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IIRY Podcast: 32. Rev. D. Maurice Charles. “To resist absurdity is to live.”
On why "you don't have to feel what someone else feels to do the right thing" and creating a society that makes space for all of us.

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In my conversation with the Rev. D. Maurice Charles, the first African American chaplain at the University of Chicago, he shares how he was called to the ministry; his family heritage of slavery and survival; his scholarly work in religion and violence; why denying the existence of systemic bias is damaging to BIPOC and oppressed […]

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IIRY Podcast: 31. Kenji Bunch. “The willingness to fail in public is so important.”
A chat with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, about taking creative risks, being a bi-racial Asian kid, and saying "yes" to everything.

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In my conversation with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, we discuss the value of listening to all music with respect and curiosity; why he draws parallels between his eclectic approach to music and classically trained food chefs; why improvising and playing in non-classical styles can be really difficult for classical musicians; what it was like […]

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IIRY Podcast: 30. Karen Rile: “You can actually change your life very quickly.”
A chat with writer Karen Rile, about parenting, flexibility, and how deliberate practice yields huge results.

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 In my conversation with writer Karen Rile, we discuss her experience of parenting four artistic children and her interest in musicians; how flexibility and creative courage led to her founding Cleaver Magazine, a successful literary magazine; why creative writing and small amounts of deliberate practice create a vast foundation for a successful life; and […]

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IIRY Podcast: 29. Byron Au Yong, PART 2: “Shouting comes from having no choice.”
A chat with composer Byron Au Yong, about activism, representation, and why we can't avoid our painful experiences.

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In my conversation with composer Byron Au Yong, we discuss his works, “Stuck Elevator,” “The Ones,” and “Activist Songbook,” a trilogy that addresses what Americans fear and ways out of oppression; why representation matters and the importance of figuring out alternatives to dominant systems that oppress people; the practice of small, daily activism; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 28. Byron Au Yong: “Counteract the hate.”
A chat with composer Byron Au Yong, about how Western Classical music is not the only music in the world and the "healing powers of music."

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In my conversation with composer Byron Au Yong, we discuss why writing well “is a power”;  his childhood experiences with bullying and how music was a “shield”; the importance of affinity groups and centering his music in social justice; why love is an agent for change and protest; and the importance of continuing to “counteract […]

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IIRY Podcast: 27. Augusta Read Thomas: “Music is so much bigger.”
A chat with composer Augusta Read Thomas, about the importance of "breaking down every wall" and composing for beatboxer, Nicole Paris.

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In my conversation with composer Augusta Read Thomas, she expresses her heartfelt support of Black Lives Matter; her empathy for the performer in her compositions; why the music profession should be “wildly diverse”; and the three things that one needs to be an excellent composer. Subscribe to the podcast here!  Augusta Read Thomas 2:40 – […]

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IIRY Podcast: 26. Blair McMillen: “It’s okay to be vulnerable.”
A chat with pianist Blair McMillen, about performance anxiety, perfectionism, and why process is more important than product.

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 In this conversation with pianist Blair McMillen, we discuss how to manage stage fright and performance anxiety; why being a part-time musician can be a healthy option; why we should talk openly about what a musician’s life is really like; and why he wishes classical music could be more about process than product. Subscribe […]

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IIRY Podcast: 25. Sean Wang: “My quietness was misunderstood as an act of defiance.”
A chat with violinist, conductor, and scholar, Sean Wang, about the burden of assimilation, microaggressions, and the "bamboo ceiling" in classical music.

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 In this conversation with violinist, conductor, and scholar, Sean Wang, we discuss the implicit bias Asians experience in white culture; the burden of assimilation placed on immigrants to adjust their behaviors, customs, and personhood for the comfort of the dominant culture;  and why “it seems in order to get to the same place as […]

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IIRY Podcast: 24. Celia Hatton: “You have to speak up and take up space.”
A chat with violist Celia Hatton about microaggressions, implicit bias, and institutional racism in classical music and beyond.

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In this conversation with violist Celia Hatton, we discuss racism, implicit bias and microaggressions; the illusion of meritocracy in classical music; beauty standards; institutional racism and white supremacy. Subscribe to the podcast here!  2:32 – Celia talks about growing up in a musically and artistically eclectic family and how she got started on the viola. […]

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IIRY Podcast: 23. Tricia performs “Ferdinand the Bull,” the children’s storybook classic.
I play "Ferdinand the Bull" for solo violin and speaker (story by Munro Leaf and music Alan Ridout).

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Subscribe to the podcast here!  Today’s special episode features “Ferdinand the Bull” from the beloved children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson. Here, I’m playing the version for solo violin and speaker, composed by Alan Ridout, which includes the original story of Ferdinand, a bull who would rather smell flowers than […]