Tod Machover

Tod Machover: Hyperstring Trilogy

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By subjecting acoustic instruments to computer manipulation, Tod Machover has opened his timbral resources to limitless possibilities, yet he still retains the drama of live performance in his hybrid pieces. To demonstrate the versatility of his hyperstring techniques, Machover has created a trilogy of works that grows in complexity in proportion to its increased forces, and his fertile musical imagination expands with each piece. But Machover's soloists draw the listener into the music's emotional center and maintain a sense of humanity in the welter of electronic colors. Begin Again Again..., for hypercello, is a fantastic journey into the instrument's overtones, and cellist Matt Haimovitz pushes past all barriers in this virtuosic solo. Song of Penance, for hyperviola, computerized voice and 17 instruments, is even more elaborate, and violist Kim Kashkashian and soprano Karol Bennett are altered to sound like many performers, to haunting effect. Forever and Ever, for hyperviolin and chamber orchestra, is a concerto in form, but unlike any other in its extraordinary demands. While the orchestral accompaniment may seem rooted in tradition, violinist Ani Kafavian is often floating in the stratosphere above them, producing ethereal sonorities that defy convention and expectations. Oxingale's recording is quite "hot," so a moderate volume is recommended for comfortable listening, especially on Song of Penance.

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