Beck launches exhibition of his sheet music album – but still refuses to perform the songs

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro performed at the event

Beck launched the official ‘Song Reader’ exhibition last night (February 21) in Los Angeles.

Held at Sonos Studio in West Hollywood, the exhibition goes hand-in-hand with the artist’s last ‘album’ release, the ‘Song Reader’ book of sheet music and accompanying website where fans can upload their own versions of the songs.

It features the original, specially commissioned artwork from the ‘Song Reader’ release and presents a selection from Beck’s own collection of vintage 1920s to 1940s sheet music. There is also a recording studio where visitors can lay down their own versions of the songs.

Beck took part in a Q&A session at the launch event, which was attended by actor/musician John C Reilly, Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass, model Agyness Deyn and her actor husband Giovanni Ribisi.

When asked about the multi-platform scope of the project – which was conceived in 2004 – Beck said: “I had no expectations, I thought at least it would be a beautiful book to look at.”

He then said that people who don’t read sheet music can still take part. “They can put a personal ad in the paper for people who read music,” he commented.

When asked if he was going to record the tracks himself, he said: “I wasn’t planning on it.” He added that his fantasy artists to perform the music would be the late Hank Williams, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

A number of artists did perform pieces from ‘Song Reader’ at the event, including Adam Green and Binki Shapiro, Amy Reagan, The End of America and Nick and Tim. Beck has still not publicly played any of the songs live.

Beck’s Song Reader exhibition runs from February 21 – March 24 at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles.