The Toy Piano in My Life

My Rochberg talk out of the way, I am now focused on this week’s events. First, as previously noted, the premiere of my microtonal quintet The Day Revisited occurs this Wednesday, November 2, at Bard College’s Olin Auditorium. My son Bernard and I will be performing with the Da Capo ensemble, and other Bardian composers are featured, including faculty members Joan Tower and Thurman Barker, temporary faculty Keith Fitch, a very talented student Marcus Parris, and local composer Jonathan Talbott.

Then I’m giving the keynote address at a festival/symposium called The Extensible Toy Piano Project. The brainchild of directors David Claman and Matt Malsky, the event takes place Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5, at the Razzo Recital Hall at the Traina Center for the Arts at Clark University in Worcester, Massachussetts. My speech is Saturday evening at 7. I’ve never given a keynote address before, and have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about what the toy piano means to me. A lot, actually: on the Saturday concert will be my 1989 toy piano piece Paris Intermezzo, and I also used the instrument (sampled and microtonally retuned) in So Many Little Dyings. Naturally, my talk, as the festival itself, probably, will revolve around John Cage’s Suite for Toy Piano of 1948, which first brought the instrument to serious attention – and which I have added to Postclassic Radio as an homage.