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Orchestra is reimagining music with vintage typewriters instead of musical instruments

This band doesn't need expensive musical instruments to create music because they can do it with a bunch of rhythmic typing on vintage typewriters.

Orchestra is reimagining music with vintage typewriters instead of musical instruments
Image Source: Facebook | Boston Typewriter Orchestra

Just like a true artist can create art using anything, a true musician can belt out melodious tunes by turning random objects into musical instruments. When most singers and musicians require a huge venue or blazing performances to draw in the crowd, this Boston-based band only needs a bunch of typewriters. The Boston Typewriter Orchestra are aptly named as they have gained quite a bit of fame for using vintage typewriters to produce music.


 
 
 
 
 
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"We call them instruments, some people call them office machines, some people call them sculptures," orchestra member Chris Keene said, per CBS News. "It's got a limited range of sounds, so you really have to work at what you are trying to extract out of it." The initiation of this unique band is as unique as their performances. "We came together in the beginning as a bunch of weirdos that kind of liked to bang on typewriters and, for one reason or the other, we were obsessed with making noises on typewriters," member Alex Holman recalled.



 

"Once we realized we were trying to entertain an audience, not just having a laugh, banging like monkeys on typewriters, I think it just really started to jell," another member James Brockman added. Slowly the orchestra started to gain popularity outside their state and they went back into business by playing at parties post-pandemic. "It's always somewhat gratifying when we play out and see how much people enjoy what we do," James O'Grady admitted. "We discourage other orchestras from appearing. We don't need the competition laughing," Derrick Albertelli joked.


 
 
 
 
 
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According to WFSB, this particular orchestra does not have a string section like other mainstream orchestral groups. Instead, their ensemble showcases the inclusion of typewriters, which create their unique and recognizable sound when coupled with an attached ribbon.

When the members of the Boston Typewriter Orchestra strike the keys of these vintage typewriters, a remarkable transformation occurs. The familiar clicking and clacking sounds of the typewriter keys blend together, creating a distinct and rhythmic melody.


 
 
 
 
 
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They have also recorded a song called 'Left Bank' and have submitted the video for it to the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. "We only do desk concerts. C'mon, this is a no-brainer," they wrote in the video description. Even though the band did not win, they left a great impression on people with their unique sounds. Their Bandcamp page describes the orchestra as "a collective endeavor which engages in rhythmic typewriter manipulation combined with elements of performance, comedy, and satire." 


 
 
 
 
 
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According to the outlet, the Boston Typewriter Orchestra usually take up a couple of gigs each month and each member has about two-to-three to typewriters but they are always on the lookout for more. We look forward to their creative band growing into a bigger project in the near future.



 

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