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.

Wanted: Mac application developer

Image-AppleLogoWe have long wanted to develop a Mac version of Hyperscore, and hope this is the year we can make it happen! To get started, we need a great application developer with a passion for music to redevelop Hyperscore for Mac OSX and possibly iOS. If you’re interested, please contact june@harmonylinemusic.com. Include a cover letter and CV.

Please feel free to share this. Thank you!

Composer Stacy Garrop on teaching with Hyperscore

Composer Stacy Garrop was invited by the Ying Quartet’s David Ying to lead a series of Hyperscore composing workshops for the 2011 Skaneateles Festival. The resulting works were performed by string quartets at the Festival. In an interview with us, Garrop shared some of her lessons learned from mentoring non-musicians to compose music using our software. You can listen to her in the video.

Some key points:

  • Teachers need to be committed so that the kids won’t  just put it down after one day. Teachers who are passionate about the project will communicate that passion to their students.
  • With high school students, you may run into the problem that many students know notation and may try to replicated note for note the music they already know.
  • The visual representations of music in Hyperscore gets kids excited and is helpful.
  • You need to break things down into building blocks. Design lessons around what’s important in music and what’s meaningful in music.
  • The colors helped isolate different elements of music and provide a way to talk about their different functions in the music.
  • People who are already in a creative field really get it.
  • I created lots of exercises to help people learn about the tools in Hyperscore. For example, we did an exercise about range.
  • Everyone needs a goal. Before my first workshop, I gave people small assignment that they can have ready for me to  look at and a goal for the end of each workshop.
  • Make sure you know what the equipment needs are. A good sound system is important!
  • Also really important – You need enough computers so that the kids can be working on their pieces while I’m going around the room. If I have enough time, they can get enough work done during a class to get feedback at the end of class.

Garrop remarked that she found it “very enlightening” to talk with much younger students. Overall, it was a “really fun” experience for her.

If you are interested in inviting Stacy Garrop to lead workshops in your school or organization, she may be reached via her website at http://www.garrop.com/

Musical offerings from Toronto kids

Several hundred school children in Toronto have been giving their Hyperscore programs a good workout, composing music about their city for composer Tod Machover’s collaborative “A Toronto Symphony” project.  Some of it may end up in the Machover’s new orchestral work, to be premiered in March 2013 by the Toronto Symphony. Take a listen to some of the kids’ compositions here.

HyperscorePieces-Kids

“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 has role in new film!

It’s Hyperscore meets Hollywood in a new documentary film, Music is My Voiceabout Dan Ellsey, a young man with cerebral palsy whose life was transformed when he learned to compose music using the software. Dan was featured in this TED Talk by Tod Machover, in which he performs a song he composed before a live audience. The new film, directed by Jesse Roesler, is a semi-finalist in the Focus/Forward contest. Here’s the trailer and a chance to vote!

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!

Toy Symphony Workshop in Dublin (2002)

From the Toy Symphony project homepage

“I can play [the Hyperviolin] and it will sound like a flute or a human voice, yet using the technique of the violin that I have learnt. The possibilities are limitless…And the kids respond to it because it is current. Their imaginations are stimulated, they’re having fun, and they know they are part of something special. That excites me a lot.”  – Joshua Bell, violin virtuoso and “hyperviolinist”

On April 9, 2002, Toy Symphony received its World Premiere in Dublin with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Gerhard Markson with guest Hyperviolin soloist Joshua Bell. Here is video footage from a workshop to which the public were invited to try out various digital toys and Hyperscore software.