Keys to Success

This orchestra click-clacks away using typewriters to make music


The Boston Typewriter Orchestra has been clickclacking away for more than a decade. The orchestra has been on The Today Show and has played in festivals and at museums. But for a few members of the eight-person ensemble, this year—with the official release of a vinyl album—marked a big step for the analog lovers.

“A few of us are record collectors and having ourselves pressed into wax was a big step,” says Jeff Breeze of the Boston Typewriter Orchestra. Featuring three founding members, the band arranges original songs during its weekly practice sessions in East Boston and during his free time, Breeze is often stopping by yard sales to check out old manual typewriters. “Each machine has different features and different qualities that make different sounds, and it’s a matter of harnessing them to do what we want to create particular results. Nothing in the attic has ribbon in it, so they are only good for making music—not letters—at this point.”

The machines will get a work out when the BTO plays at Cape Ann Cinema’s Doctoberfest on Oct. 13 as well as a couple other Bay State spots before a Dec. 7 show at the Boston Public Library’s new Jamaica Plain branch. The busy fall season comes on the heels of publicity from documentary California Typewriter, which was released this year and features the BTO alongside other typewriter admirers including Tom Hanks and John Mayer.

“The release of California Typewriter has brought us to a whole different audience as well,” Breeze says. “The attention we get has opened up lots of other doors for us.”

Related Articles

Comments are closed.