In 2007 New York pianist Phyllis Chen organised a composition competition called UnCaged Toy Piano for the first time. The festival is named after John Cage, who turned the toy piano into a concert instrument in 1947 with his Suite For Toy Piano. Over the past decades a growing number of musicians and members of the audience have embraced this quirky instrument.
Last year the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival, Gaudeamus, and the Dutch Conlon Foundation made a joint call for new compositions for Ranjit Bhatnagar’s Robot Toy Piano. Sound artist Bhatnagar redesigned the toy piano, removing the keys and replacing them with technology. By doing this, he created a new range of possibilities for this small instrument. After a reading session the winning pieces are performed during this concert, in the natural habitat of ‘mechanic heaven’: Museum Speelklok.
Winners of the Robot Toy Piano Prize 2017 are Felipe Ignacio Noriega & Anne Veinberg. Besides their work Hello World also PRAGMA by Stefano Alessandretti will be performed. The Conlon Foundation (NLD) and the UnCaged Festival (USA) gave Alessandretti an honorable mention.
Photo © Carrie Schneider
Felipe Ignacio Noriega & Anne Veinberg - Hello World
Stefano Alessandretti - PRAGMA
Silvia Corda - Tre Ritratti del Tempo
Christina Oorebeek - Keychain
Phyllis Chen - toy piano
Anne Veinberg - piano