Bob Boilen

In 1979 I quit my job running a record warehouse and bought an Arp Odyssey synthesizer. In a few months I was performing at dc space in Washington, D.C. with Tiny Desk Unit. I joined Impossible Theater in 1982, writing music for a handful of original multimedia productions with some incredibly talented artists from Baltimore. Some of my favorite music was written then and can be found on the cassette I released called Music For Unitards. In 1988 I quit my TV production job and went to NPR looking for work. I showed up every day hoping I could make radio. In about a year I was somehow directing All Things Considered. At the end of the last century I started NPR’s online music show All Songs Considered. After 18 years of directing, I am now hosting All Songs Considered full time for NPR. I started an intimate series of concerts at my desk called Tiny Desk Concerts featuring both emerging artists and well known musicians. These days I make music under the name Danger Painters with former Tiny Desk Unit guitarist and musical soulmate Michael Barron. We’ve made 10 albums and 2 EP’s together. I’ve been making music with electronics for about 40 years. Tiny Desk Unit reformed briefly in 2007. Michael, Susan Mumford and I wrote an album for the RPM Challenge (the make-an-album-in-a-month challenge) called Sputnik Fell on my Birthday in honor of the passing of our drummer Lorenzo “Pee Wee” Jones. In 2016 I completed my first book, “Your Song Changed My Life.” I asked 35 artists about a song that changed them forever and then wrote essays linking the artist with their inspirational song. I’ve also become a concert photographer these days using Sony’s mirrorless Alpha 6000 camera. I’ve enjoyed storytelling with images, some I’ll post here but I’m most often posting on my Instagram account Tinydesk.

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