Glitch Piano on the Streets of Boston

There’s an old Steinway & Sons Pianos storefront in Boston, right on Boylston Street across from the verdant Boston Commons. Outside the store, solo piano can be heard playing, at least during business hours. The music isn’t an amplification of a customer inside taking a new grand piano for a test drive. It’s a recording, seeping out into a modest bit of civic space, subdued advertising doubling as atmosphere. The speaker on which the music is broadcast is so ancient, its cone so weathered by the elements, its wiring so sketchy, that the sounds have this glitchy quality — a fuzzy texture that highlights the electronic means by which the sound is being projected. As a result, the music is less a model of the fine instruments inside the Steinway store than it is an unintentional remix, a downtempo variation on times gone by.

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