Tod Machover’s ‘Festival City’ for Edinburgh 2013


Edinburgh 2013 is craftily steeling a march on some of the more mainstream classical music festivals this year with an interesting commission from Tod Machover.

Using a compelling call to action on the Edinburgh Festival website inviting users to submit their aural memories of Edinburgh via SoundCloud, Machover’s work looks like it could well be an interesting proposition and one which – if it gets the right pick up in the press – could end up being one of those case studies you hear about at various digital / social / arts conferences. Well deserved too. There’s nothing quite like simple ideas executed effortlessly, I find.

Charlotte Higgins wrote about in a longer feature on the Guardian website on Friday 22 March:

Machover is working on a new composition, Festival City, for the Edinburgh international festival this August; he envisages it as a collaboration with anyone who loves the Scottish capital. The work will, he hopes, be a kind of “tone poem” that “feels and sounds like the city and its festivals”.

Anyone interested can submit a recording, or simply suggest a particular sound that they associate with the city. Machover adds, somewhat darkly, “It may be hard to imagine avoiding bagpipes completely.”

From early June, via an app, there will also be the chance for members of the public to manipulate and alter the weight, complexity and texture of melodies composed by Machover, who will use the best in the final piece.


For more information on the Festival City commission and how to submit material, visit the Edinburgh Festival website.

Charlotte Higgins’ Guardian interview with Tod Machover can be found here.

Full event information for the Edinburgh International Festival 2013 can be found on the EIF website.



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