sábado, 17 de novembro de 2012

Interview: Modified Toy Orchestra

By Simone Ribeiro
Photos: Capsule
After our debut on one of the best underground UK Festivals, in 2011, we were off again to Brum, this time celebrating 10 years Supersonic Festival. Between 19 and 21 October, Custard Factory, Digbeth hosted the event which is already known to the public as one of the most authentic festivals in the country.
On stage, we emphasize the experimental and sophisticated music of Modified Toy Orchestra, the respectful electronic project of Brian Duffy that consists in five other members using adapted toy instruments and some unconventional gadgets. Having already been compared to Divo and Kraftwerk, the MTO has released two albums and has performed in various parts of the planet. The band played on Friday, first day of the festival and talked to Brian (before the festival begins) to learn more about the MTO.
Ma: What does the “circuit bending” movement represent to you?
Brian Duffy: It is a democratic art form open to all.. simple to do, and unique to each person, both in the instruments they make and their reasons for doing so

Ma: Modified Toy Orchestra is known for using not conventional instruments to make truly masterpieces in the electronic music. How did this idea come across to you mind as a project?

Brian Duffy: It came from a dissatisfaction with my own habit, a tendency to approach the instrument that i know such as piano or guitar with the same kind of patterns, I became frustrated with this and the tendency for music to become confessional or autobiographic. I was looking for a way to break my own habits and also to remove the ego/self reference from the compositional process. I had all ways modified things to suit my own needs and had modified some toys mainly looking for sources of novel sounds to sample. In 1999 I started to realize that the toys had within them hidden worlds of possibilities, not only for new sounds but new ways of playing /composing and breaking my own habits
Ma: How did the Hula Barbie happen as a mascot of MOT?
Brian Duffy: She is a diva and demands to be in the spot light to sing her terrifying songs

Ma: With new technology spoilt for choice nowadays, do you think it’s easy to incorporate instruments or the “next new gadget” to your music?
Brian Duffy: Yes, it would be very easy, but it is not a pathway i choose for the MTO. I find that having a constraint or a limited palette to be more inspiring it forces you to make decisions that you would not make if composing for instance in side a computer

Ma: Being a very creative musician probably makes you more opened about influences in general. What are your currently influences?  

Brian Duffy: Static, white noise, the sound of leaves blowing in the wind. spring reverb, natural reverb, the large hadron collider,Russia, America and China’s  weather modification programs, lisi garrets e8 lie group theory, the book "Hyperspace" by Michio Kaku,  my roland system 100 synth, cigar box guitars, vintage eq and compression, 1960s reel to reel tape recorders, the human urge to unify gravity.
Ma: Having your music has being compared to Devo and Kraftwerk is always a positive thing. What do you think about it?
Brian Duffy:  It is of course wonderful to be compared to the gods before whom we all must kneel.

Ma: Plastic Planet was released in 2010. Should we start thinking about a new album coming soon?

Brian Duffy: We are working on new album, Casio, only this time, exploring some modification types that we have not used so far. It will be very different from any previous MTO recording. It is quite cold and stark and alien with a hint of cosmic transcendence

Ma:    From Toygopop to Plastic Planet, do you believe Modified Toy Orchestra has improved or even changed its music?
Brian Duffy: Each album is different. Toygopop was just me in the studio exploring the toys.. not worrying if it could be played live or not, Plastic Planet was written by me and Darren Joyce to be performed live by 5 pairs of hands and the music comes out of the process of constraint rather than by our desire for it to be any particular type of music, we just explore, see what is there and try not to colour it too much with our own preconceptions of what music should be, self expression is banned in the toy orchestra

Ma:What do people should expect of Modified Toy Orchestra performance at Supersonic Festival 2012?

Brian Duffy: Electropop sub bass glitch out eco ballads ,melodious funny frightening  songs and a new singing android Barbie head, to challenge hula Barbie’s supremacy.

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