We at the CMC had been pretty burned by the prima-donna-ism we encountered
in Thessaloniki, Greece. I had created this piece as a fun "tape"
piece using my son's happy sound-making toys, but decided to submit
it as a "performance" piece for the 1998 ICMC. The emphasis on
"performance" at these silly conferences is a bit much, especially
when contextualized by realizing that the "performance" is very
much a look-at-me-aren't-I-great proposition. Jeez.
I recast this piece, then, as a true "performance" piece -- as the
tape played, I reached into a bag and held up for display to the audience
the toy being featured sonically. Hey, it was really difficult! I
am the toy-display KING! Of course I had arranged to have Terry
Pender run up to make the minute and obviously essential adjustments
to the toys in the bag prior to the tape playing, because otherwise
the performance would have been absolutely ruined.
Doggone I'm getting hateful in my old age. Oh well. I like
this piece a lot, the toys are really wonderful (and Daniel and
had loads of fun playing with them). I especially
groove on the Speak-and-Spell solo towards the end, just before
the cassette-player drums kick in. I had one of those
Speak-and-Spell units when I was a kid. Let the circle remain
[NOTE: I added this later...]: I was cleaning out my
closet, and I ran across the 1998 ICMC Program with
original program note
in it. Along with the note, however was this wonderful
"bio". Yeah, we were a just a teeny bit disgruntled after our
1997 ICMC experience>
Brad Garton (b.1957) is currently
on the Music Faculty of Columbia
University, where he serves as Director of the Computer Music
Center (formerly the Electronic Music Center). He has won virtually
no awards or honors, and in fact has done very little with his life
except devote it to a single, focused goal: to compose the
piece Dan's Toys and have it performed at the 1998 ICMC.
Thank God it was accepted for performance, or else Garton would
be forced to confront the empty void of existence, and die an
embittered and frustrated old man.