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Making music with discarded toys

     Modified Toy Orchestra, which rescues abandoned playthings to make electronic music, will stage its Asia premiere in Hong Kong in March. The British band's instruments are out-of-date toys discarded in a world with excessive materialism and constant desire for new technological gadgets.

     Without the aid of a computer, midi, sampler, synthesizer or any conventional instruments, the band exploits the potential of abandoned toys by converting them into strange and unique musical instruments to perform live electronic pop music.

     "Plastic Planet", a performance specially designed for Hong Kong, reveals a sonic landscape that moves from wild solos to extraordinary visuals.

     Creator Brian Duffy founded Modified Toy Orchestra with Laurence Hunt, Darren Joyce, Joseph Leach, Pascal Smart, and video artist Chris Plant. Duffy has been at the forefront of a world-wide underground movement called "circuit bending" which involves rescuing and converting discarded children's electronic toys into new and wonderfully sophisticated musical instruments. He spent five years making his debut album "Toygapop", two years building the toy instruments and learning how to play them, and three years discovering and combining sounds and musical phrases to create a strange yet accessible album. The band performed at the 2006 Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Supersonic Festival in the UK and at the Royal Institute.

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Modified Toy Orchestra's "Plastic Planet" will be staged at 8pm on March 13 and 14 (Friday and Saturday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $140, $170 and $200 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are entitled to 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). Special booking discounts are available; please check the programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999; for Internet booking, visit; for more information, visit

Ends/Thursday, January 29, 2009


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