Everyday sounds gathered in Toronto — from noisy intersections to spinning skateboard wheels to a dip in the lake — will be part of a brand new composition making its debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this weekend.
After almost a year of planning, gathering, composing and mixing, composer Tod Machover and the TSO are premiering A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City on Saturday, as part of the orchestra's New Creations Festival.
The commission blends music technology innovator Machover's unique abilities with public interaction: Torontonians submitted sounds of their city, while music students from various elementary and secondary schools contributed as well.
The multilayered final piece incorporates so many different elements that TSO music director Peter Oundjian, who will conduct the symphony's performance, can't pinpoint them all.
"There's so many [sounds] going on that I don't even want to know until I finish conducting it, because I will get so confused if I try to hear too much," he said.
The goal of the project — which has already attracted interest from other major cities worldwide — is to try out a new kind of collaboration between artists and regular people eager to create, Machover says.
"What's really important for the future is finding a different kind of communication and collaboration between artists," he said.
"People making things with a lot of experience and other people who are interested."
Zulekha Nathoo reports.