Just In

Hear All Of Beck's 'Song Reader' Album, Performed By The Portland Cello Project

The Portland Cello Project i
Tarina Westlund/Courtesy of the artist
The Portland Cello Project
Tarina Westlund/Courtesy of the artist

This album is available from iTunes and Amazon.

A few weeks ago, Beck released Song Reader, which contains 20 songs — not recorded, but printed as sheet music and collected within a handsome blue binder. The goal wasn't just to mimic an antiquated art form, but to see what would happen when the people who bought the music had to perform it themselves in order to hear how it sounded. It worked: Already, you can find a huge number of videos online of musicians, mostly amateurs, performing the songs. (A bunch of them are collected here).

Now, the Portland Cello Project has recorded all 20 of the Song Reader tunes for an album, appropriately titled Portland Cello Project Play Beck Hansen's Song Reader, and we have that entire album for you here.


The Portland Cello Project is a group of cellists; it's been performing original tunes along with covers of indie-rock and pop songs for the past five years — the group has more than 800 songs in its repertoire, according to its website. Along with a handful of guest vocalists, PCP managed to perform all of the songs within three days of receiving the sheet music from McSweeney's, the music book's publisher. We also have this video of the group performing "Title of This Song" with Lizzy Ellison from the Portland band Radiation City. The recent performance was captured at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland.


Purchase Featured Music

Beck's Song Reader

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Beck's Song Reader
Portland Cello Project

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor