Blog

IIRY Podcast 14: “We didn’t think, ‘we’re gonna master virtual rehearsing and share it with the world.'”: A Chat about virtual music-making and the Covid-19 pandemic with Laura Usiskin, cellist, educator, entrepreneur, and member of the Bayberry String Quartet.

Posted on

In my conversation with performer, educator, entrepreneur, and cellist of the Bayberry String Quartet, Laura Usiskin, we discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the performing arts; the Bayberry String Quartet’s journey towards Bandlab virtual rehearsing and their plans to share their process with the world; and why it’s important to be patient with ourselves […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 12. “The belief that perfection equals worthiness is the biggest struggle of my life.”: PART TWO of A Chat with Dr. Sarah Carter, physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy.

Posted on

In Part Two of my conversation with physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy, Dr. Sarah Carter, we discuss the classical music culture’s resistance to talking about vulnerability, burnout, and mental health issues; the rigid definition of success within classical music and how it stifles creativity; the terror of improvisation and the importance of practicing […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 11.”In the depths of major depression, I realized I’d lived my whole life in someone else’s dream.”: PART ONE of A Chat with Dr. Sarah Carter, physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy.

Posted on

In my conversation with physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy, Dr. Sarah Carter, we discuss the “classical music machine” and how it overwhelms young people and their families; how her feelings of worthiness were tied to her ability to be “perfect” on the cello; how a major depression at the peak of her musical […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 10. “The most important skill is connecting with people”: Why connection is the most valuable skill. A Chat with Assaff Weisman, pianist, teacher, and Executive Director of the Israeli Chamber Project.

Posted on

In my conversation with pianist, teacher, and administrator, Assaff Weisman, we discuss the importance of early teachers; the entrepreneurship required of a modern classical musician’s career; and the importance of building relationships and making peace with sales and marketing. Subscribe to the podcast here! Learn more about the stuff we talk about in this episode here: […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 9. “The child of Korean immigrants, living in the in-between space”: An excerpt from my work-in-progress, LUNCH BOX, about food, mothers and daughters, identity, microagressions, representation, and one kind of Asian American experience.

Posted on

I saw a bag of Gochujang Potato Chips from Whole Foods and I was thrown back in time to my childhood, when my mother made me impeccable Korean meals that I took to school in my Hello Kitty lunch box with my Little Twin Stars chopsticks. Here is a piece of writing I am working […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 8. “The crisis of perfectionism in classical music”: Why a career is much more about the people than playing well. A Chat with Rebecca Fischer, violinist, writer, and educator.

Posted on

In my conversation with violinist, educator, and writer, Rebecca Fischer, we discuss the challenges of maintaining boundaries, interpersonal health, and compassion within a string quartet; how we don’t talk about vulnerability in classical music and the damage this can inflict; and the importance of “creative courage” and the wonderful risk of not knowing. Subscribe to […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 7 – “Asians are both the ‘model minority’ and an invisible minority”: Creating space for conversations about racism against East Asians in classical music. A Chat with Mina Yang, pianist, professor, and writer.

Posted on

In my conversation with pianist, professor, and writer, Mina Yang, we discuss the complicated experiences of racism against East Asians in Classical Music and in the dominant culture, how Western Classical Music proliferated in East Asia through imperialism and colonialism, and how the myth of the “universal” nature of Western Classical Music discourages conversations around […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 6 – “‘Zero f**ks given’: Why vulnerability is the most important thing.” A Chat with Zach Brock, jazz violinist, composer, and member of Snarky Puppy.

Posted on

In my conversation with jazz violinist, Zach Brock, we talk about his musical upbringing and how he straddles the line between classical training and improvisation, why vulnerability is the most important ingredient to being a great performing and why ‘play’, ‘being silly’, and ‘feeling joy’ in practicing is worthwhile. Subscribe to the podcast here! Learn […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: #5 -“Why ‘perfect’ isn’t interesting.” A Chat with Jennifer Fawcett, playwright, fiction writer, and doula.

Posted on

NOTE: This interview happened in the aftermath of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at the Kavanaugh hearings. In my conversation with playwright, fiction writer, and doula, Jennifer Fawcett, we talk about: how do we give ourselves “permission”?; the importance of making your own “stuff”; struggling with “who cares” and Imposter Syndrome; how powerful and necessary […]