Archive for the ‘modified toy orchestra’ Category

Living Toys


It’s the realisation of a dream combination; Stan’s Cafe v. Modified Toy Orchestra v. Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. ‘Living Toys’ is a programme of new music performed for a family audience, with Stan’s Cafe devising a theatrical frame through which young eyes and ears might access and experience contemporary music for the first time. ‘Living […]

MTO unclaimed


From the Modified Toy Orchestra; a long-awaited follow-up to Plastic Planet, entitled UNCLAIMED – an EP just made available for download, courtesy of digital music collective Bit-Phalanx. This exclusive release features an appearance from the notorious, heart-rending ‘Barbie Island Princess’ and includes a newly-mixed version of Triumphant – previously issued as ‘Hong Kong Bonus Track’ on the Earth One […]

Documentation from GAME, a collaboration between composer Richard Baker and sound artist Brian Duffy (Modified Toy Orchestra), commissioned by Faster Than Sound / Aldeburgh Music, and performed at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh on 17th November 2012.

Dazz performs emergency surgery on our stuttering FancyCam, between rehearsal and show at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, 17th Nov 2012. Brian and the Modified Toy Orchestra were performing a selection of pieces under the title of GAME, including new compositions scored in collaboration with composer Richard Baker. GAME was the culmination of a week’s residency at […]

photo by abrinsky (via Flickr) Friday’s performance at Supersonic introduced the band’s new singstress, Barbie Island Princess, seen above on the right side of Brian’s table. She is, by my own admission, exciting and scary and her startling presence at the gig left some of the audience open-mouthed. One punter was reported saying she would leave […]



A few hours ago, Austrian daredevil-skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the speed of sound and in the process broke a 50 year-old altitude record by freefalling 24 miles from a stratospheric balloon high above Roswell, New Mexico. Next Friday I’ll attempt my own slip across a sound barrier by flitting direct from a performance of EAT! […]

cats and gong


The MTO performing Mikrophonie I, part of Modified Stockhausen, mac Birmingham, 20th August 2012. Defying request, Pete Ashton photographs the performance. We are grateful. via brianduffyhasabigbrain.



The Modified Toy Orchestra explore the hidden potential and surplus value latent in redundant technology; a process of creating sophisticated new electronic instruments from abandoned children’s toys. They have been at the forefront of a worldwide underground movement known as circuit-bending. In this evening’s programe at mac, Birmingham, the MTO create 3 interpretations of Stockhausen’s […]

Yesterday the MTO took possession of a giant Tam-Tam, courtesy of the BCMG, in preparation for Modified Stockhausen, a concert celebrating the legacy and impact of the German composer in contemporary sound-making. Wrestling the Tam-Tam out of it’s storage hole in the basement of Symphony Hall was no mean feat. It proved too big for […]

“Groupe Anglo-Saxone ” The Modified Toy Orchestra arrive in the picturesque setting of BICUBIC, in Romont, Switzerland for a programme of three gigs at this venue attached to the town’s High School. Music teacher Quentin saw the band play at the Belluard Festival in nearby Freibourg back in 2009 (the first MTO performance for Sean and me). […]