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Hyperscore in Toronto Schools

Hundreds of school kids in Toronto will have a chance to get their hands on Hyperscore and contribute to creating a new work for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The project is the brainchild of composer Tod Machover, who was commissioned by the orchestra to write a new piece to be premiered at the New Creations Festival in March of 2013. Rather than retreat to the solitude of his studio, Machover decided to open up the composing process to the entire city. A group of adventurous and committed school teachers took up the challenge and have developed a most creative and engaging curriculum around Hyperscore. We can’t wait to see what their students come up with!

Here’s the project’s website: A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City

Watch the video:

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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!

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“Dream” performed by DOGMA

Take a listen to this snippet from a song called “Dream”, arranged and performed by DOGMA, one of the most popular rock bands in Armenia. The song was composed with Hyperscore by a middle schooler in Armenia as part of the A-to-A project. We think it rocks!

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Hyperscore in Action: Using motifs to build music

One of the core ideas in Hyperscore are “motifs” – small melodies and rhythm patterns – which form the basic building blocks from which to construct musical compositions. In this video, Tod Machover coaches a groups of children in Armenia and the U.S. as they work together to create a new piece to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the United States Embassy in Armenia. Humming tunes and drawing in Hyperscore, the kids created a variety of motifs. Here we see them start to construct a composition which eventually will be performed by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra at the gala celebration. (For more information, read From the U.S. to Armenia, Kids Build a Musical Bridge.)

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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.

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Toy Symphony project in Berlin, 2002

On February 24, 2002, Toy Symphony received a highly successful European preview with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin under Conductor Kent Nagano with guest Hyperviolin soloist Cora Venus Lunny. Scores of children throughout Berlin participated in school events and Toy Symphony workshops – excelling as performers and composers, and the sold out Open House and Concert created great buzz in Berlin through extensive print, radio, and television coverage both before and afterwards. An exciting pre-launch for the project. (From the Toy Symphony homepage.)

Check out the videos below of the workshop where kids composed their pieces using Hyperscore, and of the concert.

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America to Armenia – Building a Musical Bridge

The opulent Armenian Opera Theater in the heart of Armenia’s capital Yerevan reverberated with some truly fresh sounds on the evening of February 25, 2012, as two of Armenia’s elite musical ensembles dug into new pieces composed entirely by children from Armenia and the United States. The concert, “A-to-A: A World in Harmony,” featured the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and DOGMA, one of the country’s most popular rock bands. The event was co-sponsored by the LUYS Education Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to celebrate the embassy’s 20th anniversary.

Despite the composers’ youth – they ranged in age from 8 to 14 – their work was rich and rewarding to hear, thanks to the boost their musical imaginations received from Hyperscore, a music-creation software developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab by a team led by renowned composer Tod Machover. Hyperscore puts unprecedented composing power into the hands of people who long to express themselves musically, regardless of their formal training. More than that, Hyperscore turns out to be an exceptional tool for collaborative creativity. One of the pieces receiving its world premiere at the Yerevan event was jointly composed by children in Boston and Armenia.