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Isang Yun’s “Die Hungrige Katze (The Hungry Cat),” from “Li-na im Garten”
Hello from my Seoul quarantine bunker :)

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Hi Friend! 안녕하세요! Hello from Seoul, where I’m in quarantine before I begin my Fulbright grant residency! Here’s some music by Isang Yun (1917-1995), the Korean composer whose oeuvre reflects one of his main creative objectives: to blend Korean traditional music and Western avant-garde techniques. While much of his music is post-tonal and post-serialist, this piece, “Die Hungrige Katze (The Hungry Cat),” from “Li-na im […]

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Jessie Montgomery’s Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin
More solo violin goodness for your quarantine...

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Hi Friend!  Here’s music from the brilliant composer and violinist, Jessie Montgomery: her Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin, written in 2014.  I love both the pensive vibe and the surprising and luscious harmonies. Deceptively difficult, I so enjoyed learning this delightful piece and hope you enjoy!  Stay safe, warm, and healthy <3 Like what you hear? Please Like […]

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Knuckle-busting Paganini
Paganini Caprice No. 13, aka "Devil's Laughter"

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Hi Friend! One silver lining of this seemingly never-ending pandemic is that I have time to practice for practice’s sake. Usually I’m practicing in “putting out fire mode” aka, I have a concert and I just need to NOT FALL ON MY FACE. Normally I wouldn’t have time (nor the inclination) to practice Paganini’s knuckle-busting Caprices for […]

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IIRY Podcast: 35. 2020: “What would you tell your younger self?”
An end of year review, with advice to help you on your creative journey in 2021.

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Saying “2020 has been a weird year” is an understatement. Nevertheless, I’m really grateful when I look back at the inspiring guests who were generous enough to sit down and chat with me this year. So, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to revisit some of the most popular “Is it Recess Yet?” episodes of […]

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IIRY Podcast: 34. Miki-Sophia Cloud. “Why am I doing this?”
On the importance of great mentors and choosing to find joy and purpose in music.

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I’m excited to revisit the very first episode of the “Is it Recess Yet?” podcast, from 2018. My dear friend and colleague, the wonderful violinist and human, Miki-Sophia Cloud, graciously agreed to be my first interviewee. In our chat, we talk about her former life as a strolling ‘gypsy violinist’; playing by ear versus playing from sheet […]

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IIRY Podcast: 33. Dr. Noa Kageyama. “Focus on growth.”
On growth mindset versus fixed mindset and what we can learn from making music.

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Check out my 2018 podcast interview with performance psychologist, Noa Kageyama, where we learn what he meant at age 2 when he said “oa wike mugas”; what it was like to studying with Mr. Suzuki himself in Japan as a little kid, how inconsistency in his performances lead to his study of performance psychology at […]

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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 […]