Artist Makes an Entire Album From Recording Strangers at Guitar Center

By Marissa G. Muller

When you visit a music store, chances are you’ll hear at least one person trying out the gear. What’s usually an annoyance, or white noise, however, has now become the basis for an entire album.

Experimental New York musician Noah Wall trolled the Manhattan Guitar Center, collecting recordings of strangers testing out guitars, which he eventually compiled into the album Live at Guitar Center as The FADER points out. “This place is mostly loners,” Wall said of the experience on his website. “Trying out a guitar or amp or whatever, they probably didn’t come here to jam with others. But the din has an ensemble effect and the unintentional group is abiding some unspoken rules… On two different days, two different people on two different instruments in two different rooms play the same Jackson 5 song.”

Though the concept is new, this isn’t Wall’s first avant approach to releasing an album. When he released his album Hèloïse, he scattered free copies of it across New York City in a way that made up a constellation spelling his mother’s name, which was also the title of the album.

You can listen to Live At Guitar Center on


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