Can technology shape the future of music?

Posted on: January 14, 2010

Wednesday (1/13) on the New York Times blog Opinionator , composer Tod Machover writes, “Composing is what I love to do most. It is what best combines my various skills and interests—imagination, reflection, organization and the desire to communicate my thoughts and emotions … I do my creative work in an 18th-century barn on our farm near Boston, where I can pursue my ideas without the need to explain or translate until all is ripe and ready. So it may seem like a paradox that another large chunk of my life is spent in one of the world’s most futuristic, collaborative and intensive centers of technological invention—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. But the attractions and complexities of merging these worlds are central to how and why I work.” Machover discusses ways technology has “democratized” music, but notes “current limitations and potential risks. Guitar Hero is rhythmically exciting but not yet expressive or creative enough—a ‘sticky’ but not ‘open-ended’ experience that does not obviously lead to better musicality, listening or ensemble awareness. … It is deceptively challenging these days to apply technology to music in ways that explode our imaginations, deepen our personal insights, shake us out of boring routine and accepted belief, and pull us ever closer to one another.”

Posted January 14, 2010