Heavy Metal //
Northeastern Magazine, winter 2013
Giordana Mecagni has only worked at Northeastern for a few months, but she’s already making noise. When she’s not performing her duties as university archivist and head of Special Collections, she’s the “head thumper” for the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.
She plays a mean Underwood 5, keeping the beat on the classic, nearly indestructible office workhorse of the ’50s and ’60s. The orchestra, which includes five other members she says outshine her in eye-hand coordination, performs a percussion-dominated repertoire combined with elements of performance, comedy, and satire.
“My nerdy friends were forming the group 10 years ago. I jumped on the bandwagon two years later,” she says.
The group has done a few covers—notably an interpretation of “Wipe Out” called “White Out,” and a riff on the Gil Scott-Heron classic “The Revolution Will Not be Televised” titled “The Revolution Will be Typewritten”—but the musicians usually create their own rhythms and scripts.
They’ve played with Amanda Palmer, the rock performer who gained fame as half of The Dresden Dolls, and at rock, jazz, soul, and poetry festivals around New England. To keep their fingers in top shape, the orchestra practices once a week, “and beer is involved,” says Mecagni.