About Us

About Us

Who’s At The Controls?

My name is Erik York and I’m a 23-year-old piano roll NERD. I’m relatively new to the world of player pianos and piano rolls. I got started playing piano at age 12, but never really knew I liked this piano roll stuff. I began playing ragtime and blues shortly around the same time and got hooked on it. While learning The Charleston Rag by Eubie Blake for an upcoming recital, my instructor ordered me a CD of the rag played by Eubie Blake himself on piano roll. From that moment I was hooked. I started buying player piano CD’s left and right. One day while at college, I was looking through eBay for yet more CD’s and came across a player piano locally and decided to have a look. It belonged to an elderly lady who was moving into a retirement home. From the moment I came over, I could tell it would be a good fit. She was happy to see the instrument go to a young person and I was glad to be getting an inexpensive and restorable instrument. Shortly after, I began restoration work on the player mechanism and restored it to working condition. I don’t think I’ll ever have enough rolls to feed it. I currently have over 2,000 in my collection, and that number is slowly growing.

How This Project Came To Be

About 4 years ago, I discovered that folks were actually scanning and preserving piano rolls, and I felt that this would be a great way to insure the survival of my rolls. Eventually, they’re not going to be playable. I sought out the advice and friendship of Robert Perry in New Zealand who operates www.pianola.co.nz, another piano roll MIDI website. He later ended up loaning me his older piano roll scanner in order to help me archive my collection, and for that I owe him a good deal of thanks. Initially my intentions were to scan rolls for my own archival purposes, but I decided that it would be even better if I could share them with others to enjoy, especially other young people. While finishing college for Integrated Media Arts (with a focus on web design), I began working on this website as my senior capstone project. I wanted an archive that was both visually attractive and functional and over the length of the term developed the website into what it is now. This site is linked to the Pacific University Library website as a resource for students and faculty.

Stuff That Isn’t Important

Some of my other interests are computer games, mostly an old flight sim that I fly online with friends, called Red Baron 3D. I also play Battlefield 2, Il-2 Sturmovik 1946, and Counter-Strike Source. On the side I do illustration and some 3D modeling in a program called Cinema 4D. When I’m not at home I’m usually out crabbing or fishing at the Oregon coast. I’m also a terrible but persistent bowler. So, that’s about it, I hope you enjoy the site and if you want to contact me, I’d love to hear from you. Bye!