Conlon Nancarrow’s Player Piano

In the 1940’s and 50’s, American composer Conlan Nancarrow used an old-fashioned tool to create music no human could have played or heard before. Critic Kyle Gann has written a book about this incredible artist who, as Gann explains, used mind-bending mathematical formulas to cut extremely complex rolls for the player piano — something with which Artis Wodehouse is very familiar.  [Produced for PRI‘s “Studio 360“.]

Nancarrow punching a piano roll. [Photo by Phillip Makanna]

Nancarrow punching a piano roll. [Photo by Phillip Makanna]

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