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The Only Living Instrument: Choral Music with Eric Whitacre

Today, I will be addressing a topic which is quite close to heart for me personally. It’s the genre of choral music. I’m sad to say, but most people in the US have never experienced the rich tradition and repertoire of choral music. Eric Whitacre is a musician you simply cannot, not know about. I couldn’t possibly think of a better individual to discuss choral music because Eric Whitacre is among the world’s most well-known and highly revered choral composers. He is a Grammy-winning...


Music Out Of This World: Becca Stevens is Regina

Today I will be introducing you to a singer/songwriter named Becca Stevens, who just released her new album, Regina. If you’re looking for some new music to explore, consider your search now complete. Becca is not just your average musician. I mean, she’s really good and in her most recent album, she has collaborated with Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula, and the legendary David Crosby. If you know those names, then you know that all you need to do is put those...


The Mystery of Tchaikovsky’s Greatest Work: Semyon Bychkov

If you’re not familiar with Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony, I’m afraid you’re not really familiar with Tchaikovsky, regardless of how many times you’ve watched the Nutcracker or attended Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky’s 6th was not only his final one, but it was his magnum opus. He admitted himself, that it was “the best thing he composed” and the work into which he “poured all his soul”. Joining me for this episode is the famous Semyon Bychkov, who is a Soviet-born maestro and conductor. I consider...


Why is Music Important for Children? Dan Goeller

You’ve probably heard that music is good for the development of children, but what is it about music, that gives it such a profound impact? While research continues to prove the positive impact of music, schools in the US continue to eliminate or reduce music and art programs. Joining me today, to explore this fascinating topic is the composer Dan Goeller. I have known Dan personally for many years and have always been fascinated with his music. I’ve met his family, stayed at his home,...


Honest Songwriting: Michelle Willis

Born in England, raised in Toronto Canada, educated at the Humber College jazz program, Michelle Willis has a broad musical experience writing and performing music along great artists such as David Crosby, Snarky Puppy, Parachute Club, and the Zac Brown Band. It’s hard to label her music in any specific genre as you’ll hear many conventions present throughout. It lives somewhere between jazz, folk, pop, church music, and Eric Whitacre. It’s calming, reassuring, comforting, hearty, and...


The Most Famous Violinist - Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman is violinist that you simply cannot, not know about. In this episode, we will explore his story and what makes him a great violinist. But Itzhak Perlman is not only a sweet-tone violinist, he’s also a legitimate virtuoso violinist. If you’re not familiar with this term, it’s when you can play the most sophisticated and challenging repertoire which was developed in the early 19th century by composers like Franz Liszt and Niccolo Paganini. To play this repertoire a violinist...


Why You Don't Get Opera: Aaron Breid

Not all genres of music are accessible to everyone but some are especially difficult for modern listeners to appreciate. Some even argue, that any genre not supported by rhythm and bass, is in danger of becoming extinct. One of the best examples of this, is opera. Many young people today not only ignore the genre, but in many cases, outright detest it. The wailing sopranos, the foreign language, the strange costumes, and their classical compositions all seem to alienate modern 21st-century...


Rap Between Worlds: Conversation with Sho Baraka

Born in Canada, raised in California, educated in Texas and now residing in Atlanta Georgia, Sho is a controversial artist who is not ashamed of his convictions. As a Christian, he speaks from a Biblical worldview. As an African-American, he speaks boldly to the social issues in his culture. As a man, husband and father, he addresses false assumptions about manhood. And as an artist, he speaks imaginatively and creatively through his music. Sho is not shy about his convictions and he is...


La La Land music: How the soundtrack gives you wings

No doubt everyone has heard of the new musical called La La Land. Scoring a mind-boggling 7 Golden Globes and 14 Oscar nominations, this contemporary love letter to old Hollywood musicals is among the top performing movies of all time. But this is totally unexpected because we were all starting to think that musicals are a thing of the past. But the music of this movie literally takes you to La La Land, where you grow wings to dream and pursue ideals. But, not everyone felt this way...


Between Jazz and Art Song: Conversation with Theo Bleckmann

Today we have a special guest joining us. Theo Bleckmann is a singer/songwriter who’s musical artistry is full of paradoxes. It’s provocative but playful. Impossibly sophisticated but intuitively familiar. Unpredictable yet totally coherent. His work has been described as “from another planet” (New York Times), as “magical, futuristic,” (AllAboutJazz), “limitless” (Citypaper, Philadelphia) “transcendent” (Village Voice) and simply, “brilliant” (New York Magazine). Theo’s music is probably...


What is harmony? And how did we get it?

Today we have a fascinating topic, and it is the phenomenon we call harmony. No doubt a familiar term to all of us, but what exactly does it mean and how is it used in music? In this episode we will explore a brief history of how harmony evolved in western music starting with the Greeks and progressing all the way through atonal music. You will be introduced to the most important concepts related to harmony.


Music and Productivity An interview with Will Henshall, CEO and Founder of Focusatwill

Today we have a fascinating guest with us, his name is Will Henshall, and he is the CEO and Founder of a productivity music software company called Focus at Will. In my discussion with him, we talked about the nature of music, how it impacts the brain, and most interestingly, we explored the relationship between music and the “Flow State”, which is basically when you are hyper-focused and totally involved in what you are doing. I can’t think of a better person to have this conversation...


Artist Highlight LP (Laura Pergolizzi)

I have a treat of a singer/songwriter who goes by the artist name LP, which stands for her full name, Laura Pergolizzi. MTV described her as, “A brash vocalist with a rocker’s heart, an unconstrained power, and a fearlessness about letting it all loose” Here’s how I listen to LP. First, in many ways I believe, her music is what pop music should aspire to. I mean, it’s pop, but her music stands out with greater depth, more thoughtfulness, and generally a wider and more mature emotional...


How Does Music Make Me Feel Things?

You like how music makes you feel. But have you ever wondered, “How does music have the power, to literally alter my state of our being, and cause us to feel something completely different, and instantly?!” Clearly music messes with how we feel, but how does this work? I mean, our feelings are difficult and messy, and we often struggle to sort them out. But, music, somehow has a backdoor to our emotions. It’s quite fascinating. In this episode, we will be diving into the mechanics of how...


Aritst Highlight: Joey Alexander

In this episode, I will be introducing you to a fascinating artist that you simply must know of. The reason? He is the youngest-ever Grammy nominee, his name is Joey Alexander, and he’s a sensational 13 year old jazz pianist. Jazz is not easy music and prodigies in this realm rarely have full command of their artistry. They might exhibit good technique and core knowledge, but oftentimes they are criticized for lacking the intangibles—what the experts mean by the word “maturity”. Mastery...


The Top 3 Dictionaries Can't Define Music!

Defining music is incredibly difficult and most get it wrong. Music seems to be all things to all people. It has been defined so broadly that it simultaneously means everything and nothing at the same time. For example, one person defines music as,“Music is the art of arranging tones in an orderly sequence so as to produce a unified and continuous composition. Music is science. Music is math. Music is a foreign language. Music is history. Music is physical education. And most of all, music...


What is Music Anyway?

How much music do you consume? But do you know what it is? An average person listens to music more than 25 hrs each week, which amounts to 13 years of your life, spent on listening to music! Music is in the fabric of our modern lives, and we have a soundtrack for nearly every activity. But, ironically, most people have no idea how music works or even the basics of how to listen and appreciate music. This episode explores the basic nature of music. If we boil music down to its essence,...