The toy piano was never presented to me as a musical instrument. Instead I stumbled upon it as an unassuming object. For The Matter Within, I decided to return to this original place of entry to examine and distill the toy piano as a found object. By exploring its elements, hearing its raw essences and noises, the bare materials of the toy piano are exposed and brought to light. Contrary to extended techniques, I am using new but condensed techniques to strip the piano down to its most basic essence, it’s simple and imperfect materials: plywood, plastic and metal. Each element is revealed in isolation, using JACK Quartet as extra hands to explore the foreign territories of the toy piano. The Matter Within is a Look + Listen commissioned work, and was made possible by New Music USA and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.