|October 11, 2007|
Merging music, technology: 69th Steinmetz Lecture Oct. 15
Tod Machover, composer, inventor and professor of music and media at the MIT Media Lab, will give Union’s 69th Steinmetz Memorial Lecture Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. His talk, “Enabling Musical Expression for Everyone,” is free and open to the public.
Called “America’s Most Wired Composer” by The Los Angeles Times, Machover is widely recognized as one of the most innovative composers of his generation, celebrated for inventing new technology for music.
He has received acclaim for large-scale interactive media projects, including the 1988 science fiction opera, “Valis” (Vast Active Living Intelligent System); “Brain Opera,” an artificial-intelligence music system that involved thousands of audience members at Lincoln Center in 1996; and Toy Symphony, an international performance and education project that gives children and adults new modes of musical expression through new technologies.
Machover also is known for the creation of Hyperscore, a computer program that departs from conventional methods of music notation by featuring instruments resembling toys or props from a sci-fi movie.
Originally invented to increase the performance virtuosity of great musicians, many of Machover’s technologies are now being extended to give voice to seniors and the disabled.
“The idea is that music is not just stuff on a CD, or learning to reproduce the work of dead people,” Machover has said. “These are a set of tools to give immediate and sustained involvement in music.”
Machover studied with Elliott Carter at the Juilliard School and was the first director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris. His music has been commissioned and performed by many of the world’s most prominent soloists and ensembles, including Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Grand Opera, the BBC Symphony, the Ensemble InterContemporain, the Boston Pops, the Ying Quartet and cellist Matt Haimovitz.
Machover's work has been the subject of major documentaries by the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, BBC radio and television, CNN, Fox TV, and other international press and media. His books, articles, and commentary have been widely published in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
PBS recently launched a Web site devoted to Machover’s work as part of its popular “Design Squad” television series.
In addition to teaching at MIT, Machover is a visiting professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He is currently working on two new operas, “Death and the Powers,” with an original libretto by U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky; and “Skelling,” based on the award-winning novel by David Almond.
Machover’s lecture is presented by the College and the Schenectady Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It will feature a recent performance using a hyperinstrument and a sneak preview of an opera-in-progress that demonstrates the power of music for “personal identity archiving” in the physical and virtual worlds.
The Steinmetz Memorial Lecture series commemorates world-renowned engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923), professor of Electrical Engineering at Union from 1902 to 1913 and former president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Created in 1925, the series has brought dozens of eminent scientists, engineers and innovators to campus.
For more information, visit http://engineering.union.edu/SteinmetzMemorialLectures/ .