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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: 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: 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 […]

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IIRY Podcast: 22. Dr. Nadine Kelly: “I am an eclectic, nerdy black woman who is a late bloomer.”
A chat with Dr. Nadine Kelly, retired pathologist and yoga instructor about leaving medicine to follow her happiness and why we need to be nicer to ourselves.

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In this conversation with retired pathologist and yoga instructor, Dr. Nadine Kelly, we discuss how she decided to pivot from her career as a physician to becoming a yoga instructor who specializes in helping mature women; why it’s important to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; and why we need to be brave enough […]

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IIRY Podcast: 21. Shannon Wilkinson: “You are valuable because you exist.”
A chat with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, about when perfectionism becomes toxic; why "taking a breath" improves our ability to problem-solve; and why cultivating your creative courage may be the best thing you can do for your career right now.

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In this conversation with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, we discuss how we turn to perfectionism to protect ourselves and “stay in the tribe”; how perfectionists may be struggling acutely with the uncertainty of the pandemic; why “taking a breath” and making things “ridiculously easy” is crucial to opening up our ability to problem-solve; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 19. Mai Der Vang: “I have to be twice as good to be given access, to be heard.”
A chat with award-winning writer, Mai Der Vang, about being the child of Hmong immigrants; the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. artist; and why we must trust our own creative impulses.

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In this conversation that took place shortly before the pandemic and shelter-in-place order, award-winning writer Mai Der Vang and I discuss why failure is always a way to build resilience; the burden of excellence that many immigrants experience plus the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. writer and academic in the American literary landscape; and […]