Tod Machover

Tod Machover

Soft Morning, City!

Tod Machover (b. 1943)
Educated at Julliard, a student of Elliot Carter and Roger Sessions, former Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM institute, Professor of Music & Media at MIT -- Tod Machover's resume is quite impressive, and always seems to locate him on the cutting edge of modern music, where technology, innovation, and theory unite to push the envelope of modern composition just a little bit further. Indeed, Machover is just as much an inventor and visionary as he is a composer, and his works represent a synthesis of the traditional and the avant garde -- computers, electroacoustics, "hyperinstruments," multi-media installations, and even musical toys all share the stage with traditional instrumentation and musical forms that range from opera to rock. His work has been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the Ensemble InterContemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Tokyo String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, and nearly every major American symphony orchestra; and his "hyperinstruments" -- instruments augmented by computer technology -- have been used by Yo-Yo Ma, the LA Philharmonic, Peter Gabriel, and even Prince.


Soft Morning, City! -- (1980) For soprano, double bass, and computer generated tape, with text from Finnegans Wake.

Of other "Libyrinthian" Interest:

VALIS -- (1987) An opera based on the novel by Philip K.Dick, for six voices, hyperkeyboard, hyperpercussion, and live computer electronics. (Will be detailed in a future update.)

Links/CDs/Sound Samples

There is an excellent Tod Machover site maintained at MIT in cooperation with the composer.

Scientific American has a Machover Interview on their site.

The Meteorite Museum is an underground museum in Germany featuring a multimedia installation and music by Machover.

The Brain Opera is a recent Machover project involving hyperinstruments.

Soft Morning, City! was once on a CD available from the IRCAM site, but it has been deleted. The site is pretty informative and interesting anyway. Although they no longer offer the piece either, the CRI homepage features other Machover works.

You may listen to sound samples and/or purchase Tod Machover CDs online from below:

Machover: VALIS / Machover, Mason, Felty, Edwards et al
Tod Machover (Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1990

--A. Ruch
15 December 2000
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