Bob Boilen

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.

Significant listener interest in the music being played on All Things Considered, along with his and NPR's vast music collections, gave Boilen the idea to start All Songs Considered. "It was obvious to me that listeners of NPR were also lovers of music, but what also became obvious by 1999 was that the web was going to be the place to discover new music and that we wanted to be the premiere site for music discovery." The show launched in 2000, with Boilen as its host.

Before coming to NPR, Boilen found many ways to share his passion for music. From 1982 to 1986 he worked for Baltimore's Impossible Theater, where he held many posts, including composer, technician, and recording engineer. Boilen became part of music history in 1983 with the Impossible Theater production Whiz Bang, a History of Sound. In it, Boilen became one of the first composers to use audio sampling — in this case, sounds from nature and the industrial revolution. He was interviewed about Whiz Bang by Susan Stamberg on All Things Considered.

In 1985, the Washington City Paper voted Boilen 'Performance Artist of the Year.' An electronic musician, he received a grant from the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to work on electronic music and performance.

After Impossible Theater, Boilen worked as a producer for a television station in Washington, D.C. He produced several projects, including a music video show. In 1997, he started producing an online show called Science Live for the Discovery Channel. He also put out two albums with his psychedelic band, Tiny Desk Unit, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Boilen still composes and performs music and posts it for free on his website BobBoilen.info. He performs contradance music and has a podcast of contradance music that he produces with his son Julian.

Longtime NPR fans may remember another contribution Boilen made to NPR. He composed the original theme music for NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Pages

All Songs Considered Blog
1:46 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Song Premiere: Black Prairie, 'How Do You Ruin Me'

Jason Quigley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:07 pm

Let's start with the familiar. Three fifths of the band Black Prairie are members of The Decemberists. The band's new album is produced by one of music's finest producers, Tucker Martine. And it gets better. In addition to The Decemberists' Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee and Nate Query, Black Prairie also includes Annalisa Tornfelt (violin and voice) and John Neufeld (guitar), both very talented players.

Read more
All Songs Considered Blog
2:02 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

'Oh We've Got A Bigger Dressing Room Than The Puppets, That's Refreshing'

The members of Grand Funk Railroad, Don Brewer (drums), guitarists Mel Schacher (right) and Mark Farner play at a free concert in London's Hyde Park in 1971.
Popperfoto Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:42 pm

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. That old expression came to mind when I read the headline of a recent press release:

'Grand Funk Railroad, Boston, Kansas at Aberdeen Proving Ground, August 11'

Read more
All Songs Considered Blog
11:33 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Song Premiere: Malka Spigel, 'See It Sideways'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:56 am

Read more
All Songs Considered Blog
3:04 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Song Premiere: Taken By Trees, 'Dreams'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 3:54 pm

  • Dreams (Album Version)

If you don't know Taken by Trees, the solo project of Swedish singer Victoria Bergsman, then perhaps you're new to All Songs Considered. In 2009, Taken by Trees' made my year end top 10 list and then seemed to vanish. The album, East of Eden, was made in Pakistan but embodied American popular music in the way only a Scandinavian could do (as in so many cases, that meant "better").

Read more
All Songs Considered Blog
1:25 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

How Doo-Wop Unlocks The New Album By Dirty Projectors

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:46 pm

Read more

Pages