Aferro Publication No. 39, Elevator Music 8
Elevator Music 8 : Boston Typewriter Orchestra, Curated by Juno Zago
Elevator Music is a continuous rotation of experimental sound art curated for the permanent Elevator Music installation on the second floor of Gallery Aferro. The installation is comprised of a very early Otis Elevator (single digit) from the early 1900s excavated from the basement of Gallery Aferro’s facilities at 73 Market Street. The Elevator was cleaned up, refurbished and equipped with a motion sensor-activated media player. Guests enter the elevator and the audio-works are activated, analogous to the ways we may enter a functioning elevator ready to deliver us to our desired (or undesired) destination. Elevator Music is a space where audio works can become accessible within a visual arts gallery experience.
Elevator Music 8: Boston Typewriter Orchestra, curated by Juno Zago, beckons visitors to walk inside a refurbished, early-1900s Otis Elevator and embrace the creative rhythms and playful whimsy of one of America’s most eclectic musical troupes.
Founded in 2004, the Boston Typewriter Orchestra (BTO) is a collective percussive ensemble for typewriter and voice based in the greater Boston area. Entertaining with collaborative rhythmic, comedic, and satiric performances, BTO seeks to educate and evangelize the archaic machines they use, and grant folks an opportunity to experience a visceral connection to history and industrial technology like never before.
In Elevator Music 8, BTO has taken their upcycled, recontextualized music, and returned to the office, this time in the warm, seemingly stale confines of an Otis elevator car. This original piece produced for Gallery Aferro’s unique installation harmonizes existing compositions with new evocative sounds, callouts, and textures, and explores the intimacy and anxiety we all feel when fleetingly sharing 150 cubic feet with a group of strangers.
In addition to their original works, BTO is pleased to include collaborations here from other sonic visionaries: interdisciplinary artist Brian Dewan of Catskill, New York, and grindcore legends Full of Hell of Ocean City, Maryland. Elizabeth Donovan of Brookline, Massachusetts, delivers the “next stop” announcements, a calming beacon amidst the irascible machines.
BTO has released several singles and five albums, the most recent of which is a collection of remixes entitled Delegation. The ensemble members included/includes: Derrik Albertelli, Jeff Breeze, James Brockman, Alex Holman, Chris Keene, Erik Lindahl, Steve Mazzulli, Jay O’Grady, Brendan Quigley, and Chris Webb.
Image courtesy of BTO