The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recently asked composer and musical innovator Tod Machover to not only direct and curate its annual New Creations Festival for 2013, but also compose an original piece. He sat down with Smart Planet to discuss A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City, a partnership between Machover and the people of Toronto.
The symphony will premier on March 9, 2013 and will feature what Machover calls a 'mass musical collaboration' between more than 10,000 Toronto-based contributors.
"I thought, Could you make a situation where quite a lot of people who don't know each other can come together to have this type of experience? Could I invite the entire city of Toronto to take this basic theme of a portrait of a city -- a sonic portrait of Toronto -- and make a piece with me? I'm trying to set up a situation where it ends up being a piece of music that none of us could have done alone, but I take the responsibility of being the leader, which means if it stinks at the end people can throw tomatoes at me."
Machover is no stranger to innovative composure and is known as the grandfather of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. The "hyperinstruments" he designed for Prince and Yo-Yo Ma in the 80's inspired the video games. He has been a professor at the MIT Media Lab since its inception in 1985. His robotic opera, Death and the Powers, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist last year.
The New Creations Festival piece was a new creative process for Machover.
"In this case, I thought of the musical story of the piece and the shape of it. I knew I wanted the piece to be like someone coming into the city of Toronto, getting to know it, figuring it out and seeing the parts of it come together. I knew that process, which was very much the composing process, was also going to be the structure of the piece."
"It's important that it ends up being a piece of music people simply want to listen to and that creates an emotional effect and speaks for itself, but I also hope it's something that everybody who participated feels like it's theirs somehow -- including me. If it feels like something we all made and that none of us could have made without each other, that would be a great success."
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Originalsource: Smart Planet