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IIRY Podcast: 18. “It’s a weird time to try to reinvent yourself.”
A chat with Nick Photinos, innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, about career transformation and the importance of preserving our mental health during this time of pandemic.

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 In my candid conversation with innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, Nick Photinos, we discuss career transformation during the pandemic; how we attach our sense of worthiness to the things we create; and how this time of pandemic and quarantine can be best used to ask ourselves “why am I making music?” […]

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IIRY Podcast: 16. “Confused and scared is better than meaningless.”
A chat with Mike Block, pioneering cello player, singer, composer, and educator, about taking creative risks and why we shouldn't wait to pursue our interests.

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In my conversation with pioneering cello player, singer, composer, and educator, Mike Block, we discuss how his creative frustrations within classical music led him to pursue non-classical styles; why expanding your comfort zone means you have to be willing to be uncomfortable; why it’s important to play music you enjoy, even if you’re not yet […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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: […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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

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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 […]