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A to A: The World in Harmony

February 01, 2012 discussions, MIT, hyperscore, creativity
On February 25, 2012, the world will come together through a web-streamed concert in Yerevan to share the joy of young composers co-creating music, celebrating friendship and welcoming a positive and productive future.

The concert pioneers a collaborative music composition process amongst children in Armenia and America led by renowned Composer and Inventor Tod Machover. The project is a synergy between the Luys Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Embassy.
Young aspiring composers in Armenia and America between the ages of 8 and 14, with various degrees of musical experience, came together over the past couple of months to compose melodies using Hyperscore. Hyperscore is a computer music composition environment created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab by Tod Machover along with PhD researcher Mary Farbood.
Thanks to new communications technologies, Professor Machover conducted a composition workshop linking the Luys office in Yerevan, a classroom in Gargar village and the MIT Media Lab.

Here in the picture, a seamless communication between Armenia and Boston. 14 year-old Hratch Boyaxchyan, standing in a classroom in Armenia, is sharing ideas with Tod and the children sitting in the MIT Media Lab conference room.

The children were able to create original musical ideas, quickly discuss and modify one another's suggestions, and work together to produce a musical “story,” dedicated to friendship near and far.

The collective musical piece composed by the children as well as some of the individual works from the United States and Armenia will be played by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dogma Rock Band.

About Tod Machover:

Tod Machover has been called “America's most wired composer” by the Los Angeles Times. He is the Professor of Music & Media at the MIT Media Lab, where he directs the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future Group. He is widely recognized as one of the most significant and innovative composers of his generation. He is celebrated for contributing to the technological progress of music with inventions like Hyperinstruments, which he launched in 1986. Machover studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and was the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM in Paris. Machover's music has been acclaimed for breaking traditional artistic and cultural boundaries, offering an unusual synthesis of acoustic and electronic sound, of symphony orchestras and interactive computers, and of operatic arias and rock songs. His work has been performed and commissioned by many prominent institutions, ensembles and soloists worldwide. He has received numerous prizes and awards from organizations such as the Fromm, Koussevitzky and Rockefeller Foundations, the French Culture Ministry (Chevalier des Arts et Lettres) and the World Technology Network (the 2010 Arts Prize). Machover has been interested in developing new music technologies that extend creative and expressive experience to the widest range of participants, from virtuosi like Yo-Yo Ma and Prince, to the general public (Brain Opera), to children (Toy Symphony), to those with physical and mental disabilities, and to lovers of Guitar Hero, which grew out of his Lab. He has been particularly laud for his innovative operas, such as the critically acclaimed, “robotic” ‘Death and the Powers,’ which premiered in Monaco in September 2010, under the patronage of Prince Albert II, and the U.S. in the 2010/2011 season. It is currently on a world tour.

"Hyperscore" is a music composition software that introduces children and non-musicians to musical composition and creativity in an intuitive and dynamic way.
The "narrative" of a composition is expressed as a line-gesture. The texture, shape and color of this line are analyzed to derive a pattern of tension-release, simplicity-complexity, and variable harmonization.
The child creates or selects individual musical fragments in the form of chords or melodic motives, and layers them onto the narrative-line with expressive brush-stokes.
The Hyperscore system automatically realizes a full composition from a graphical representation, allowing individuals with no musical training to create professional pieces.

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