The ensemble, TONALITY, is best known for creating choral concerts that focus on issues rarely presented in choral music, including gun violence, homelessness, refugees, climate change, mental health, women’s rights, and exercising democratic rights. Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake joins Garrett to talk about founding TONALITY, queerness in Black spaces, and becoming an artist activist. Scott shines a light on Black Americana, Garrett offers his response to "Fire Shut Up In My Bones", and the guys draw comparisons between law enforcement and arts institutions.
TRILLOQUY is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from Springboard for the Arts
Daniel Kumapayi doesn't just want to create pathways toward his own artistic success - he's founded an organization called Àkójọpọ̀, which was built to support musicians in Nigeria who, despite lacking essential resources, are still committed to their own artistic successes. He chats with Garrett about the challenges of international arts philanthropy, the ways that people can support Àkójọpọ̀, and a little about his favorite (and not-so-favorite) Nigerian foods. Scott highlights the many sounds of music created by Indigenous artists, Garrett celebrates a fashion shift in orchestral performance spaces, and more. The guys close with a discussion on gun violence, the over-commodification of cannabis, and the problem of a continue reverence of Christopher Columbus.
Nu Deco Ensemble’s mission is to create compelling and transformative genre-bending musical experiences that inspire, enrich and connect new and diverse audiences and artists. Garrett chats with the group's Artistic Director and CEO, Sam Hyken about his journey as a musician, the work of Nu Deco and his perspective on the future of orchestral performance. Scott highlights Bach with a Latin twist, Garrett shares the music of Twin Cities-based duo, The Muatas, and the guys address a case of blackface in the classroom.
The Chicago Philharmonic is pushing forward in its continued season of change. The organization appointed its new Executive Director, Terell Johnson earlier this year and has recently featured the violin concerto, "Glory" by Marcus Norris. They both join Garrett to talk about their collaboration, their respective approaches to orchestral equity, and what it means not to leave Black communities behind. Scott honors Paula Cole's "Autumn Leaves" and asks the question, "Is a 10th symphony from Beethoven necessary?". The guys spend the weekly TRILLOQUY unpacking claims of "racial anxiety" as it pertains to the firing of a clarinetist from the Nashville Symphony.
Twin Cities-based artist Pavielle French first joined Garrett and Scott in season one as her career was beginning to bloom. She returns to TRILLOQUY this week to talk about her new album, SOVEREIGN, which explores Black rejection of white supremacy, a renewed view of "classic" music and a message: "You cannot give me my rights". She also speaks with Garrett about her collaborations with local orchestras, and its context in the fight for racial equity in arts spaces. Scott highlights #GayCarmen, and Garrett addresses the rejection of a Jimi Hendrix composition in an English orchestral space. The guys close by affirming the humanity of Haitian immigrants and urging arts programmers to do what they can, artistically.
When Katy Henriksen was featured on Op. 9 of TRILLOQUY back in 2019, she was a local radio host working to take western classical music out of the "old, white guy realm". Today, Katy is an entrepreneur who works as a promoter, journalist, writer and podcaster creating content that challenges the status quo. She returns to TRILLOQUY to chat with Garrett about the self-employed life, the challenges that COVID puts on concert promotion, and her podcast, "Sound Off". Scott honors the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Ireland, and speaks to an oratorio by Courtney Bryan. And Garrett spends the final movement exploring the concept of "music-ing".
As more musicians navigate an increasingly unstable arts ecosystem, working in both the performance and administrative spheres has become more popular. Garrett chats with Jaime Sharp, a mezzo-soprano whose artistry, administration, and activism is rooted in accessibility and change. The guys explore DEI in "period instrument" spaces, challenge the notion of #BlackExcellence, and offer words for the good (and not so good) people of Texas.
W.E.B. Du Bois has inspired countless Black thinkers, but he also left behind an appreciation for western classical music. Joe LaRocca and Dominque Hoskin of the Du Bois Orchestra chat with Garrett about making change in concert halls through more "traditional" musical aesthetics. Scott honors the classical music of England's Black composers with a shout out to Kalena Bovell, and Garrett makes a case for Kanye West's latest body of work. The weekly TRILLOQUY includes an indictment of current arts funding practices and structures.
Maestro Michael Morgan believed that the purpose of a performing arts institution is to make its entire community better. As the world mourns the recent loss of this pivotal figure in American music, Garrett and Scott honor him with anecdotes, stories and recordings from his vastly trailblazing career. Garrett chats with Dr. Antonio Cuyler about the importance of access in DEI spaces, his entrance into arts administration and the cost of living an artistic life on one's own terms. The guys spend the final movement discussing the continued battle for COVID safety and the quick rise and fall of Jeopardy's Executive Producer.
In celebration of the 48th birthday of hip hop, Garrett and Scott honor a few of the artists and sounds that have helped the genre maintain its status as America's most popular classic style of music. The guys also discuss the recent tragedy in Haiti, political challenges in Afghanistan and introduce anti-capitalist thought to TRILLOQUY. Brittani McNeill returns to talk more about her journey to and through opera, the idea of "hard work" not being enough and what it means for Black musicians to consider (or not to consider) divesting from white-centered structures.
Brittani McNeill is a singer and journalist whose views on liberation and equity are unapologetically Black-centric. Garrett shares part 1 of their most recent conversation, where they explore the ideas complete systems change, what it means to let harmful rhetoric go unchecked and the ways in which complicity stunts the growth of meaningful impact-fueled dialogue. Scott gives insights on how one of his favorite bands can be considered an example of musical innovation through process innovation, and Garrett responds to a pair of controversial essays by Heather Mac Donald.
Richard Wagner's anti-semitism has been at the center of the conversation of classical "cancellation" for a generation, but writer, filmmaker, and violinist Paul Festa is challenging the tradition of Wagner-adjacent cancel culture with a new essay: "Cancellation of the Gods". He talks with Garrett about his journey with Wagner's music, the conversations that brought him to his continued appreciation of it, and a cannabis strategy that he believes can create more fans of Wagnerian opera. Garrett and Scott share music from their most recent road trips, and Garrett offers a TRILLOQUY aimed at musicians who he sees as complicit in continued inequitable orchestral programming.
Have you ever heard of slave orchestras? What does a post-colonial 'classical' music ecosystem look like? Cellist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and writer Jon Silpayamanant joins Garrett to talk about how the intersection of colonialism and music have impacted the world, and ideas on how musicians can help inspire mental decolonization. Garrett and Scott highlight the story of a Black man who managed to make friends with members of the Ku Klux Klan, share music performed by Turkish and Armenian musicians, and more. And Garrett puts the trill in TRILLOQUY in a final movement admonishing a headline and article with extremely triggering and historically racist overtones.
Tarik 'Konshens The MC' Davis is a hip-hop artist, songwriter, educator and youth advocate from Washington D.C who, in search of hip-hop driven chamber music, created the "Classically Dope" ensemble. He and Classically Dope's horn player, Derek Maseloff, join Garrett to talk about the development of this ensemble, the public response the ensemble has gained and the ways in which "classical" training can be improved through this type of fusion. Scott and Garrett honor the late Biz Markie, highlight two performances of music by Sergei Prokofiev and offer a "vague-booked" TRILLOQUY directed at content professionals who view podcasts as a secondary form of media.
TRILLOQUY is made possible, in part, by the Shuttleworth Foundation
Years ago, a recording of the United States Marine Band inspired a boy from East Tennessee. Today, Dr. Brandon Houghtalen teaches the next generation of band directors while challenging the traditional notions and narratives that place concert band and wind ensemble music in the back seat to orchestral music. He chats with Garrett about this, a few of concert band's women/BOPIC composers and an initiative known as the "On the List Project". Garrett and Scott honor the band tradition with works by Joel Puckett, Tolga Zafer Özdemir and others alongside the week in "accidentals" and a tenure-themed TRILLOQUY. Also this week, Garrett learns the word, "sloughing".
TRILLOQUY is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation.
(Recorded 7/3/21) The age-old stories of Native communities continue to have an important place in contemporary culture, including in contemporary Western classical music! Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate joins Garrett to talk about how he's done that with his new composition, "Lowak Shoppala'". Garrett and Scott acknowledge the 4th of July with a look back at under-told American history and discuss Grammophone's annual orchestra awards. The guys advocate for an Olympian who uses cannabis in the weekly TRILLOQUY and contextualize some of her unearthed, problematic tweets.
On July 9th the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival will present the world premiere of "Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna", written in honor of the girlfriend and stepdaughter of the late Philando Castile by Daniel Bernard Roumain. He joins Garrett, alongside pianist Melvin Chen, to talk about the upcoming premiere and continued activism in concert hall spaces. Scott honors the voice of singer Jimmy Scott, and the guys celebrate Queen Latifah, Randall Goosby and several other Black artists. Garrett speaks to avoiding the trivialization of Indigenous land acknowledgments in the final movement.
It's not easy to "go viral" in today's social media ecosystem, but operatic baritone Babatunde Akinboboye managed to do it by fusing Kendrick Lamar and Rossini! He talks with Garrett about this, life between Nigeria and the US, his aspirations for the opera industry, and the people who are standing in the way of progress for Black operatic professionals. Scott highlights a violin concerto by Wynton Marsalis, and helps Garrett unpack news from the Baltimore Symphony, the Juneteenth weekend, and shifting the rules surrounding philanthropic giving.
As Juneteenth becomes a more wide-spread celebration, musicians and content creators of all types are jumping in to honor the holiday. Garrett goes into why he chose not to offer anything this year in an emotional final movement. Scott shines a light on the continued struggle for equity across the pond, and helps unpack a think piece written to demean the work of composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine talks about her decades-long work supporting and promoting Black composers, and asks Garrett a few questions, herself.
As arts institutions continue to celebrate the life and work of Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, opera scholar Angel Refusé is pushing individuals to understand how the so-called "Black Mozart" actually inspired not only 18th-century European culture, but world culture! He explores this idea with Garrett while highlighting how spirituality and contemporary culture play a role in the Chevalier's legacy. Garrett and Scott discuss a new arts experience as spearheaded by Boston Lyric Opera, and the guys invite Johnathan Gibbs into the weekly TRILLOQUY to discuss his recent scuffle with the New York City Gay Mens' Chorus.
Dr. Durell Cooper describes himself as a Disruptor of Systems, Breaker of Chains, Builder of Tables, Interrogator of Phenomena and Radical Black Joy Practitioner. He joins Garrett to dive into ideas of liberation, defining Black music, and highlighting Hip Hop as an American "classical" tradition. Garrett and Scott kick off Season 3 with a new musical theme and a more laid-back, "live to tape" feel while offering lots of great music, a conversation on managing a friendship and business simultaneously, and the usual "trills".
Support a Black business in your area
For week 2 of TRILLOQUY's two-week break, Garrett reprises his and Scott's conversation with Kalena Bovell, Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and one of the nation's few Black woman conductors. This conversation from February 2020 highlights Kalena's unique role as a Black conductor in one of the nation's predominately Black cities, her love of Metal, and more! Garrett and Scott return next week with an all-new opus and the start of season 3!
One of the highest-rated opuses of TRILLOQUY from season 1 featured the music and musings of South Indian artists Nirmala Rajasekar and Thanjavur K. Murugaboopathi. As the team prepares for season 3, Garrett gives an intro to this replay and offers and few shout-outs to some fellow decolonizes.
Garrett and Scott celebrate the 100th opus of TRILLOQUY with podcast-themed conversations, including a look at co-host relationships as related to recent news with the Joe Budden Podcast and a conversation with Melissa Smey and Golda Arthur of "Mission: Commission". The guys honor P.M. Dawn, shoutout an up and coming teenaged composer, and offer a "resistance" inspired final movement.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE 100 OPUSES POSSIBLE!
Is America a racist country? Is "classical" music a racist industry? Garrett and Scott keep it "trill" and address both of these questions, in light of recent statements by Senator Tim Scott and Vice President Kamala Harris. The guys also honor music from Mexico, highlight the intersection of Asian culture and American Music Education, and shout-out an artist who isn't afraid to center his heritage through performance. Quinton Morris chats with Garrett about life in Seattle and his new show, "Unmute the Voices", on KING-FM.
Support comes from Ryan Romine, Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Associate Professor of Bassoon at Shenandoah University