Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Friday, 27 December 2002

Jack Straw Productions has a call for scores out for a sort of a nine toy piano jukebox. People coming around put in a quarter and pick out a score and it gets played over nine MIDI-ified toy painos. My thing for this is written but it needs a name. It seems to me like a cute name could make a big difference for how often it gets played. Untiled #47 might not be as enticing as Bongo Slugs or something. As you can tell from that example, I'm terrible with titling things. The thing I wrote started out as a normal, boring, four part choral, but then I started adding 16th notes and then got modified for nine toy panos. It sounds sort of fanfarish to me, but that might be because I'm using a Quicktime MIDI trumpet to listen to it. (that means crappy computer synth trumpet.)

Some of you might wonder what a toy paino is. Well, some of you maye have seen the very baby grand paino in the living room of my abode. It's the kind of piano Linus plays in the Peanuts specials. A lot of people want to call it a "Linus Piano." But it doesn't sound like a real piano either. It's plinky, high-pitched and out of tune. I've just looked at toypiano.com and it's not a porn site, so I'll send you over there for more information. somewhere near the bottom there's a link to pictures and another to sounds.

Sibelius, otherwise the best music notation software ever seen, does not have support for toy pianos built in! How can this be? They have Odnes Martenot built in. How much more obscure is that? Everyone who has seen Peanuts at least has an idea of what a toy piano is. But few people except Messian fans and antique electronic instrument enthusiasts know what an Odnes is. There weren't very many Messian fans around here until the SF Opera put on Messian's opera about St. Francis of Assisi. Then there were tons of Messian concerts. People got very excited about the opera. It got rave reviews. I had tickets to go see it, and I kept putting it off, because my mom was sick, so finally I went to see it on the closing night. She died that night, apparently right as I was getting home. The opera wasn't very good either.

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