Category: Musicians Own Words/Archives

HV127- Behind the Beat

Photo, by Eleonora Alberto, of Cyro Baptista, surrounded by percussion instrumentsHearing Voices from NPR®
127 Behind the Beat: Inside Musician’s Minds
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-12-07

“Behind the Beat” (52:00 mp3):

“MITOW: Camille” (2006 / 6:03) Musicians in Their Own Words

From Musicians in their own words, an NPR series produced by David Schulman: The French singer Camille Dalmais, better known as Camille, has many voices inside her. She makes her music by overlaying everything from a sniffle to a growl to an operatic F-sharp. She speaks about the intimacy of the French language, spirituality and finding a natural music in the sound of everyday speech.

“Mozart’s Hidden Kitchen” (2007 / 6:49) Kitchens Sisters

From Hidden Kitchens, an NPR series by the The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & NIkki Silva): Imagine a Mozart Festival without a note of Mozart. Instead, more than 60 artists from around the world were invited to Vienna by director Peter Sellars and asked to pick up where the musical and social visionary left off, to create new works of art. Called “New Crowned Hope,” for the free-thinking Masonic Lodge in Vienna of which Mozart was a member, it was a month-long, genre-spanning event linking agriculture and culture, with food at its heart. It featured a Maori dance troupe; a Venezuelan street chorus singing a new opera by John Adams; new films from Chad, Iran and Paraguay; Mark Morris’ dance company; Chez Panisse founder and culinary activist Alice Waters; lunch ladies from across Europe; and farmers, chefs and seed-savers from throughout Austria. Aired on NPR Morning Edition. Mixed by Jim McKee of Earwax Productions. Music: John Adams, David Williamson, Frances Nelson, Sarah Folger & harmonia mundi, and Wieslaw Pogorzelski.

“MITOW: Cyro Baptista” (2007 / 9:12) Musicians in Their Own Words

From Musicians in their own words: Beyond-Brazilian musician Cyro Baptista is fluent in the musical languages of samba, cabela, and yoyoma. Also, squirrel. He proves it in this piece, and demonstrates how he narrowly averted disaster during a recording session with the fearsome-to-some-people soprano Kathleen Battle. Cyro’s secret weapon? A vacuum cleaner hose. (More at PRX).

Drawing of Sam and sax, from Long Haul Productions

“American Dreamer: Sam’s Story” (2010 / 26:09) Long Haul Productions

Sam is a talented and articulate young jazz musician, brought to the United States at age 5 by his Mexican parents. He stayed out of trouble, was drum major of his high school’s marching band, fell in love with playing jazz on the tenor sax, and got his diploma with honors — only to find that for an “illegal,” graduation marks a dead end. Though Sam dreams of attending college to study jazz performance, he hides his status from even his closest friends. He can’t legally work, drive, get financial aid, or even gain admission to some colleges. “American Dreamer” follows him from his high school graduation, through the following summer, as he struggles to raise money to continue his education and weighs the risks of working and driving illegally against his own desire to achieve his American dream. Aired on NPR Latino USA and All Things Considered.. A one-hour version is at PRX and Long Haul Productions (Dan Collison & Elizabeth Meister). Produced with help from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Top photo of Cyro Baptista © Eleonora Alberto.

HV089- Musicians’ Minds

Talking Heads on stageHearing Voices from NPR®
089 Musicians’ Minds: Interviewing Music Makers
Host: Lynn Neary of NPR
Airs week of: 2011-04-27 (Originally: 2010-04-21)

“Musicians’ Minds” (52:00 mp3):

Interviews with musicians that took unexpected turns:

“David Byrne: Interview” (12:36) Lynne Neary

Host Lynne Neary’s talk with the head Talking Heads, ends up with her answering his questions. From 1984, the “Stop Making Sense” movie and Speaking in Tongues album had just been released.

“A musicians’ guide to warming up” (3:40) Musicians In Their Own Words

Surveying the sonic spectrum of musicians warming up for a performance. We hear old-time singer Abigail Washburn, concert pianist Lang Lang, Brazilian singer Flora Purim, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, Tuvan rocker Albert Kuvezin, singer songwriters Gillian Welch and Dar Williams, bel canto tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Montage by David Schulman

“Cecilia Bartoli: Interview” (4:05) Musicians In Their Own Words

One of the world’s great operatic singers explores what it means to approach the human voice as an instrument — like a trumpet or violin, produced by David Schulman.

“Negativland: Interview” (14:35) John Rieger

The cutup artists, Negativland, chew up and spit out the media, turning their NPR interview into audio art; accompanied with excerpts from their 1987 Escape from Noise.

“Mickey Hart: Interview” (10:16) Barrett Golding

The former Grateful Dead drummer and respected ethnomusicologist takes us on an audio tour of his extensive worldwide percussion collection. He talks about the rhythm “timeline” from his 1987 book and CD Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm.

HV111- Guitar Heroes

Hearing Voices from NPR®
111 Guitar Heroes: Pickers, Pluckers, Players
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-02-23

“Guitar Heroes” (52:00 mp3):

From the original big bad bluesman to a Master Class with classical guitarist Christopher Parkening:

“Masked Marvel: Charley Patton” (2011 / 7:21) Barrett Golding

Charley Patton and guitar

The legend is of a shadowy soul traveling the countryside as singer, preacher, outlaw, teacher, of a hard boozin’, brawlin’, womanizin’ Blues Man. Well, that man had a name: Charley Patton, born around 1890 in the heart of the delta.

We hear interviews with people who played with Patton, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and archival tape from Booker Miller (interviewed By Gayle Dean Wardlow), Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples, and Howlin’ Wolf. And we talk to musician Corey Harris and authors Jim O’Neal (Living Blues Magazine) and Francis Davis (History of the Blues: The Roots, the Music, the People: From Charley Patton to Robert Cray).

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HV109- Musical Memory

Reverand Ruth Shaver singing in churchHearing Voices from NPR®
109 Musical Memory: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-02-02

“Musical Memory” (52:00 mp3):

Selections from Musicians in their own words, from the series Song & Memory (What one song do you remember most from your childhood?), and from the Afterquake project:

“Chef Bourdain” (7:23) Ann Heppermann & Kara Oehler

Song & Memory: Rebel Chef Anthony Bourdain is known for his raucous ways in the world of the professional kitchen, detailed in his book “Kitchen Confidential.” We asked him to put away his pans and think back to when he was a kid — is there a song from childhood that brings it all back? Bourdain can pinpoint his desire sex-drug-rock n’ roll start to a single song: “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians. (The Song & Memory series was produced for PRI Weekend America.)

“Trudy & Mr C” (7:20) David Schulman

Musicians in their own words: Trudy Pitts and her husband, drummer Bill “Mr C.” Carney do a first-person duet. Trudy is an unsung hero of the Hammond B-3 electric organ. With her husband, Mr C, they’ve played with the Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry and Pat Martino. Their 50s R&B band, the Hi-Tones, featured a young sax player: name of John Coltrane. Their most rewarding musical partnership, though, is the one they share with each other. (MITOW stories were produced for NPR and are archived at PRX)

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HV080- Elvis Aaron Presley

Elvis, with guitar and gyration, live at the Louisiana HayrideHearing Voices from NPR®
080 Elvis Aaron Presley: Birthday Party
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-01-05 (Originally: 2010-01-06)

“Elvis Aaron Presley” (52:00 mp3):

Elvis Presley (born Jan 8 1935 Tupelo, Mississippi; died Aug 16 1977 Memphis, Tennessee), a 75th Birthday Party fit for a King, with fans, friends, religion and rockin’:

“Elvis 75 (excerpts) Joyride Media

Interviews from the Elvis archives, and new ones with Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires (Elvis’ backup singers) and Elvis friends (aka, Memphis Mafia) Jerry Schilling and Patty Parry. Produced by Paul Chuffo and Joshua Jackson of Joyride Media, for the Sony Elvis 75 project, which has more music and interviews. Also check Joyride’s other Elvis hours: The Early Years, In Memphis, and He Touched Me- Elvis Gospel Music.

Good Rockin’ Tonight(excerpt) Elvis Presley

From 1954, the second Sun Records release by Elvis Presley. Taken from the box Elvis 75 – Good Rockin’ Tonight
.

“Elvis Cop” (5:36) Adam Allington

Chuck Denault is a Police Officer for the small town of Kittery, Maine. He has two passions;: Serving the community he lives in and being the best possible Elvis Impersonator he can be. In April of 2003 the producer went for a squad car ride-along for some behind the scenes aspects of law enforcement and Elvis.

“That’s Alright Mama” (excerpt) Elvis Presley

In August 1954 Elvis performed his brand new single on the Louisiana Hayride. Taken from the collection The Legend Begins.

“Elvis Fans” (excerpts) Elvis Presley

“Elvis Fans’ Comments/Opening Riff” and “Elvis Fans’ Comments III” from 1977 Elvis In Concert.

“Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Laughing version)” (2:53) Elvis Presley

Special Bonus Track on the 1982 collection Hitstory- The Story Continues.

“Gillian Welch- ‘Elvis Presley Blues'” (2:45) Musicians in their Own Words

The singer expounds her biographical song “Elvis Presley Blues”. Producer by David Schulman for MITOW series (site | NPR | PRX).

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Interviewing 3.0

Virtuoso Voices has compiled interviewing tips from pubradio personalities Bob Edwards, Susan Stamberg, Kurt Andersen, Lisa Mullins, John Diliberto, Lynn Neary and others. It’s all in a 25-page Interviewing 3.0 pdf (296KB).

David Schulman’s (of MITOW) thots on interviewing “feng shui” are revalations. Below are some excerpts from “Interviewing Performing Artists… and Others: A Practical Guide”…

Bob Edwards (The Bob Edwards Show):

Think of it as a conversation and not an interview. If you do an interview, it will likely SOUND like an interview. How do you talk to a friend over a beer? First you LISTEN—and you react to what you’ve heard. If someone tells me something really interesting, I’ll simply say, “Really?” or “No!” Those are little words of encouragement that signal the speaker to continue—and to expand on previous remarks. If your guest is truly confusing, try “Huh?”

Indulge yourself. Ask the question you’ve always wanted to ask. “What’s that lyric about?”

Susan Stamberg (NPR):

Listening to answers is more important than asking the question.

Best question is often the simplest: WHY?

John Diliberto (Echoes:

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard question. They aren’t your friends and you don’t have to worry that they won’t like you or walk out. Although occasionally they do.

Don’t be afraid to ask the obvious question. I got this from listening to Terry Gross, who, besides being a probing interviewer, also knows where the good stories are and isn’t afraid to query into known terrain, because a good story is still a good story, even if it’s been heard before. Chances are, most people still don’t know it. Then find a different angle on that story.

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HV014- Fans and Bands

Weird War CD coverHearing Voices from NPR®
014 Fans and Bands:
Groupies, Gravediggers & Rock n’ Roll Singers
Host: Ian Svenonius of Weird War
Airs week of: 2009-5-13 (Originally: 2008-04-06)

“Fans and Bands” (52:00 mp3):

Features a tribute to Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008):

Host Ian Svenonius, of the band Weird War, introduces “The Groupies,” an album of 1969 interviews by producer Alan Lorber (Iris Music Group, Alan Lorber Orchestra).

We visit with the pilgrims at Pere LaChaise cemetery, come to see “Jim Morrison’s Grave” (a sound-portrait by Mark Neumann of Documentary Works and Barrett Golding).

John Denver‘s anti-Christian conspiracy is exposed in the series “Song and Memory” from producers Ann Heppermann & Kara Oehler, with Rick Moody.

And Bo Diddley blows up his mom’s radio in David Schulman’s series “Musicians in Their Own Words.”