Video: Watch Owen Pallett Play A Tiny Desk From Home The talented Canadian composer and songwriter creates an ensemble in their bedroom for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.
NPR logo Owen Pallett: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Owen Pallett: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


The Tiny Desk challenges artists to think outside their usual box. When they play my NPR desk, we don't amplify the singer's voice into the room, resulting in a more vulnerable sound. For their Tiny Desk (home) concert, the singer, musician and composer Owen Pallett did something different, but just as unusual. Owen recorded four songs in multiple stages on different instruments: first, they played acoustic guitar and sang; then they performed the songs again, but this time on violin and viola; finally, Owen layered the recordings in post-production, not really knowing what the final versions would sound like. They explain the whole process, charmingly, between songs.

From a bedroom in Toronto, Owen traverses their musical history, opening with a dreamy song from 2005's debut album (as Final Fantasy), Has a Good Home, before moving on to a Beirut song he helped write, "Cliquot," from that band's 2007 album. "Perseverance of the Saints" is from Owen's latest record, Island. Here it's transformed from arpeggiated piano to guitar, and I love the tone it sets.

Owen not only performed each instrument in separate takes, but also did all the production work: recording, filming and editing. A remarkable talent captured in a candlelit bedroom.

SET LIST

  • "The Sea"
  • "Cliquot"
  • "Perseverance of the Saints"
  • "Song for Five & Six"

MUSICIANS

  • Owen Pallett: vocals, violin, guitar

CREDITS

  • Video: Owen Pallett
  • Audio: Owen Pallett

TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Morgan Noelle Smith
  • Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann