ListN Up: Theo Baer a.k.a. iT Boy (February 12, 2021)

ListN Up is a series of weekly artist-curated playlists. Born from a desire to keep artists sharing and connected during times of isolation, ListN Up offers an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Theo Baer (a.k.a iT Boy) is a Brooklyn-based composer and performer. His work is the result of a diverse musical upbringing and journey towards emotional healing as a Black and trans artist. These compositions illustrate an intimate and vulnerable narrative channeled through the manipulation of tape loops, synthesizers, keyboards, and other analog electronic voices.
His most recent release, Prehensile Tales (2010-2020) recounts and concludes the first decade of sounds from iT Boy through a new collection of live performances and unreleased recordings.

Hello! My Name is Theo Baer, and the playlist I’ve made for this series is focused on “live” music. I think a lot of us are missing the social experience of concerts and clubs these days. The following selections reflect the important role that live performance has played in my life as both a musician and audience member.

Robert Fripp – Live Frippertronics Demonstration

I bought a copy of his solo record “Let The Power Fall” at a flea market, and hadn’t yet heard of Frippertronics. It definitely sparked new exploration of my own performance techniques with reel to reels and tape loops.

Maria Schneider Orchestra – Live in Vienna (2008)

Growing up, my favorite ensemble to play in was big band.

Cello Concerto by William Walton, performed by Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor)

There’s nothing quite like the grandness of a live orchestra. I won free tickets to a performance of this piece many years ago by answering some easy classical music trivia in a Belgian newspaper.

Music from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Joe Hisaishi

I’ve been watching and re-watching a lot of anime this past year and am reminded of some of the amazing soundtracks that have caught my attention while watching.

“Night Walking Wearing The Human Body” by Susumu Hirasawa

I discovered Hirasawa’s music through the films of Satoshi Kon.

“The Flat Earth” by Thomas Dolby

I managed to grab a last minute ticket for his sold out show at The Cutting Room a couple years ago. It was such a uniquely engaging night of music and stories from his long career.

“Oban” by Jaga Jazzist

This is a band that I’ve loved to watch for a long time. They also put out a great live album with the Britten Sinfonia a while back.

Lindstrøm – Live At Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

The seamless flow and skillful execution of this live set always captivates me. This video helped inspire the theme to this playlist and is a fun watch on a night in.

“New Tribe” by Powder

I chose to miss out on one of her sets pre-pandemic and I regret it now. We’ll all dance together again soon and with an even greater appreciation for the shared experience of live music.


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