DSO & Tod Machover to Create Collaborative Symphony Inspired by Detroit

DSO & Tod Machover to Create Collaborative Symphony Inspired by Detroit

What does Detroit sound like? The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and composer Tod Machover will ask every Detroiter that question in the coming year as they work with the community to create a collaborative symphony with sound submissions and conceptual contributions from the public. The work, entitled Symphony in D, will premiere at Orchestra Hall on Nov. 16, 2015. The project is made possible by a $315,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The DSO is the first American orchestra to work with Machover on a collaborative symphony - Machover has completed similar projects in Toronto; Edinburgh, Scotland; Perth, Australia, and is currently working on one for the Lucerne Festival 2015, where he will be Composer-in-Residence.

Residents may start making submissions today. Instruction on how to submit and additional information is available at dso.org/SymphonyInD.

Knight Foundation's vice president for arts heard Machover's symphony in Scotland, and immediately wanted to bring his work to Detroit. The DSO's track record in community engagement and digital innovations via its Webcasts made it the perfect partner for the collaboration.

"The future of Detroit is being shaped by the city's creative community," said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation. "We'd love to see more people get involved, and Symphony in D will be a great vehicle for people to share the sounds that define their Detroit."

In order to create a musical portrait of the Motor City, the symphony for Detroit will evolve through electronic sound submissions, workshops and discussions throughout the city, original sonic creation, and back-and-forth musical sharing and shaping with Detroit residents and community institutions. Machover, Professor of Music and Media at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed technology that can collect and combine sounds and translate them into music. The snarl of a Mustang's engine? Fair game. The chaotic din of Eastern Market on a Saturday morning? No problem. The DSO wants to discover what Detroit sounds like through its community. The process involves layers, interactions, associations and discoveries which will produce a work representing the heart and soul of Detroit's past, present and future.