DETROIT (WWJ) — A world-renowned composer, who is known for his contemporary methods, is focusing his latest project on the Motor City.

Tod Machover, who has written symphonies for the cities of Toronto, Perth, Lucerne and Edinburgh is now setting his sights on his first city in the United States — Detroit.

Machover is asking residents to listen to their daily lives, record the sounds that are important to them and submit them at the project’s website.

“If we succeed — we manage to have a lot of people participate and it’s woven together into a piece that feels like Detroit now  — then the community has hopefully something that marks this particular moment and maybe is kind of timeless,” Machover said.

The finished piece will be performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

“So many people are interested in Detroit now, because it’s a city that can reinvent itself,” Machover said. “It could be the sound of a lake, or the sound of Eastern Market on a Saturday morning. It’s an incredibly interesting exercise to listen to the sounds around you, to listen to the city like it were a piece of music.”

Machover said that the project is meant to get the message out and let other people know what Detroit feels like.

“The first way that people can take part is to literally go downtown and to find sounds that are interesting — maybe sounds you can only hear in Detroit, sound that people really like, sounds that maybe people don’t like, sounds that no one else knows about, like sounds in your house or backyard — and to record those,” Machover said. ”

You can email each sound you record in a separate email to the MIT Media Lab at Include your name, email, recording location, and any relevant details about your sound in your message. Or upload your sounds directly to the MIT Media Lab at

Over the coming months, Machover will listen to all of the submissions as potential musical material and inspiration for the final symphony.

[For more information, you can visit the project’s website HERE]


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