Music with Toys

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During radio's Golden Age, the composer John Cage began using radio as instruments in live performance. In 1951, Cage conducted a performance that featured 12 radios at Columbia University and years later, he composed a piece called Radio Music for up to eight radios.

Cage's non-traditional use of radios, toys, and traditional instruments continues to inform contemporary music. On this edition of All Ears, it's music inspired by radio and other musical toys.




Evan Zipporyn, bass clarinet

Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Gil Rose



Radio Music

John Cage

Stefano Scodanibbio



Summer Time

Foday Musa Suso, kora

Orange Mountain Music


Pero cantigas de loor

Alfonso X "El Sabio"

Hesperion XX

Jordi Savall

La Capella Reiel de Catalunya



What Am I Here For

Edward K Ellington

Mulgrew Miller, piano

Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, bass

Bang & Olufsen


"I have Heard it said" "Planet Earth"

Gavin Bryars, double bass

CBC Orchestra

Owen Underhill, conductor

Holly Cole, vocalist





Brooklyn Rider

In a Circle Records


Banchetto musicale: No. 16 in A

Johann Schein

Hesperion XX

Jordi Savall, conductor



Piano Concerto

David Rakowski

Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Gil Rose

Marilyn Nonken, toy piano, piano



A Hand of Bridge

Samuel Barber

Adirondack Chamber Orchestra

Gregg Smith, conductor

Catherine Aks, soprano

Fay Kittelson, contralto

William Carney, tenor

Richard Muenz, baritone

Gregg Smith Singers