Detroiters submit thousands of sound files for DSO’s “Symphony in D” project

Posted on: November 3, 2015

“ ‘Do you guys have any old cars that we could bang or smash?’ Composer Tod Machover is only half-joking when he raises this question to percussionists Joe Becker and Jeremy Epp of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,” writes Jeff Waraniak in the November issue of Hour Detroit. Machover has “composed collaborative ‘city symphonies’—musical portraits—for four cities around the world: Toronto; Edinburgh, Scotland; Perth, Australia; and Lucerne, Switzerland. In November, Machover’s ‘Fifth’ [Symphony in D] will debut in Detroit…. The project is a blend of traditional melodies played by traditional orchestral instruments combined with [collected] everyday Detroit sounds…. Gathered sounds include the lapping of waves on Belle Isle, the roar of Opening Day at Comerica Park … and yes, the snarl of car engines—all in an attempt to answer the question, ‘What does Detroit sound like?’ … Detroiters have been encouraged to submit their own sounds of the city directly to Machover’s media lab at MIT, as well as the Symphony in D app.” The DSO reports that Detroiters have submitted more than 100 hours of audio and 15,000 sound files to Machover for Symphony in D—more than for any of his other four “City Symphonies.” 

Posted November 3, 2015

Pictured: Composer Tod Machover with third-graders at Detroit Achievement Academy, one of several partners for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Symphony in D” project. The premiere will take place on November 20 at Orchestra Hall.