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Gifts from Becky’s Classroom

Becky Ogilvie set a great example for her students by composing right alongside them as they explored Hyperscore. We will be sharing the student’s work with Parent/Guardian permission. First, let’s enjoy Becky’s offering. She called it “Teacher Model”. We’ll call it “Joy”!

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Celebrating Dr. King

Please enjoy past and present members of the “Shades of Yale” as they enchant us with “Amen/We Shall Overcome” in this beautiful virtual choir. My music classes at City High enjoyed this as one of many renditions of “We Shall Overcome” that we learned in preparation for celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020. May we forever work toward his dream!

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Listen to the children

by June Kinoshita, Executive Director, New Harmony Line

I’ve been reading the wonderful New York Times opinion series by guitarist and social activist Tom Morello, and his post “How I Taught My Son How to Shred Like Crazy” really landed for me. Morello, an esteemed rock guitarists known to legions of fans for his stints with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s touring E Street Band, recounts how a guitar teacher almost derailed his musical dreams when he was 13 years old. Eager to master guitar licks from Led Zeppelin and Kiss, he marched into his first guitar lesson only to be told he had to first learn to play scales. It was years before he returned to the guitar when he founded his first band.

I wonder how many millions of children have been steered away from music by similar “thou must master the basics first” mindsets. Of course, drilling scales, arpeggios, and chords into your muscle memory is essential for mastering an instrument. But if a child is on fire to learn a piece of music they love, or to explore making sounds that mean something to them, a great teacher will find a way to feed that flame.

Having learned this seminal lesson in his youth, Morello recounts how he cautiously approached his 9-year-old son, Roman, early during the pandemic lockdown about learning “Stairway to Heaven,” and soon discovered he had a shredding prodigy on his hands. Roman ended up collaborating with Nandi Bushnell, the British-Zulu drumming phenom. (I first learned about Nandi through my fangirling of David Grohl; watch their epic drum battle). Here’s their song, a call to arms for the world to take action against climate change. This resonates so much with us because the driving motivation behind Hyperscore and everything we do is to empower kids to find their voice. They have a lot to say. Watch:

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A Man of Many Talents

In the video posted above, Peter wrote Hyperscore motifs for members of the early Harmony Line staff and paired them, using Perl, with the Avatar images drawn by Facemelter. The first image is M.I.T. student designer Mary Farbood, followed by Bhob Rainey, Facemelter, Richard Resnick, Garry Griffin, Sunny Chang and Henry Kaufman (who all had adorable Avatar names that shall remain unpublished unless I’m given permission to blog them here!). Peter calls this work “a combination of visual art and music in that the music was inspired both by the people and their avatar personae, which were inspired from the people as well”.

Early interests in Music Technology

Peter Torpey, New Harmony Line’s Chief Technology Officer, has been involved with Hyperscore since WAY BACK. Peter grew up interested in choir, the violin and a recorder group. In the mid 90’s, he dabbled with composition, looking especially for a technology program to compose with. In 2003, Peter met some of the students who were working on Hyperscore at a conference. He became a dedicated user of H-Lounge (an online Hyperscore Community) and was well-known to Harmony Line due to the “…over 100 bug reports I submitted”. Not surprisingly, he was invited to do Beta testing for Harmony Line from 2006-2007. He “liked the way Hyperscore thought about the process of composition” and how it used the rules of western harmony.

Media Experience Artist

Tod Machover, Professor of Music and Media, met Peter in 2007 and encouraged him to apply for Machover’s Opera of the Future Group through the M.I.T. Media Lab. Peter received his Doctorate from M.I.T. and now works as an “independent contractor providing services that span the possibilities of integrating technologies into live performance and artistic experience”.  PLEASE check out his amazing work using this link: https://web.media.mit.edu/~patorpey/

Web-based Hyperscore 5

In his spare time over the last 10 years, Peter has been re-writing Hyperscore to be web-based. His goal is to create a stable web platform that evolves and won’t become obsolete as code changes. Starting in December of 2021, he began working on the back end of the web-based version with the future vendor and most looks forward to changing the instrument sets as he sorts through various sound sources. June Kinoshita, Executive Director, and I are constantly amazed at the vision and resources Peter provides for a product we all love. Thank you for sharing your time and talents, C.T.O. Torpey!

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From the Vaults: Hyperscore on Scientific American Frontiers 2003

We are so lucky to have Chief Technology Officer Peter Torpey on the hunt for archived videos, files and articles on the history of Hyperscore. Peter discovered a video of M.I.T. Media Lab student designers Egon Pasztor and Mary Farbood sharing an early version of Hyperscore on Scientific American Frontiers with host Alan Alda in 2003. Mr. Alda seems absolutely delighted with the presentation on the technology. We also hope you’ll be delighted by the joy in this video–thanks Peter!

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Our Favorite Holiday Gift!

Becky Ogilvie, an Iowa City Schools elementary music teacher, gave us the best Christmas and New Year’s gift–a joy-filled video of her talking about her experience of sharing Hyperscore with her in-person and online 5th and 6th grade students! Four of her students chose to share their pieces with Parent/Guardian permission and we will be debuting these pieces over the next couple of weeks. A big THANK YOU to Becky for being a Beta pilot tester, to all of her students for completing the pilot and for those students who were willing to share their work!

Rebecca Ogilvie–Iowa City elementary music teacher and Hyperscore fan
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Video of early Hyperscore!

What a delightful surprise this week to receive an email from Chief Technology Officer Peter Torpey that included a video of Morwaread “Mary” Farbood and Egon Pasztor in the 2000s demonstrating an early version of Hyperscore! Both Farbood and Pasztor were students in the Opera of the Future Group in the M.I.T. Media Lab when they designed and implemented Hyperscore. If you are interested in reading their Master’s Theses on the creation of Hyperscore, use this link https://newharmonyline.org/resources/hyperscore-in-depth/ or go to the Resources page on this website. Enjoy!

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Hyperscore origins

Take a peek “behind the curtain” at the history of Hyperscore by visiting the Resources page on our website under “Hyperscore: In-depth“. With New Harmony Line’s upcoming launch of Hyperscore as a web-based, user-friendly composition tool, we think it is important to acknowledge the students who wrote the program, Morwaread “Mary” Farbood and Egon Pasztor, who were in the Opera of the Future Group at M.I.T. Media Lab, and Kevin Jennings, a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin. Please enjoy a look back at 2004 when the original Hyperscore creators were profiled in this IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications article.

Here they write: “The fundamental idea of Hyperscore is that anyone can perform two key creative activities without musical training: compose short melodies and describe the large-scale shape of a piece. Providing graphical means to engage in these two activities forms the basis for Hyperscore’s functionality.” This powerful insight by the original creators explains why Hyperscore has enduring appeal and remains unique to this day among music technologies for education.

Currently, Egon is Founding Engineer of Relyance AI. Mary is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Music Technology at NYU. Kevin is Global Director Talent Development at Study Group, an international education provider.

IEEE is the not-for-profit Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers with the mission of “advancing technology for humanity”.

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Group 3 Beta testers are LAUNCHED!

New Harmony Line announces that Group 3 has started the Beta test model of Hyperscore. Our group includes teachers in Iowa, Canada and Portugal. Our first high school Adaptive Music class is learning to use Hyperscore. I am thrilled to visit them this afternoon as I was their teacher last year before I retired!

Hyperscore Beta testing will continue into the winter and spring. Please let me know if you have any interest in a free subscription with materials and support! Contact me as Director of Education at: cecilia.roudabush@newharmonyline.org.

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Meet the team: Sep Kamvar

Board member Sep Kamvar is a computer scientist, artist, and entrepreneur.  He has been a professor at MIT and Stanford, and a co-founder of Wildflower Schools (a network of Montessori microschools), Mosaic Building Group (an AI-based residential construction company), and Celo (a mobile-based global payments platform for cryptocurrencies).  Sep’s main contributions to computer science have been at the intersection of computer science and mathematics, particularly in the fields of numerical linear algebra, peer-to-peer networks, and information retrieval. 

Sep is the author of three books and over 40 technical publications and patents, and his artwork has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Musem in London, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens among others. Sep received his PhD in scientific computing and computational mathematics from Stanford University and an AB in chemistry from Princeton University.