A Toronto Symphony

Concerto for Composer and City

Tod Machover and Peter Torpey

Massive Musical Collaboration

More and more examples exist for crowd-sourced and interactive music, from Hans Zimmer’s invitation to submit audio to be incorporated into the new Batman movie, to the iPad apps that accompany Björk’s new Biophilia CD. Although the promise has been great, the results are limited so far, with the public being only a small part of a final musical result, and often more disconnected than promised from the artist leading the project. We believe that a totally new “musical ecology” is needed so that true creative collaboration between experts and amateurs can exist for the benefit of both. For this purpose, we are creating a new work for symphony orchestra in collaboration with the entire city of Toronto. Called A Toronto Symphony, the work has been commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and will be premiered in a high visibility public concert in March 2013. Between now and then, we are designing the necessary infrastructure (including the DOG software environment created by the Media Lab’s Social Computing Group), creative tools based on Hyperscore, social media supports, and real-world community building activities to bring together an unprecedented number of people from diverse age, experience and musical backgrounds, to create this new work together. The goal is to create a remarkable musical experience which will be rewarding in itself, but also to establish a model—and a concrete “playbook”—by which others can create complex creative collaborations between experts and everyone else.