Conlon Nancarrow
  • Conlon Nancarrow

On the recently re-named Sound of Young America (now known as Bullseye), host Jesse Thorn gets an enlightening bit from Dan Deacon. The way Deacon describes music is marvelous. He may never get to see a new color, Deacon says, but with music the palate and spectrum are ever expanding.

One of the artists who helped Deacon hear a new color is Conlon Nancarrow, a composer who wrote pieces that could only be performed by player piano. Conlon's righteous torrents of notes are a stunning precursor to electronic music. I never realized that the blipy and wobbly sounds we associate with computers—especially early 8-bit and 16-bit Nintendo-like synthesizers—could result from playing scales at top speed. The best example of all is embedded in the interview.

LISTEN: Dan Deacon on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Dan Deacon, The Song That Changed My Life by Bullseye with Jesse Thorn