Music and tech will combine to create A Toronto Symphony of city sounds

What does Toronto sound like to you? MIT Media Lab’s music composer and innovator Tod Machover wants everyone to share their city sounds to help him create A Toronto Symphony.

Just head out into your yard, neighborhood or favorite part of the city with a video recorder and isolate a sound that captures what you think will help shape an musical image of Toronto. Then visit the Toronto Symphony Project website to upload your video or digital sound files to the Project’s Facebook community page. You can also upload them to YouTube, Soundcloud or send it to Tod himself at tod@tso.ca

As well as working with your ideas, Tod will be collaborating with his MIT Media Lab colleagues where he works and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Over the next few months, Tod will continually collect different kinds of sounds you submit, adding chords or melodies. Every few weeks, he’ll then send what’s being created to all of you to find out what you think. You can even vary what he sends or add to it because Tod wants A Toronto Symphony to be “ours” – a collaborative and interactive effort that everyone likes.

The final composition will be played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 2013, at its New Creations Festival that will also showcase new musical technologies.

Tod loves doing unusual things like the Toronto Symphony Project. He’s invented many new technologies for music and even invented the music technology behind Guitar Hero as part of his work at the MIT Media Lab where he is head of the lab’s Opera of the Future group.

If you love music but don’t know how you can transform that love into a career, take a look at Tod’s website to get an idea of the many ways he’s mashed up music and tech during his career as a professor of Music and Media.

Recently he created an opera called Death and the Powers, that uses an army of robots to help tell its story and the opera was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for music. That’s just one of five operas he’s composed. Another focus of Tod’s group at MIT is called Music, Mind and Health which explores using music to promote health and wellbeing.

A famous U.S. author and futurist, Ray Kurzweil is quoted as describing Tod as “the only person I am aware of who contributes on a world-class level to both the technology of music creation and to music itself.”

If you’re interested in pursuing a career that mashes up tech with music, the arts or any kind of digital media like video games, animation or new ways to use the web, Canada has some top rate digital media labs and academic programs. Check out the sites below to get a feel for what types of digital media careers mash up with your personal interests.

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