Many things have changed as we adjust to life in the midst of COVID-19, but with a little creativity we can still pursue our interests while physical distancing!
The Boston Typewriter Orchestra is one of many performing arts companies that have had to curtail their regular schedule recently. Normally the group performs their unique musical act all over New England, but this year the six-person ensemble is staying close to home.
The Boston Typewriter Orchestra was formed in 2004 and they’ve spent the last 16 years delighting crowds with their clickity-clacking office equipment slash musical instruments. Essentially instead of using traditional orchestra instruments, this group creates original works of musical art using only typewriters!
According to their Facebook page, they are “a collective endeavor which engages in rhythmic typewriter manipulation combined with elements of performance, comedy and satire. BTO aims to entertain the masses while providing an outlet for the creative urges of its members.”
Current band members Alex Holman, Jay O’Grady, Giordana Mecagni, Brendan Quigley, Richard Madallo, and Jeff Breeze have still been working on their music during lockdown in Massachusetts. They recently released a new original song called “Unprisoning Your Think R.H.I.N.O.” using video conferencing software, and it’s surprisingly catchy!
Each band member appears in their own home, and as usual these virtual concerts give us a glimpse into the performers’ worlds. One member performs the whole song while wearing a gas mask, another sits outside on a city street in the middle of Boston. A member’s kids and cat also make a surprise guest appearance in the background, slipping in behind their dad as he concentrates on his keyboard to shoot at the camera with a Nerf gun and have a quick pillow fight. Any parent who ever tried to work via video conference will sympathize, but to his credit he never skips a beat!
We honestly never realized how well typewriters work as musical instruments! The song is punchy and will definitely get your toes tapping, and we love seeing these musicians’ creative take on socially-responsible performance.
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