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Maylee Todd: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Maylee Todd's (home) concert is filled with electronics, a window into a virtual world, and the first digital avatar to ever perform a Tiny Desk concert. Maylee introduces us to her avatar Maloo, and the songs presented here from Maylee Todd's debut album Maloo are sung from the avatar's perspective.

Written during the pandemic, the album is about mental health and filled with multiple science fiction stories, including one about a programmable planet depicted in the "window'" above Maylee Todd's head.

The electronic sounds that help tell these sci-fi tales include Maylee's Tenori-on, a Yamaha instrument comprised of a panel of lights that, when touched, create patterns of sound. An iPhone pointing at Maylee's face captures her reactions and expressions, which are then reflected in her avatar. Her musical partner Kyvita (Kyle Tan) accompanies her, adding textures from his synthesizers.

In the song "Dream With You" Maylee explains that as the avatar is living its life, it realizes, "my brain, it's doing things that I don't want it to do." Maylee Todd explains that Maloo, "wrote a song, a breakup song saying bye bye to certain aspects that aren't serving it anymore."

Before her final song "Absolute Time and Space," Maylee Todd makes a passionate plea: "Hold the ones you love dear to your heart, will ya! Cause time is passing by — we do not have absolute time and space — as it turns out — in these bodies."

SET LIST

  • "Infinite Program"
  • "Grab Your Guts"
  • "No Classification"
  • "Dream With You"
  • "Absolute Time and Space" 
  • MUSICIANS

  • Maylee Todd: vocals, synths, iPhone face tracking
  • Kyvita: bass, keys
  • Maloo (avatar): performance
  • CREDITS

  • Director and Editor: Mason Rothschild
  • Mix and Master: Jake Viator
  • Engineer: Chris Dwyer
  • Production Designer and AD: Leo Johnson
  • DP: Elisha Jakob Maltinski
  • Cam Op: Petra Wurzinger
  • Cam Op: Roderick Hale, Ron Vasquez
  • Art Director: Allison Jensen
  • Set Dresser: B Armstrong
  • Grip: Josh Brantner
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Editor: Kara Frame
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bobby Carter, Joshua Bryant, Michael Zamora, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    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.