Sunday, January 19, 2014
M. Lamar combines the ecstatic mood of spirituals with the dark intensity of downtown punk theater, creating songs that address issues of his African-American heritage, American history, and today's social and gender politics. David Garland welcomes M. Lamar to the WNYC Studio to perform, and to talk about his piece Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche, and the many topics that inform and inspire his music.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Viginia-born Thao Nguyen spent much of her twenties on the road (including a tour with WNYC's Radiolab) performing her energetic music solo and with her band The Get Down Stay Down. These days she's mostly staying put in San Francisco, working not only on her music, but, as she explains here, on being human. "It's been a discovery process," she says in this interview, "humanity means acknowledging what's inside, and acknowledging that you have a duty to show up for people, as they show up for you." David Garland welcomes Thao and The Get Down Stay Down to the WNYC Studio to perform several rollicking songs, and to talk about connections, connecting, activism, century-old color photographs, Rock and Roll, Chicken Tenders, and more.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Clarinetist Mike McGinnis brings a large ensemble into the WNYC Studio to perform two pieces that blossom from the common ground where jazz and classical styles intersect: the mid-century modern masterpiece "Concerto for Clarinet and Combo," composed in 1956 by Bill Smith; and McGinnis's own, new clarinet concerto "Roadtrip."
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Plug in the Christmas cheer! David Garland presents vintage recordings of holiday favorites performed on Moog, Buchla, and other analog synthesizers. You might think this sonic tinsel would seem synthetic, but it's full of genuine joy and warmth.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
John Lennon wrote songs that reflected, inspired, and shaped our lives. With The Beatles, and during his solo career, Lennon questioned and challenged what a song could be, and gave us new possibilities. He was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980, and on this anniversary, we honor his life and legacy. David Garland presents a range of Lennon's famous and less-well-known songs, and speaks with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono about what the songs mean to her and the world.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
David Garland presents some great songs by the late Lou Reed, ranging from Reed's music with The Velvet Underground in the 1960s, to more recent recordings, with an emphasis on Reed's song-portraits of New York City outsiders.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Sean Lennon returns to the WNYC Studio with Mystical Weapons, his improvisational collaboration with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier; artist, animator and projectionist Martha Colburn; and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. David Garland welcomes the group to the studio, they perform one short and one long set, and they talk about the project.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Proportion is a key aspect to any work of art. An artist has to choose elements, tools, language, or components carefully--and some artists get lost in those details--but proportion addresses how those elements relate and balance. David Garland presents two new musical projects that display particular interest in the pleasures of playing with proportion: the albums "The Weighing of the Heart" by Colleen, and "The Adorables" by Zeena Parkins, Shayna Dunkelman, and Preshish Moments.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Composer Ennio Morricone has applied his wild musical imagination to over 500 film scores, creating a body of work that sounds like no other. His eccentric sense of instrumental color, his inventive ways of conveying mood and emotion, and his prolific creativity have assured his music is as surprising as it is powerful. David Garland celebrates Ennio Morricone's 85th birthday with an hour of highlights from Morricone's vast oeuvre.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
British songwriter Laura Marling sings insightful new songs about "the push and pull nature of the human psyche," as she describes it in the interview that accompanies this in-studio session. Laura returns for her fourth visit to Spinning On Air to perform songs from her fourth album Once I Was An Eagle (Ribbon Music), and to talk about the album's themes and narratives with host David Garland.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Music is a powerful fountain of joy. Music is a liberating release from tension, stress and worry. Music can be an ardent transmission of life, an eloquent rebuttal of discouragement. David Garland presents some uplifting, soul-stirring performances, ranging from Jacob Garchik's "Atheist Gospel Trombone Album," to great gospel singer Rance Allen; from the euphoric scat singing of Cab Calloway, to the contemporary vocal tapestries of Julianna Barwick; and more!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Iva Bittová is a storyteller who rarely uses actual language to convey the emotions of her stories. Singing wordlessly, or using an implied language of her own, she creates intimate, engrossing narratives. David Garland welcomes Iva Bittová to the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about her music. She sings and plays violin simultaneously, sings some songs for voice alone, and with kalimba, drawing chiefly from material on her new ECM album, "Iva Bittová." Plus she tells of living in rural upstate New York, and being a film star in the Czech Republic.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Yoko Ono has always pushed the boundaries of art, culture, and politics. At 80 years old she's still an active, daring artist and musician, and a provocative public figure. Now the controversial legend joins David Garland to present her newest work, the album Take Me to the Land of Hell.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Some songs benefit from being performed with the intimate accompaniment of just a guitar or piano. But there are also songs that need more sonic texture and color; songs that require an orchestra. David Garland presents a variety of new and old songs that use orchestras to enhance their scope, power, impact, and even intimacy.
Sunday, September 08, 2013
In this episode of Spinning on Air, David Garland brings Nature Theater of Oklahoma's cast of six singers and three musicians to WNYC to perform two extended excerpts from Episode 1 of "Life and Times." OK Theater's co-directors Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper also join in to talk about their work, and the thoughts and process behind it.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
David Garland welcomes Judy Collins back to the show to perform new and old songs, accompanying herself on piano or guitar along with musician Russell Walden, and to speak movingly with Garland about memory, time, family, loss, and love.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
The piano, or, to use its full name, pianoforte, earned its name because it can be played both quietly (piano) and loudly (forte). Lately there seems to be a trend toward the quiet side. David Garland presents an hour of pianissimo pianos.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
This is the music of gradual change. A piano piece that runs for nearly six hours. Pensive. Music that sweeps the listener along into an elegiac exploration of gentle tonal and rhythmic shifts. This is November by Dennis Johnson. Several years ago La Monte Young gave composer and writer Kyle Gann a wobbly cassette transfer of Johnson's 1962 performance of a portion of November. Gann realized that the history of Minimalism needed to be rewritten to acknowledge November as one of its starting points. Gann joins David Garland to tell how his fascination for and curiosity about November led him to transcribe the old cassette, get in touch with Johnson, and create a full realization of the piece, which has now been recorded by pianist R. Andrew Lee. We hear about the piece, and hear excerpts from this multi-hour quiet explosion of ideas.