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. *BTO promises to protect customer confidentiality with the utmost vigilance while remaining irreverent at all times.
So thanks to the miracle of the internet, we’ve secured the financing to manufacture vinyl for Termination Without Prejudice, Volume 1, a 10″ EP set to feature some of our songs (we’d originally figured on 4, but we’ve been thinking of expanding it to add another track to each side for a total of 6). There’s still time left to pledge until 8pm EST on Cyber Monday (11/28). If you miss that deadline, we’ll be putting a pre-order option on our bandcamp page once everything is mastered and ready to roll.
While our last show of the year will be Chandler Travis’ Christmas bash at Once Somerville on Wednesday 12/21, the band is also in the midst of working on scheduling events for 2017, so if you’d like to see the band play near you, let us know the name of art galleries, museums, or other venues across the Northeast that might serve us well so we can present our sounds. Already in the works is a return to the Catskills for the 2nd Annual Typewriter Arts Festival in June and we’re looking to perform around the area when the documentary that we’re featured in, California Typewriter, premieres at a few locations around New England.
We’re open to further treks, but getting us there is a bit prohibitive, so let us know…
It used to be that the summers were the time to stop going to dark theaters to watch the latest Hollywood fare, and instead get a group of friends into the biggest car and head to a drive-in. These days those outdoor theater viewing options are getting more and more limited, with only Mendon, Leicester, and Wellfleet offering such a chance in Massachusetts.
A bit further west, just past Albany at the northern tip of the Catskills, the Greenville Drive In is like an art house cinema outside. They have invited us to come join them in celebrating the joy and magic of the machines that we use to make our music as they host the 1st Annual Typewriter Arts Festival on June 11. In addition to our performance, and an open call for the community to bring their own machines to show off, there will be screenings of a couple of typewriter-related films, The Typewriter (in the 21st Century) and Populaire.
So whether you are in the upstate New York area, or are up for a weekend trip, come out and join in on all the fun so we can make our drive out there fun and worth it for everyone involved!
Technology has got the better of us again it seems. This time our desire for expanded promotional efforts has brought us to the world of Instagram. After learning it was not an app that provided grandmotherly advice at the drop of a hat, we decided to give it a go. So we tested things out with this tried and true logo.
If you click on that picture it will take you right there. We’ve also added some visual effects on the sidebar over there >>>—————————————————————–>>>
One of those follows our pictures, the other pictures tagged with us… so if you want to show up on this website, just tag your selfies #bostontypewriterorchestra and take over that feed.
People often ask how it is that we do what we do. In an age where the only QWERTY most people interface with is on a tiny touch screen, hitting manual keys in sonic manipulation is unfathomably archaic. While the concepts of rhythm rarely enter into most people’s concept of typing, with an ensemble that doesn’t produce any paper artifacts, that is the most integral part of what we do. For those interested in joining our ranks or setting up satellite branches of our orchestra in their own city, the key is to learn your basic typing methods and practice, practice, practice.
I guess half of the songs we play do have words, so the fact that we’ve been invited to perform at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, isn’t completely ridiculous. But I’d be shocked to find out that more than a small handful of the other participants in the festival have a typewriter in their apartment that serves anything more than ornamental function. Truth be told though I am gonna try to get Charles Simic to come and solo on a song with us if I can find any way to get close enough to him to propose the idea.
The Festival begins on Friday, but our performance is scheduled for Sunday morning at 11:30am in the auditorium of the Peabody Essex Museum. We’re hoping to make a fun show of it all and have a couple new songs that we plan to debut on stage as well. Hopefully we won’t have a lynch mob waiting at the edge of the stage ready to dunk us in water to see if we float when we’re finished.
UPDATE: We’ve posted the music so you can hear what we did sans Perry
back to the original story……………
Everyone knows the degree of geekery that it takes to create a crew of people who set out to make music on manual typewriters alone. Ok, maybe not everyone, but hey something about what we do intrigued you enough to come visit this site, so you probably are too. While Boston may be the only place that’s produced a group like ours, other crews of people have gathered together for similarly ludicrous enterprises. Among those is the group responsible for the seminal internet video series Yacht Rock that put a name to a specific brand of smooth music. Now they have resurfaced with a great new podcast, Beyond Yacht Rock, and this week we have contributed to the mayhem by adding bumpers to help announce each step of their countdown.
If you are a neophyte and need to catch up with the past, Hunter Stair (Kenny Loggins) has HD versions of all of the Yacht Rock episodes on his YouTube channel. Start here and don’t stop until you are done. It’s an hour that you won’t regret wasting online.
OK, so the truth of the matter is that our typewriters are used for their sonic properties and aren’t loaded with ink or paper when we perform. However, we’ve been invited to participate in a night called “The Art of Paper” at the Portland Museum of Art on February 26. The museum is free on Friday nights, so all Mainers are welcome to join in and check us out, but we’ll be on early so come right after work as they’re showing Lori Anderson’s documentary about her dog at like 6:30.
With wrapping paper crumpled by tree skirts without care it seems that Christmas day is already here. While today’s apparel in Boston brings shorts and T’s, we hope no matter the weather that you have fun and do as you please.
We’re ramping up for a fun 2016, with a Kickstarter in the works to make a real record of sorts and shows shaping up both near and far (today’s weather makes me warier for how it may be in Maine during February), we bring you this piece of festive holiday cheer that we worked up for Chandler Travis’ Holiday Extravaganza that raised over $14,000 for the homeless (and that was just the Boston show). Feed the world, or at least enjoy some holiday goose.
So weird thing is when we play outside of our fine home state, people actually seem to come out to see us play and actually enjoy us. So much so that sometimes they ask us to come back. New Hampshire is getting an encore performance as the Currier Museum in Manchester has given us a curtain call. We’ll be back playing the Currier After Hours on September 3, with 2 sets nestled between somewhere 6 and 9 pm.
When we were first contacted by the library, we had stars in our eyes about getting the chance to play for some Hollywood elite. However, upon confirming we found out that this gig was happening in Beverly, not Beverly Hills. After doing a quick check to make sure it wasn’t a sting operation to get the late fees on those reference books that fill Brendan’s bookcase, we figured, what a better way to spend a Monday than to celebrate typewriters.
On Monday May 4, the Boston Typewriter Orchestra will be playing the closing reception for The Typewriter Project, an exhibit presenting the typewriter in all its glory presented by the Beverly Cultural Council.