Composer Machover captures the city in sound for Philadelphia Orchestra premiere

Posted on: March 30, 2018

“Suffering for art took on frigid new meaning for composer Tod Machover while creating his new symphony for the Philadelphia Orchestra,” writes David Patrick Stearns in Thursday’s (3/29) Philadelphia Inquirer. “His Philadelphia Voices couldn’t possibly live up to its name without Machover experiencing the Mummers, so there he was at the parade on [a freezing] New Year’s Day…. He pursued the very soul of the city for his new choral/orchestral work, the eighth ‘crowd-sourced symphony’ the MIT-based composer and inventor has written or mentored in cities from Detroit to Perth. It will be presented at the Kimmel Center this week (and on April 10 at Carnegie Hall)…. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Keystone State Boychoir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and Sister Cities Girlchoir combined with the Philadelphia Orchestra.… In addition, the music will incorporate field recordings of real-life Philadelphia that will spring from 30 loudspeakers.… The symphony’s creation coincided with a guest professorship at the Curtis Institute of Music, allowing Machover numerous visits to Philadelphia.… Machover and the orchestra [invited] everybody and anybody—via an app developed with Hyperscore software—to send in sound contributions that typify their Philadelphia. Roughly 7,000 came in.”

Posted March 30, 2018

Pictured: Composer Tod Machover samples sounds for his composition “Philadelphia Voices” with middle-school students at Drexel’s summer Young Dragons program. Photo by Rebecca Kleinberger