Extending expression, learning, and health through innovations in musical composition, performance, and participation

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MIT Media Lab / Opera of the Future

MIT Media Lab / Opera of the Future

This group has a special interest in inventing musical instruments that "understand" the artistic intentions of the performer, allowing for the enhancement and extension of musical expression and innovative interventions for learning and health. We design these instruments for use by highly skilled performers, as well as for students, seniors, and the disabled. We also explore how new media technology can modify music itself, and how such concepts can in turn be applied to interactive intermedia art and entertainment forms, of which opera is a particularly sophisticated example. A recent project, Death and the Powers, premiered in Monte-Carlo in 2009, with the goal of reinventing opera as we know it. It features a small ensemble of specially designed Hyperinstruments; a robotic, animatronic stage that gradually comes alive as the opera’s main character; and an army of robots. In turn, the opera allows users to customize its infrastructure with their own memories, stories, and sounds to create a new form of "Personal Opera."

What We're Looking For:

Students interested in radical new forms of music and opera, of music learning and learning through music, and of dynamic musical interventions to improve health and well-being. Strong musical background and imagination, with at least one complementary skill in areas such as, for example, hardware and software design, neuroscience or neurology, and interface design.

Special Requirements:

A portfolio of work (including musical examples) is required with your application. Posting materials online is encouraged.

Learn about applying through the Program in Media Arts & Sciences.