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The Listening Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The Listening Podcast features conversations with fascinating people in the world of music, film & art. We talk about how they got started, obstacles they faced, their personal creative process, and what inspires them.

The Listening Podcast features conversations with fascinating people in the world of music, film & art. We talk about how they got started, obstacles they faced, their personal creative process, and what inspires them.


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The Listening Podcast features conversations with fascinating people in the world of music, film & art. We talk about how they got started, obstacles they faced, their personal creative process, and what inspires them.






Quarantine Stories: What Will Be the New Normal?

In the last episode of our Quarantine Stories series, composer and host Jeff Rona discusses where we go from here as the world re-opens. States and cities across the U.S. are handling it differently, some with very little guidance and others with clear health requirements to be met. Still, there is a lot of confusion as to how to proceed safely with our favorite activities while living indefinitely with COVID-19. What will a post-COVID world look like? Every place from schools to...


Quarantine Stories: Virtual Teaching and Lessons from Star Trek

Sound designer and educator Francis Preve was gearing up for SXSW in Austin, Texas when COVID-19 lockdowns began and the festival was cancelled. Preve shares how he is coping with quarantine by guiding his students through this emotional time, as well as launching new creative projects including a synthesis tutorial series on YouTube. He also shares the life lessons he’s learned from re-watching Star Trek, and how relevant they are today.


Quarantine Stories: Creative Experimentation with Tyler Bates

In this episode of Quarantine Stories, we heard from sought-after composer, guitarist, songwriter and record producer Tyler Bates, who is spending time in quarantine doing what he loves most - creative experimentation. He's collaborating with artists who aren't on the road now (he's toured with Marilyn Manson in between composing gigs) and is also getting creative with building out his studio. Bates has scored many notable film and television projects, including John Wick 3, Deadpool,...


Quarantine Stories: Dispatches from the ER in Anchorage Alaska

This week we have a special report from members of the Emergency Room staff at Alaska Native Medical Center in the city of Anchorage. The team primarily treats native populations from all over the state, including some of the most remote corners of the world. They shared their personal struggles as they work to treat patients with COVID-19 - including keeping up morale by leaning on each other, running low on their PPE supply, and how the pandemic is affecting their families and...


Quarantine Stories: Cool Apps, Staying Informed, and Collaborating While Distancing

TV writer Darren Swimmer (Shadowhunters, Smallville) and composer Richard Einhorn (Voices of Light) offer some advice on a range of quarantine-relevant topics, including apps that help you focus, where to find the best information on the latest public health updates, and curating your streaming lineup. And composer/ producer Paul Leonard-Morgan (Limitless, Wormwood) shares the challenges of collaborating and recording with musicians sheltering at home.


Quarantine Stories: OMG WTF Politics and Viral Videos

Author, producer, content creator, and activist Ben Sheehan (Funny or Die) talks about launching his new book OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? in the middle of a pandemic - shortly after recovering from COVID-19 himself. And musician/ composer Emer Kinsella was looking for creative ways to help support and uplift studio musicians who are struggling in this pandemic, and created an incredibly clever video that went viral. Ben Sheehan: OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually...


Quarantine Stories: Creative Inspiration in Lockdown

Episode 4 of Quarantine Stories focuses on creativity - what inspires it and what it means during this unprecedented time in history. Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum selling record producer, composer, musician and DJ Matt Lange talks about how he's channeling his anxiety and frustration into new creative projects. Cody Matthew Johnson - composer, musician and Founder/ CEO of Emperia Sound and Music, an audio technology company for interactive media and video games - spoke with us...


Quarantine Stories: Coping with Our Collective Anxiety

In this episode of our Quarantine Stories series, we spoke with internationally acclaimed singer, composer and musician Azam Ali, who was supposed to be performing with her band Niyaz this spring until COVID-19 hit. She talks about coping with her anxiety by helping others, creating a GoFundMe for musicians who need financial assistance. Filmmaker Scott Garen (A Thousand Roads, American Renegade) talks about dealing with his own anxiety by learning to create joy on a daily basis, and how...


Quarantine Stories: WWII Heroes, Voice Actors Helping Kids, and Back from the Road

In this episode of Quarantine Stories, we spoke with Ernie Rideout, a bay area musician who runs the Stanford Jazz Education Program, as he recalls his father's heroic journey of survival in WWII to help him convalesce from an injury during quarantine. We also spoke with actor Eric Edelstein who voices Grizz, the main character of popular animated show We Bear Bears. Looking for a way to get through by helping others, he began recruiting fellow voice actors to read stories to kids on...


Quarantine Stories: Virtual Connection and the COVID-19 Frontlines

For the first episode of our Quarantine Stories series, we spoke with composer Jack Wall (Call of Duty, Myst, Mass Effect) on how he's adjusting to life during the COVID-19 crisis, including how he's staying connected. And singer-songwriter Louise Fraser (Tales from a Silent Ocean, Thaw), who is also a nurse practitioner with UCLA, tells us what it's like working on the frontlines of the pandemic.


Listening with David Gamson

David Gamson is a Grammy-nominated keyboardist, musician, producer, songwriter, arranger, and engineer. Originally hailing from New York, he has worked with an impressive list of artists, including Kesha, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert, Chaka Khan, Charli XCX, Meshell Ndegeocello, Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), Sheila E., George Benson, Luther Vandross, Donny Osmond, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau, Tony LeMans, Roger Troutman and Eden XO. He is best known for his distinctive synthesizer...


Listening with Francis Preve

With a career that includes designing sounds for Ableton, Dave Smith, Korg, Roland, and Xfer, plus serving as Technology Editor for, Francis Preve has carved a niche as one of the tech industry's most in-demand sound designers. His work as a college professor in Austin, Texas, provides additional insight into how musicians of all skill levels interface with synthesizers, while his career as a technology journalist gives him a deeper appreciation of great product design and...


Listening with Charles Bernstein

Award winning composer Charles Bernstein conducted his first original orchestral compositions at the age of sixteen. His long career in film scoring can be heard in many popular films and television shows, including Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and scores for genre classics, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the original), The Entity, Stephen King's Cujo, the Dracula spoof Love At First Bite, along with a wide variety of Emmy winning dramas, comedies, action films...


Listening with Matt Lange

Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum selling record producer, composer, musician, and DJ Matt Lange challenges categorization by genre and trends. The signature of his work is the relentless devotion to pushing music into the future. Lange’s career began working alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Brian Transeau (BT), co-producing the album "These Hopeful Machines," earning him a Grammy Award-nomination in 2011. Matt then went on to co-write and produce Glenn Morrison’s "Goodbye...


Listening with Bird York

Kathleen “Bird” York is a study in creative versatility: an Oscar nominated songwriter and recording artist, (IN THE DEEP from Oscar winning film CRASH), a screenwriter who has developed pilots for Warner Bros, Sony, Paramount and Fox, and an accomplished actor having starred or costarred in dozens of films, miniseries and Emmy award-winning television series. A musician since fifteen, Bird’s songwriting ability got the attention of Warner Chappell which then lead to her critically...


Listening with Jay Weigel

Jay Weigel is a distinguished composer, producer, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, and contractor for film, television, recordings, and concerts. Based in New Orleans, he has worked in the film and television industry for over 35 years. His recent scores and soundtrack recordings can be heard in the Warner Brothers films including, The Campaign, Green Lantern, Grudge Match, Get Hard, and Midnight Special; over 19 of Tyler Perry’s films including Nobody’s Fool, Acrimony, For Colored Girls,...


Listening with Alex Kelman

"I get to work with the most creative and intelligent people alive. I’m dedicated to discovering new music throughout the world while continuing to educate myself on the cultural context in which those ideas stem." Alex Kelman is a fixture in the music industry, both as a DJ and musician as well as a publisher responsible for finding new talent. As an executive for many years with Warp Publishing and ZYNC Music, he signed some amazing artists including The Glitch Mob, Danny Brown, and...


Listening with Lili Haydn

GRAMMY winner Lili Haydn has played with, sung with, and opened for everyone from Roger Waters, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars, to name a few. In addition to Lili's extensive touring career and critically acclaimed recordings, her music has been licensed for TV, film, and commercials, and she is the featured voice and violin on several films with Hans Zimmer, Marco Beltrami, and other illustrious...


Listening with Brian Trifon and Brian White of Finishing Move

The award-winning production duo of Brian Trifon and Brian White, also known as Finishing Move, created the music behind such iconic video game franchises as Halo, Halo Wars 2, Crackdown, and new hit game Borderlands 3. The incredible fusion of their passion for music technology and innovation in sound design along with their deep musical vocabulary has led them to be two of the most in-demand composers and sound designers not only for video games, but for so many successful films and TV...


Listening with Amanda Krieg Thomas

Amanda Krieg Thomas is one of the most in-demand music supervisors around, with projects including the ground-breaking anthology series American Horror Story (FX), ballroom drama Pose, and the critically acclaimed show The Americans. Amanda began her career in the music department at Lionsgate before moving to Format Entertainment, where she worked on projects such as Pitch Perfect 1 and 2 (Gold Circle Films/Universal), The Other Woman (Fox) and ABC comedy, Trophy Wife. She is currently...