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  • Farm to Table Improvisation with Eyvind Kang image
    Described by Pitchfork as a "musical polymath," composer/violist Eyvind Kang has created and collaborated on hundreds of recordings and countless tours, from his own solo masterpieces to his work with Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, Animal Collective, Sun O))), The Decemberists, and Blonde Redhead. On this episode, he tells us about his early inspirations, his favorite project, and the music his teacher thought was garbage.  
    Playlist
    Here is a Spotify playlist to pair with Underscore Episode 5 with Eyvind Kang. It features hand--picked selections from Chrysanthe and Thomas to encapsulate the conversations and recommendations from the episode.  
    Music Featured in Interview:
    • "Marriage of Days" by Eyvind Kang (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "The Island" by The Decemberists (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Partita No. 3 in E Major: Preludio" by J.S. Bach (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A. (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Giant Steps" by John Coltrane (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Dhun" by Ravi Shankar (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "It's a Mans, Mans, Mans World" by James Brown (iTunes / Spotify)
    • "Automatism" by Group Ongaku (YouTube)
    • "Seva" by Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang (unreleased)
    • "Cyclades" by Anne Carson, Robert Currie, and Eyvind Kang (unreleased)
    • "Side 1" from Plainlight by Eyvind Kang (LP)

    Lightning Round Questions
    • What genre is your music? Non--music
    • Performance ritual? Quigong and tai chi
    • A modern/technological tool thats extremely helpful to your practice? Recording and playback
    • A failure that turned out for the best? He tried to adapt a kacapi (Sudanese zither) technique for the viola but ended up creating a new pizzicato technique for himself instead.
    • Something besides music that youre obsessed with right now? Agriculture, philosophy, questions of justice and human rights
    • A piece of art that changed your life? The Large Glass by Marcel Duchamp
    • Something Old: Einstein on the Beach -- "Scene 3: Spaceship" by Phillip Glass. (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Something New: Music by Black Composers made a Living Composers Directory. Recommended track: "Starburst" by Jessie Montgomery (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Something Borrowed: "Iron" by Woodkid (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Something Blue: "Prometheus, The Poem of Fire" by Alexander Scriabin (iTunes / Spotify)

    Credits:
    • Hosts: Thomas Kotcheff and Chrysanthe Tan
    • Script: Chrysanthe Tan
    • Guest: Eyvind Kang
    • Recording engineer: Mark Hatwan
    • Produced by: Chrysanthe Tan
    • Editing: Mark Hatwan
    • Underscore is an extension of the Classical KUSC family
    • Podcast theme: "Playground Day" by Chrysanthe Tan (iTunes / Spotify)
     
    Social Media

    Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Underscore Society, to give us your thoughts, request future topics, and connect with other podcast listeners!

    Newsletter: Sign up for our mailing list to receive Underscore updates, offers, and opportunities to connect with other music aficionados.

    Email: Thoughts, questions, suggestions? Were at info@underscore.fm

  • The Good, The Bad, and the Pineapple Mango image

    Daniel Ho is a 6-time GRAMMY winning artist, producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and audio engineer from Honolulu, Hawai'i.

    Playlist

    Spotify playlist

    Guest

    Daniel Ho is a 6-time GRAMMY winning artist, producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and audio engineer from Honolulu, Hawai'i. He began his professional career in the 90s as the leader of Billboard-topping contemporary jazz group Kilauea and has since gone on to win innumerable awards, tour all over the world, and compose, perform, record, and produce dozens of solo and collaboration albums. Most recently, Daniel collaborated with Japanese rock legend Tak Matsumoto, traditional Mongolian group The Grasslands Ensemble, and even performed the National Anthem at a Clippers Game at the Staples Center. Additionally, Daniel collaborates with luthier Pepe Romero in the creation of original ukulele instruments.


    Lightning Round Questions
    • What genre is your music? Two years ago, it was classical. Last year, it was stadium rock. This year, it was Mongolian world music.
    • Performance ritual? Daniel plays through his entire show the day of and uses his ukulele piece "Amis Rondo" as a technical warm-up. (CD / iTunes / Songbook + CD)
    • A modern/technological tool thats extremely helpful to your practice? Yamaha P-115 keyboard, which has a built-in metronome, plays like a piano, and only costs $600.
    • What failure that turned out for the best? His last marriage. "Life has been absolutely amazing since then."
    • Something besides music that youre obsessed with right now? Finding a better way to live.
    • A piece of art that changed your life? The tiny tenor ukulele, which Daniel envisioned and luthier Pepe Romero created with him.

    Counterpoint

    Is there such thing as "good" music or "bad" music?

    Something Old

    Moog Sub 37 synthesizer (instrument used in the 80s and on the Stranger Things soundtrack)

    Something New

    "feelings change" by yaeji - it beautifully breaks a traditional music theory rule called parallel 4ths (iTunes / Spotify)

    Something Borrowed

    The band S U R V I V E, an analog synth band that uses the 80s-era Moog Sub 37. Check out their song "A.H.B." (iTunes / Spotify)

    Something Blue

    The Blue Notebooks album that blends contemporary classical with electronic and spoken word featuring Tilda Swinton. Check out The Blue Notebooks and On the Nature of Daylight. (iTunes / Spotify)


    Connect

    Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Underscore Society, to nerd out on music, tell us your favorite songs, and debate our Counterpoints!

    Email list: Sign up for our mailing list to receive Underscore updates, offers, and opportunities to connect with other music aficionados.

    Socials: Were @underscorefm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Email: Thoughts, questions, suggestions? Were at info@underscore.fm Thomas is @thomaskotcheff on Twitter and Instagram. Chrysanthe is @chrysanthetan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Alien Maps and Radiohead image

    Derek Stein (Vitamin String Quartet, gnarwhallaby, wild Up) is a cellist with the ability to extract exciting, unusual sounds from his instrument. On this episode, he demonstrates his favorite sounds, reveals which audition he bombed, and joins us for a discussion on whether cell phones belong at concerts.

    Playlist

    Here is a Spotify playlist to pair with Underscore Episode B3! Co-hosts Chrysanthe and Thomas collaborated with our guest Derek Stein to curate an hour of tracks featuring ice-skating music, electronica, spoken word, microtones, and strange cello sounds.

    Guest

    Derek Stein is a cellist with the ability to extract exciting, unusual sounds from his instrument. He is a member of the Vitamin String Quartet and several contemporary classical groups, including gnarwhallaby and wild Up.

    • T'filat ha-Derech by Marc Lowenstein (Soundcloud)
    • Burn the Witch by Radiohead, performed by Vitamin String Quartet (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Vox Balaenae - Voice of the Whale by George Crumb - (YouTube video with masked performers)
    • Capriccio per Siegfried Palm by K. Penderecki (YouTube / Spotify)
    • a thing made whole by Andrew Greenwald (Soundcloud)
    Find Derek Stein online:


    Lightning Round Questions
    • What genre is your music?
      Bizarre, confusing, mind-opening
    • Performance ritual?
      Wild Up ensemble gets in a circle, puts their hands together, and does a chant before each show.
    • A modern/technological tool that's extremely helpful to your practice?
      iPad Pro
    • What failure that turned out for the best?
      Bombed his Eastman School of Music audition (so did Thomas)!
    • Something besides music that youre obsessed with right now?
      The new Marvel comic book movies; he enjoyed every moment of Black Panther.
    • A piece of art that changed your life?
      Penderecki Capriccio for Ziegfried Palm
    Counterpoint Topic

    Do cell phones belong at concerts?

    Something Old

    Quarter-Tone Pieces by Ivan Wyschnegradsky (iTunes / Spotify)

    Something New

    Vicky Chows recording of "Sonatra" by Michael Gordon (Bandcamp / Soundcloud)

    Something Borrowed

    Were New Here by Gil-Scott Heron and Jamie xx (iTunes / Spotify)

    Something Blue

    Chrysanthe hasnt been connecting with most musical selections in Olympic figure skating. On the bright side, Kaori Sakamotos free skate to Yann Tiersen's Amlie selections was stellar.

    Credits
    • Hosts: Thomas Kotcheff and Chrysanthe Tan
    • Guest: Derek Stein
    • Script: Chrysanthe Tan
    • Recording engineer/editor: Mark Hatwan
    • Produced by USC Radio Group
    • Podcast theme: Playground Day by Chrysanthe Tan (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Old New Borrowed Blue transition: "Part and Parcel" by Thomas Kotcheff (Soundcloud)


    Connect
    Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Underscore Society, to nerd out on music, tell us your favorite songs, and debate our Counterpoints!
    Email list: Sign up for our mailing list to receive Underscore updates, offers, and opportunities to connect with other music aficionados.
    Socials: Were @underscorefm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    Email: Thoughts, questions, suggestions? Were at info@underscore.fm
    Thomas is @thomaskotcheff on Twitter and Instagram.
    Chrysanthe is @chrysanthetan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • How to ruin a piano image

    Composer/pianist Sarah Gibson shows us her bag of tricks, plays the melodica, and tells us why she composed a piano piece for just the left hand. Then, we discuss how different concert venues affect our concert-going experience.

    Playlist

    Here is a Spotify playlist to pair with Underscore episode #B2! Co-hosts Chrysanthe and Thomas collaborated with our guest Sarah Gibson to curate these tracks based on the conversations, recs, and vibes of this episode.

    Guest

    Composer/pianist Sarah Gibson shows us her bag of tricks, plays the melodica, and tells us why she composed a piano piece for just the left hand.

    Find Sarah Gibson online:


    Lightning Round Questions
    • What genre is your music?
      Modern collaborative classical
    • Performance ritual?
      Listening to Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach solo cello suites, drinking a Coke, and listening to playlist in the car.
    • A modern/technological tool that's extremely helpful to your practice?
      iPad + bluetooth pedal; all Sarahs music is stored digitally, and there are no more awkward page turns!
    • What failure that turned out for the best?
      Her phone alarm went off during a show. Luckily, it was in the exact right key and added a nice flavor to the piece.
    • Something besides music that youre obsessed with right now?
      Her dog and cooking. (Not together.)
    • A piece of art that changed your life?
      Ceiling of the Paris Opera House, painted by Marc Chagall
    Counterpoint

    How do different concert venues affect the concert-going experience?

    Something Old

    J Dilla's instrumental hip hop album Donuts (iTunes / Spotify / Music video), especially the song "Lightworks."

    Something New

    Los Angeles Philharmonic's newly-announced 2018-2019 concert season, which features 54 new music commissions, 22 women composers, and 27 composers of color. Article by Brian Lauritzen on the KUSC blog.

    Something Borrowed
    For All I Care album by The Bad Plus (iTunes / Spotify), especially the song "Semi-Simple Variations."
    Something Blue

    Blue Planet II (Original Television Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer (iTunes / Spotify)

    Credits
    • Hosts: Thomas Kotcheff and Chrysanthe Tan
    • Guest: Sarah Gibson
    • Script: Chrysanthe Tan
    • Recording engineer/editor: Mark Hatwan
    • Produced by USC Radio Group


    Connect
    Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Underscore Society, to nerd out on music, tell us your favorite songs, and debate our Counterpoints!
    Email list: Sign up for our mailing list to receive Underscore updates, offers, and opportunities to connect with other music aficionados.
    Socials: Were @underscorefm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    Email: Thoughts, questions, suggestions? Were at info@underscore.fm
    Thomas is @thomaskotcheff on Twitter and Instagram.
    Chrysanthe is @chrysanthetan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Why do metal musicians go classical? image

    Sean Hayward, a composer/guitarist with roots in extreme metal, illustrates the intersections between metal and classical music, shares his love for Javanese gamelan, and gives us his top metal recommendations for newbies. Then, we watch a viral music video and discuss whether expensive instruments truly sound better than cheap ones.

    Playlist

    Here is a Spotify playlist to pair with Underscore episode #1! Co-hosts Chrysanthe and Thomas collaborated with guest Sean Hayward to curated these tracks with love, based on the conversations, guest, recs, and vibes of this episode.

    Guest

    Sean Hayward, a composer / guitarist with roots in extreme metal, talks to us about why so many metal musicians are attracted to classical music, getting involved in Javanese gamelan, and more.

    • Echoes of the Old World by William Kanengiser
    • The Black Moon EP by Sean Hayward. (Bandcamp / Spotify)
    • S&M Album by Metallica, live with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. (iTunes / Spotify)
    • Metal and metal-inspired artists to check out: Opeth, Emperor, Nick Vasallo, Ulrich Krieger


    Lightning Round Questions
    • What genre is your music?
      Quasi-minimalist music for an Indonesian haunted house
    • Performance ritual?
      Brushing his hair in the car before the show.
    • A modern/technological tool that's extremely helpful to your practice?
      Amazon Echo.
    • A failure that turned out for the best?
      When he broke a nail during a performance, which convinced him to start getting fake nails.
    • Something besides music that youre obsessed with right now?
      Breakfast tacos.
    • A piece of art that changed your life?
      The Jejune Institute. Theres a documentary about it called The Institute.
    Counterpoint

    In which Chrysanthe, Thomas, and Sean watch a viral video and debate whether the monetary value of an instrument really matters.

    Something Old

    Whale Music (Remixed) (iTunes / Spotify)

    Something New

    Disney Parks episode on Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast.

    Something Borrowed
    Clapping Music App (iOS), a fun, addictive game based on the Steve Reich clapping piece of the same name.
    Something Blue

    12 Bit Blues by Kid Koala.

    Music featured in the episode


    Connect
    Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Underscore Society, to nerd out on music, tell us your favorite songs, and debate our Counterpoints!
    Email list: Sign up for our mailing list to receive Underscore updates, offers, and opportunities to connect with other music aficionados.
    Socials: Were @underscorefm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.