Toby Twining

Toby Twining (USA) – 2011 Guggenheim recipient Toby Twining was raised in Texas, with family roots in country-swing and gospel, and has travelled musically from playing for rock and jazz bands to composing and performing experimental music for voices with a fresh approach to harmony. He moved to New York in 1987, initially writing for modern dance choreographers who wanted the sounds of a new choral music. In 1991 he started Toby Twining Music, which performed in music halls and festivals across the United States and Europe. His recordings include Shaman (SONY, 1994), The Little Match Girl and Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Pizza on A Prairie Home Companion 20th Anniversary Album (Highbridge, 1996), Chrysalid Requiem and Eurydice (Cantaloupe Music 2002 and 2011). Twining’s instrumental music has been recorded by pianist Margaret Leng Tan and cellist Matt Haimovitz. He was a 2003 Pew Fellow, and is co-founder of Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro.

Satie Blues (1995)for piano and toy piano
Nightmare Rag(1995)for piano and toy piano

Composer/vocalist Toby Twining’s music and voice can be heard on his CD Shaman, featuring his vocal quartet, Toby Twining Music. Twining created an earlier vocal arrangement of Satie Blues for his group. The version for toy piano and piano is probably the first-ever composition featuring this unique blend of instruments. According to Tan: Nightmare Rag is a delightfully hilarious slice of modern-day Americana laced with sly allusions to The Addams Family (Margaret Leng Tan).