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Modified Toy Orchestra

Plastic Planet


In 2010 Modified Toy Orchestra release there 2nd album “Plastic Planet” 5 years in the making Plastic Planet continues the philosophy began with there debut album “Toygopop” of performing everything live with a collection of repurposed children’s toys.., converting abandoned playthings into exotic new musical instruments, and then exploring the latent potential and surplus value inherent in these liberated circuits. Guided by this hidden world they seek to make a form of music devoid of personal narrative or autobiography, instead they ask bigger questions about our relationship with “the next new gadget” the desire for the constant upgrade, and the possibilities for problem solutions hidden from our gaze by perceptual habit. The result of this on going investigation has been called cinematic, dark, joyful and life affirming. It is rare to hear an electronic live performance that has no midi, no sampling, no synthesizers, no laptops, in fact no conventional instruments of any kind.


Plastic Planet hints at other concerns. With its themes of utopian bliss “Funfair for the common man” the rise of the information age “Qwerty” the collapse of empires “ Great kings fall” and the dire consequences of ecological vandalism “Earth one” and the emotive and haunting “It’s raining”.


MTO have spent the last year performing to much critical acclaim at venues as diverse as Hong Kong city hall and the royal opera house London.


Modified Toy Orchestra explore the hidden potential and surplus value latent inside redundant technology; a process creating sophisticated new electronic instruments from abandoned children's toys.  They have been at the forefront of a worldwide underground movement called circuit bending, which involves rescuing children’s electronic toys and converting them into new strange and wonderfully sophisticated musical instruments. Taking them apart, they find new connections hidden within each toys circuit that reveal new sounds, thus exposing the surplus value of redundant technology.  Toys are reassembled, including switches and dials with which to control this surplus value. The results of this process can be shockingly beautiful, funny and also extreme.