"Death and the Powers" - An Innovation in Music and Computation

March 4, 2011

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Scene from "Death and the Powers." Photo by Jill Steinberg.

Listen in to Tod Machover, composer of the opera’s genre-bending music, and Ian Foster, Director of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab, as they discuss the interplay of technology and humanity in Death and the Powers, The Robots’ Opera. This ground-breaking opera, developed at the MIT Media Lab in partnership with COT and Harvard’s American Repertory Theater, will use specially designed technology including a chorus of robots, a Musical Chandelier, and a set that expressively “comes alive." Death and the Powers will be presented by Chicago Opera Theater at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

Tod Machover has been called "America's most wired composer" by the Los Angeles Times. He is widely recognized as one of the most significant and innovative composers of his generation. He is also celebrated for inventing new technology for music, including 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. He has been Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab since it was founded in 1985 and is Director of the Lab's Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future Groups. Since 2006, Machover has also been Visiting Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Recorded Thursday, March 3, 2011 at the Gleacher Center, University of Chicago.