Artifact Details


Transforming music : from Guitar Hero to Robotic Opera and beyond, an evening with Tod Machover

Catalog Number



Moving image




Hollar, John C., Interviewer
Intel, Sponsor
Machover, Tod, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California



Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


Music exerts its power when we are actively engaged, not when we listen subliminally. For this reason, I have been working with my group at the MIT Media Lab to create musical tools – often with specially designed technologies – that enable everyone to participate directly in music-making regardless of background.
Tod Machover

Tod Machover is the only person I am aware of who contributes on a world-class level to both the technology of music creation and to music itself. Even within these two distinct areas, his contributions are remarkably diverse, and of exquisite quality.
Ray Kurzweil

Join us for an evening with musician, inventor and educator Tod Machover, the Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music & Media at the MIT Media Lab, where he directs the Opera of the Future Group. An influential composer, he has been praised for creating music that breaks traditional artistic and cultural boundaries; his music has been performed and commissioned by some of the world's most important performers and ensembles. He has also created the technologies behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Machover's opera Death and the Powers premiered in Monte-Carlo in the fall 2010. The project was developed by a creative team of international artists, designers, writers and theatrical luminaries, as well as by an interdisciplinary team of Media Lab graduate and undergraduate students. Powers features a robotic, animatronic stage – the first of its kind – that gradually "comes alive" as the opera's main character.

The Museum's John Hollar will moderate a fascinating conversation with Tod - the son of a noted piano teacher and a computer graphics pioneer - who is using technology to revolutionize music.

We are very pleased that KQED Radio will be on site to tape this event for future broadcast.

This event is part of our 2012 Revolutionaries lecture series, featuring conversations with some of the most distinguished minds in the computing field.

Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.
Everyone uses computers. Few know the story of how they came to be. Revolution chronicles the evolution and impact of modern computing from the abacus to the smart phone. This 25,000 sq ft multimedia experience is a technological wonderland that immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and stories of the computer revolution.

Watch this event on CHM's YouTube channel:



Collection Title

CHM Lecture Collection

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