So yesterday I took a tour of New York Public Radio (the folks who run WNYC, WQXR, New Jersey Public Radio, and the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space). I got to see inside a few of the broadcast studios, walked around the newsroom, saw the offices of some of my favorite hosts (Brooke Gladstone’s was my favorite - anyone who has “BEWARE OF ZOMBIES” tape on her office window has to be amazing), and went through the WQXR Music Library and the WNYC Archives. Such a great day.
The architects combined Gothic and modern styles in the design of the building. Black brick on the frontage of the building (symbolizing coal) was selected to give an idea of solidity and to give the building a solid mass. Other parts of the facade were covered in gold bricks (symbolizing fire), and the entry was decorated with marble and black mirrors.
In lieu of an infinitespace piece this week, here’s an interview I did with concert pianist and co-director of the new music group Continuum, Cheryl Seltzer, for Symphony Space Live.
I haven’t done an SSL update in a while, but I’ve been getting a lot more behind-the-scenes work done of late. But I have my Symphony Space podcast debut and three performances from Symphony Space’s Harlem Resonance Festival I highly recommend listening to.
- The podcast is the first episode for Uptown Showdown’s best-of series, and features Kurt Braunohler, Kurt Metzger, Baratunde Thurston, and Myq Kaplan - I don’t know when the next one’s going to come out because the next Uptown Showdown debate was canceled, but stay tuned for more, hopefully soon.
- Ralph Lemon and Arturo O’Farrill’s performance of the John Cage conceptual piece How To Get Started was something of a revelation, with O’Farrill’s being an absolutely incredible performance piece.
- Poet Kaneza Schaal performed a fantastic set of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, accompanied by and occasionally performed with pieces arranged by Harlem Quartet.
- And finally, Eisa Davis’s staged concert version of her musical Flowers are Sleeping is really well done and catchy as all hell - though simply over audio the story’s a little tough to follow.
I should have some fun stuff up next week, too, including interviews I did with participants in this year’s Festival.
As promised, here’s the full interview I did a few Sundays ago with Molly Maxwell director Sara St. Onge.
Today’s the day Molly Maxwell comes out in Toronto at the MLT Carlton Cinema for a weeklong engagement. Find out how to get tickets here.
Check out the gorgeous new weather website called Forecast. It also has a neat feature called “Time machine” on the top right that lets you see the weather on any given day going back about 80 years.
Of course ClimateAdaptation finds the best weather site. It’s actually predicting the intensity of rain fall via graph for the next house.
Before Sara St. Onge (who I featured on Monday) made her feature debut with Molly Maxwell, she made a short film called Lobotomobile, a really quirky and kind of macabre short, less a music video and more a one-song musical, about a traveling-salesman-esque neurosurgeon performing lobotomies out of his RV.
But this is actually the real story of one Walter J. Freeman - a story I asked Sara to tell.
This 5-minute documentary piece on Walter J. Freeman gives you a bit more information:
And of course, here’s Sara’s film Lobotomobile in all its glory:
Music this week is (aside from with the opening strains of Lobotomobile), per usual, via the Free Music Archive:
“Uno is Walking” by K-Conjog
“The Holiday Excitement” by Dexter Martin
“Slow Motion Strut, Version Two” by Dexter Martin
INTERVIEW : IRA GLASS : PART I
Hi, Ira. How are you?
Hey, it’s Ira.
Hi, just to let you know this has already started recording.
Noted, we’re on the record. I’m prepared with my important answers to the national security and other public policy questions that will be presented.
Pretty much, have you ever been associated with a member of the Communist Party?
Have I been with the Communist Party? Not the Communist Party, no.
Thank you for making time to do this. We are all really big fans over here. First off, since you recently crossed the 500th episode mark, how has your selection process for topics evolved from the beginning and how do you search out new material for the show?
In the beginning, the premise of the show was that we we were going to apply the tools of journalism to things so small and personal that journalists don’t normally bother with them. We’re trying to have compelling characters and emotional moments and funny moments and, after doing that for a number of years, myself and the producers on the staff became very interested in trying that same kind of story but doing it for the news. More and more, I think, we’ve been tackling things that are in the news — things that other people try to cover in other ways but we do it with stories that are gripping and emotional and more narrative in a very traditional way and less like news features in that newsy news way.