Monday, 12 March 2007

The Modified Toy Orchestra

I caught the Modified Toy Orchestra at a (really interesting and inspiring) Future of Sound event at Goldsmiths College in London.

They indulge in circuit bending, modifying kids’ musical toys and to create new instruments and ways of producing sounds. I’d heard about their work a lot, but had never seen them live, and so didn’t know quite how much soul and heart their songs have.

Truly, there is no greater sight than five geeky looking musicians lined up, gleefully playing hacked-up toys to produce songs. And songs that you really can hum on the way home.

The band often performs at experimental events that usually showcase acts of a more po-faced nature. Which makes the MTO’s playful samples and obvious joy in making music to make people happy even more appealing. They’re like Kraftwerk let loose in Hamleys.

Go and see them. Or buy their new album.

The picture above is of Hula Barbie, a messed up freak of a musical doll, that lead Toy Orchestra man Brian Duffy has wired up so that by spinning her arm, he produces a warped, distorted version of ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua. Don't miss the chance to see her live.

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