Music

406: Tod Machover

This composer, much admired for his operas, contemplates a happy dichotomy: “These two places are perfectly balanced for the kind of work I do and the kind of life I lead.” Heaven and Hell? New York and Texas? No! His old-fashioned barn-studio and the newfangled MIT Media Lab. Technology, music, and more. Continue reading »

Music

404: Peter Dugan and Charles Yang

As music students, they were sequestered in Juilliard’s fourth-floor rehearsal rooms. “The fourth floor is all dungeony and without sunlight,” says pianist Dugan. “It’s one of the worst, most magical places ever,” says violinist Yang. Today they have flourishing careers among other human beings. That’s the magic. A conversation at the Kaufman Music Center with … Continue reading »

Music

387: Lara Downes

H. T. Burleigh, Scott Joplin, and Hazel Scott were brilliantly accomplished, enormously successful, and shamefully overlooked, asserts this pianist, the host of NPR’s Amplify with Lara Downes. She deftly reconciles this paradox; you’ll stain the page with your tears. Or would if you were reading this on paper.  Continue reading »

Music

386: David Amram

In his 91 years (admittedly, some spent a baby), he’s worked with Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes. He scored The Manchurian Candidate, was composer in residence for the New York Philharmonic, and made an omelet for Charlie Parker. Another in our series “On Collaboration,” presented with violist Ralph Farris of the quartet Ethel. Continue reading »

Music

385: Midori

Does learning more about music increase a listener’s pleasure? This esteemed violinist is wary of any barriers to an audience. “We can all be touched by music. Music is something that belongs to all of us.” Sure. But I’m not proposing an admission’s test at Carnegie Hall, just asserting that knowledge is rewarded with joy. But … Continue reading »

Music

374: Kaki King

This composer and guitar player says that joining with people to make social change is like joining with people to make music. “You’re finding people you work well with, who bring something to the table that you don’t.” A conversation about guitar music and transportation policy. Presented by violist Ralph Farris of the quartet Ethel. Continue reading »

Music

366: Allison Loggins-Hull

This flutist and composer was born in Chicago, where her grandparents arrived during the Great Migration. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an upgrade from Mississippi.” There’s a slogan the visitors bureau won’t be using.  A musician reflects on her home town and one of its sons. Another in our series On Collaboration with violist … Continue reading »

Music

364: Moby

Before embracing a more salubrious life in Los Angeles, he rollicked through a years-long spree back east. “New York is paradise if you’re a drunk, and a very challenging place to be sober.” A slogan inexplicably rejected by the New York Visitors Bureau. This master of electronic dance music talks about religion, wilderness, and David Bowie’s … Continue reading »