Living Toys concert rehearsal for today’s concert.

Nabbed from Facebook.

Living Toys - Brian and others at CBSO center, 26th Jan.

For ages 7 – 97

Created in collaboration with Birmingham-based theatre company Stan’s Cafe, BCMG Family Concerts introduce young people and their families to the exciting world of contemporary music. These hour-long performances weave music inspired by toys, dreams and games with theatrical and visual elements to create colourful and engaging concerts to ignite young imaginations.

The musical wizardry of Thomas Adès conjures a child’s imaginary dream world in Living Toys, complete with angels and matadors, armies and heroes, and a great computer in deepest space. Early electronic toys will be transformed into musical instruments, and take their place in the BCMG ensemble, through and imagination of composers Richard Baker and Brian Duffy with the Modified Toy Orchestra. A tiny music box, most used to playing Brahms’ Lullaby and the Nutcracker Suite will resound with new sparkling melodies, and a musical dice game created by Mozart will be given new life by composer Colin Matthews.

Unclaimed is a 20 minute mix of Modified Toy Orchestra bits and bobs that didn’t fit on to Plastic Planet. It’s released as a free download by Bit-Phalanx. Yummy.

A panel discussion with Modified Toy Orchestra and Juneau Projects at A3 Project Space this Thursday

Brian Duffy, Laurence Hunt, Phil Duckworth, Ben Sadler and Joeseph Weldon talk about their ideas behind making electronic instruments and music.

Photos from the Square Wave exhibition of Modified Toys at A3 Project Space on at the moment.

Trevor Pitt performs ‘This Is Your Tomorrow’

Vivid Projects
Monday 10 June 2013
Doors open 8pm

For the final act in his ‘Sleeve Notes’ project Trevor Pitt performs ‘This Is Your Tomorrow’ at Vivid Projects on 10 June 2013, 9pm.

In collaboration with Brian Duffy, four songs that Pitt wrote in his bedroom between 1974-78 have been reinterpreted and authentically produced by Duffy to form an EP that will performed for the first time.

MTO at an event called Interplay in London, 2007.

MTO live at Summer Sundae Weekender 2007, De Montfort Hall, Leicester. (by Bathysphere Recordings)

Interview with Darren on the Urban Outfitters Blog. Many stupid questions, lots of lovely photos.

Someone had uploaded New Sounds From Old Circuits, the 3 track Modified Toy Orchestra EP released on Static Caravan in 2002, to YouTube. It’s a long way from A Grand Occasion and fascinating to see Brian starting to put the pieces together.

Modified Toy Orchestra entry on Wikipedia

The article needs some serious work and there are plenty of citable sources on this blog. Get to it folks.

2007 Italian TV report on MTO playing at the Dissonanze festival. The narration is an Italian translation of Brian’s interview which you can turn back in to English using YouTube’s caption translation tool, with fantastic results.

"The spectacle of stones made by your eyes stream composed five musicians on the digital terrestrial each of us are a number modified toy music instrument with no input of sex together always my laptops and therefore why dreams only with these tools."

An Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

30 minute BBC Radio 4 documentary on Brian’s hero Bucky Fuller.

Richard Buckminster Fuller was an eccentric polymath. Perhaps best known for his innovative geodesic dome designs - a version of which feature at the Eden Project in Cornwall - he was also an inventor, a poet and a philosopher, who wrote scores of books and criss-crossed the globe giving idiosyncratic free-wheeling lectures that lasted for hours.

In all of his varied work, Buckminster Fuller was dedicated to principles of sustainability, to doing ‘more with less’ and striving to ‘make the world work for 100% of humanity’. He influenced a generation of designers and architects - including Norman Foster and Richard Rogers - and was an inspiration to the environmental movement.

Buckminster Fuller was ahead of his time and his principles are arguably more relevant now than ever. But today, almost thirty years after his death, he’s a largely forgotten figure.

In this programme, the writer Tom Dyckhoff talks to Bucky’s colleagues and commentators about what we can learn from Buckminster Fuller today. Featuring Fuller’s grandson Jaime Snyder, architect Norman Foster, sculptor Antony Gormley, writers Bryan Appleyard and Alice Rawsthorn, and Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation

10 minute video of Modified Toy Orchestra playing at Faster Than Sound last year.

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