HyperConstellation for Perth

Tod Machover writes: “As part of our Symphony for Perth project, we have invited young people from throughout Greater Perth, in Western Australia, to create original compositions using our Hyperscore software, expressing some aspect of life – and sound – in Perth. Students from elementary through high school, and from the CBD to Narrogin, worked on their pieces from October through mid-December (brought together by Jemma Gurney, the amazing Education Coordinator at the Perth Festival). I was lucky enough to visit eight different schools when I was in Perth this fall, and got to hear all this music as it was developing. Great experience! Final compositions were sent to me a couple of weeks ago, and I have been listening to them ever since to decide how to incorporate as many of these brilliant, vivid musical visions as possible into the final Symphony.

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A Toronto Symphony workshop (video)

The Toronto Symphony posted this terrific video highlighting a workshop with composer Tod Machover and Toronto school kids who composed music inspired by the sounds of their city. The kids used Hyperscore, guided by a creative group of music teachers. We are looking forward to seeing the curriculum they developed!

Read more about the A Toronto Symphony project here.

“Amazing accomplishment”

As we reported previously, Hyperscore is being used by hundreds of school children in Toronto this fall to compose music for Tod Machover’s “A Toronto Symphony” project. How has it worked in practice? We found out last Friday when Tod met with around 300 kids gathered with their teachers on the campus of Toronto’s College Français. There to witness the occasion was Musical Toronto‘s John Terauds. He writes:

Hyperscore offers synthesized audio output of its own, but orchestrated by a real composer and played by the excellent young musicians on stage, these miniature compositions from pint-sized composers sounded remarkably sophisticated.

Here is one example, from Broadlands P.S. student Nebyou. What you see on the projection is the Hyperscore screen. The crazy doodle is the composition. The music is being played by members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra:

Terauds says, “I have to admit that the ease with which the user becomes a creator worries me, because it feels too easy. Part of me considers this to be a form of pseudo creation, that only the careful application of pencil (and eraser) to notation paper is real creation.”

But the results have convinced him otherwise:

These children, many of whom I’m sure haven’t had any lessons music theory, were truly and fully engaged with the act of creating music.

Isn’t that what we all dream of?

The fact that their work will eventually find itself performed on the stage of Roy Thomson Hall seems almost superfluous after this amazing accomplishment.

Read John Teraud’s full post here: Toronto school children become engaged composers in Toronto Symphony experiment

Hyperscore in Toronto Schools

Hundreds of school kids in Toronto will have a chance to get their hands on Hyperscore and contribute to creating a new work for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The project is the brainchild of composer Tod Machover, who was commissioned by the orchestra to write a new piece to be premiered at the New Creations Festival in March of 2013. Rather than retreat to the solitude of his studio, Machover decided to open up the composing process to the entire city. A group of adventurous and committed school teachers took up the challenge and have developed a most creative and engaging curriculum around Hyperscore. We can’t wait to see what their students come up with!

Here’s the project’s website: A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City

Watch the video:

Music from Skaneateles

We recently received audio recordings of several compositions by participants in the Hyperscore II project for the famed Skaneateles Music Festival. In April and May of 2011, composer Stacy Garrop visited schools in upstate New York, teaching students what it takes to compose music. Stacy helped kids of all ages to discover the music within; participants ranged in age from 10 to adult and included students from A.J. Smith Elementary in Union Springs, West Genesee Middle School and Skaneateles High School, as well as employees of ChaseDesign. The project culminated with the Hyperscore II Community Celebration at the 2011 festival.

We were very impressed by how each piece expresses a distinctive personality and diversity of structure. Click on the gallery images below to see what these pieces look like in Hyperscore. Do take a listen and share your thoughts!

America to Armenia – Building a Musical Bridge

The opulent Armenian Opera Theater in the heart of Armenia’s capital Yerevan reverberated with some truly fresh sounds on the evening of February 25, 2012, as two of Armenia’s elite musical ensembles dug into new pieces composed entirely by children from Armenia and the United States. The concert, “A-to-A: A World in Harmony,” featured the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and DOGMA, one of the country’s most popular rock bands. The event was co-sponsored by the LUYS Education Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to celebrate the embassy’s 20th anniversary.

Despite the composers’ youth – they ranged in age from 8 to 14 – their work was rich and rewarding to hear, thanks to the boost their musical imaginations received from Hyperscore, a music-creation software developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab by a team led by renowned composer Tod Machover. Hyperscore puts unprecedented composing power into the hands of people who long to express themselves musically, regardless of their formal training. More than that, Hyperscore turns out to be an exceptional tool for collaborative creativity. One of the pieces receiving its world premiere at the Yerevan event was jointly composed by children in Boston and Armenia. Continue reading