Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Tod Machover / Phillip George

Tod Machover (b. November 24, 1953, Mount Vernon, New York), son of pianistWilma Machover and computer scientist Carl Machover, attended the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1971 and received a BM and MM from the Juilliard School in New York where he studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions (1973–1978). Machover also started his Doctoral studies at Juilliard before being invited as Composer-in-Residence to Pierre Boulez's new Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris.

In the fall of 1978, Tod Machover arrived at IRCAM and was introduced to Giuseppe di Giugno's digital synthesizer 4 series. Light was premiered at the Metz Festival in November 1979 using 4C, the brain-child of di Giugno's concept that "synthesizers should be made for musicians, not for the people that make them."

Machover was named Director of Musical Research at IRCAM in 1980.

In 1981 he composed Fusione Fugace for solo performance on a real-time digital synthesizer, called the 4X machine.

Joining the faculty at the new Media Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985, he became Professor of Music and Media and Director of the Experimental Media Facility.

Machover is widely recognized for inventing new technology for music, including Hyperinstruments which he launched in 1986. Such instruments use use smart computers to augment musical expression and creativity. He has designed hyperinstruments for some of the world's greatest musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, as well as for the general public and for children.

Back at IRCAM that year and the next, Machover was motivated to score for keyboard and percussion duet with emphasis on complex sound layers. He composed Valis (1987) again using di Giugno’s 4X system, to process voices. This science fiction opera – called 'the first opera of the 21st century" by The New York Times – was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the Centre Georges Pompidou.

This was followed by Media/Medium (1994), a "magic" opera for the magicians Penn & Teller.

Currently Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab, he is head of the Lab's Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group and has been Co-Director of the Things That Think (TTT) and Toys of Tomorrow (TOT) consortia since 1995.

The years 1996-98 brought fourth the audience-interactive Brain Opera (1996/8), commissioned for the first Lincoln Center Festival, toured worldwide, and permanently installed at the Haus der Musik in Vienna since 2000. Some of this occurred concurrently with Resurrection (1999), based on Tolstoy's last novel and commissioned by Houston Grand Opera

Machover gave a keynote lecture at NIME-02, the second international conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, which was held in 2002 at the former Media Lab Europe in Dublin, Ireland, and is a frequent lecturer worldwide.

The Toy Symphony -- called "a vast, celebratory ode to the joy of music and its power to bring young and old together, diversity into unity (Boston Globe)" -- dates from this same year, and has been touring worldwide ever since.


Fresh Spring (1977) for baritone solo and large chamber ensemble

With Dadaji in Paradise (1977-'78, rev. 1983) for solo cello

Concerto for Amplified Guitar (1978) for amplified acoustic guitar and large chamber ensemble

Two Songs (1978) for soprano and chamber ensemble

Deplacements (1979) for amplified guitar and computer-generated tape

Light (1979) for chamber orchestra and computer electronics

Ye Gentle Birds (1979) for soprano, mezzo-soprano and wind ensemble

Soft Morning, City! (1980) for soprano, double bass, and computer-generated tape

Winter Variations (1981) for large chamber ensemble

String Quartet No. 1 (1981)

Chansons d'Amour (1982) for solo piano

Fusione Fugace (1982) for keyboard, two specialized interfaces, and live 4X digital synthesizer

Electric Etudes (1983) for amplified cello, live and pre-recorded computer electronics

Spectres Parisiens (1984) for flute, horn, cello, chamber orchestra and computer electronics

Hidden Sparks (1984) for solo violin Hidden Sparks

Famine (1985) for four amplified voices and computer-generated sounds

Valis: An Opera in Two Parts (1987) based on Philip K. Dick's novel

Desires (1989) for symphony orchestra

Flora (1989) for pre-recorded soprano and computer-generated sound

Nature's Breath (1989) for chamber orchestra

Towards the Center (1989) for amplified flute, clarinet, violin, cello, electronic keyboard and percussion, with five hyperinstrument electronics

Bug Mudra (1990) for two guitars (electric and amplified-acoustic), electronic percussion, conducting dataglove, and interactive computer electronics

Begin Again Again … (1991) for Yo-Yo Ma and hypercello Hyperstring Trilogy

Song of Penance (1992) for hyperviola and chamber orchestra Hyperstring Trilogy

Bounce (1992) for hyperkeyboards, Yamaha Disklavier Grand piano and interactive computer electronics

Forever and Ever (1993) for hyperviolin and orchestra Hyperstring Trilogy

Hyperstring Trilogy (1993, rev. 1997) for hypercello, hyperviola, hyperviolin and chamber orchestra Hyperstring Trilogy

Brain Opera (1996), an original, interactive musical experience that included contributions from both on-line participants and live audiences

He's Our Dad (1997) for soprano, keyboard and computer-generated sound

Meteor Music (1998) interactive installation Meteorite Museum

Resurrection (1999) (based on Leo Tolstoy's novel)

Sparkler (2001) for orchestra and interactive computer electronics Sparkler

Toy Symphony (2002/3) for hyperviolin, Children's Chorus, Music Toys, and Orchestra Toy Symphony

Mixed Messiah (2004), a 6-minute remix of Handel's Messiah Mixed Messiah

I Dreamt A Dream (2004) for youth chorus, piano and electronics

Sea Soaring (2005) for flute, electronics, and live audience interaction Music Garden

...but not simpler... (2005)

Jeux Deux (2005) for hyperpiano and orchestra