the Toronto Symphony project.

Don’t worry—if you aren’t a current student, I still want you to be involved.  This is the link to Hyperscore:  I will be sending out ideas for sections of the final piece or small Hyperscore fragments for you to work on alone and with the other participants of the project so we can reflect together on the best melodies and short compositions for the final piece.  Let’s get started!

Yours, Tod

If you’d like to try your hand at composing with Hyperscore, the company is making the software available to “A Toronto Symphony” participants at a discount. Please email to receive the discount code.

From Glenn Gould to Hip Hop – in photos

Tod Machover was in Toronto this past weekend. On Saturday he gave a presentation and  cello performance at the Glenn Gould Variations symposium at the University of Toronto. Sunday morning found him atop the CN Tower with a group of energetic youngsters from FYI Kids. Here are some photos from Tod’ Facebook. Looking forward to some audio!!

A Toronto Symphony Workshop – Sept. 29

Join Tod Machover on Saturday, September 29th, in the South lobby of Roy Thomson Hall where he’ll be experimenting in creating the sounds of Toronto with musicians from the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. Tod will share his ideas about the beyond-crowd sourced composition and give you a chance to hear the music as it is being created and well before its premiere at the New Creations Festival in March 2013.

This is truly a unique opportunity to create something new that represents what the city of Toronto means to each of us. Details here.

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.”