Last week, Jayme Alilaw joined Garrett to outline her journey to, away from, and back to opera. She returns this week to offer a break down of activism in opera spaces, advice on traversing tokenization, and a call to action for people not yet engaged by "classical" institutions. Garrett and Scott conclude Women's History Month with music performed by Leontyne Price and Nathalie Joachim, and the guys offer their opinions to the recent Oscar scandal.
Founded in 2020, the Black Opera Alliance has continued to stake its claim on arts activism, with the organization both speaking up for Black professionals in opera and speaking against institutions in opera that maintain the status quo. Among BOA's Leadership Council members is soprano Jayme Alilaw, who joins Garrett to talk about art, activism, and accountability. Scott honors Annie Lennox in the second movement, and offers his thoughts on dealing with hecklers in arts spaces. Both Scott and Garrett revisit the conversation surrounding the controversial Emmett Till opera, and spend the weekly TRILLOQUY responding to a UCLA job posting that offered zero pay.
Challenging colonial definitions of "classical music" requires a multi-cultural approach, and Maryam Yusefzadeh is doing it in her own way. She joins Garrett to talk about her approach to broader aesthetics tied to the word "classical", engaging the spiritual connection she has with performing, and the album, "Migration", which features some of her music. Scott reprises the music of Dobrinka Tabakova and celebrates the newly created Nina Simone Piano Competition. Garrett challenges the idea of "pop" music and spends the weekly TRILLOQUY offering his take on developing drama in the opera world.
What stories do our monuments tell? What legacies do they embody? What memories do they cement? These questions will be explored at Washington DC's Kennedy Center this month through a collection of new operas, including one called "Rise", with music by Kamala Sankaram. Kamala joins Garrett to talk about her introduction to opera, what "Rise" is meant to relay to audiences, and how this work continues the push for more new music in traditional "classical" spaces. Scott highlights the educational advocacy of violinist Ezinma, Garrett unpacks a musical about a machine that turns Black people white, and the guys continue their celebration of Women's History Month with music by Julia Wolfe, Martha Wash, and more.
Brittany J. Green is a North Carolina-based composer, creative, and educator whose works engage everything from Black feminist theory to the rupture of systems. She joins Garrett in this week's third movement to talk about her music, her studies of Julius Eastman, and how differing queer perspectives played a role in 20th century instrumental music. Scott returns to this year's "classical" Grammy conversation, highlights the music of Odetta, and offers his thoughts concerning the conflict in Ukraine. Garrett offers words from Mamie Till, celebrates the "Afro-harping" of Brandee Younger, and digs into the nuances of racism as seen in recent news media.
Garrett leads Marble City Opera in the world premiere of "I Can't Breathe" by Leslie Burrs and Brandon Gibson this week, so he and Scott meet virtually to discuss composer complaints about this year's Classical Grammy nominations, the newly-explored political opinions of William Grant Still, and lots more. Garrett features his recent conversation with Damian Norfleet, who will present a musical work on the issues of mass incarceration and solitary confinement in conjunction with Ensemble Pi on March 2nd. In this week's TRILLOQUY movement the guys cover musically-charged racism on a college campus, one orchestra's decision to shift concert attire, and the Kim Potter verdict.
Beethoven's "Fidelio" famously includes a chorus of prisoners, and in a new production by Heartbeat Opera the roles will be played by actual incarcerated individuals. The company's Ethan Heard and Kelly Griffin join Garrett to talk about the process of engaging these individuals, the relationship that's being built between opera and the prison system, and Heartbeat Opera's larger goal of engaging new audiences. Garrett and Scott draw proximity between sports and "classical" music as a means of practicing cultural competency, offer music that turns pain into beauty, and spend the weekly TRILLOQUY addressing the confederate flag, fighting gentrification, and the notion of being "silenced".
For a generation, Haiti has been the image of liberation and freedom for countless Black people across the western world. Haitian violinist, arts administrator, and music educator Victoria Joseph joins Garrett to showcase the work she's doing on the island and to unpack the opportunities, potential for empowerment, and responsibilities connected with teaching the next generation of musicians. Scott shines a light on an upcoming hip hop documentary, Garrett reviews a new album by Joy Guidry, and the guys discuss Black History Month blunders.
****JUSTICE FOR AMIR LOCKE****
Fife and Drum ensembles in the United States may seem quintessentially colonial, but they actually belong to a tradition with deep roots in Black History! Shaina Rush from The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps joins Garrett to talk about DEI in the military, her experiences in one of the America's premiere ensembles, and the Black folk tradition of fife and drum that still exists today! Scott affirms the importance of equity work "from the inside" and honors a uniquely Black approach to slide guitar playing. Garrett offers a review of the 2022 Sphinx Connect conference, and the guys weigh in on the mass exodus from Spotify.
The views expressed in this opus are those of the speaker and do not reflect the views, opinions, or official policies of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or United States Government.
Black equity, musical neurotechnology, and new paths for artist funding are just a few of the things that Bryan Crumpler is interested in as a composer. He joins Garrett this week to talk about his life, his music, and the impact that Europe's "Black Pete" has had on one of his compositions. Scott digs into the nuance of "woke racism", Garrett honors the lives of legends who the world has recently lost, and they both highlight musical performances that showcase the sounds of home and far away from home. This week's TRILLOQUY focuses on Florida's new "white guilt" law and how it could impact music education moving forward.
"The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" put composer Joel Thompson on the map, and his recent collaboration with the Houston Grand Opera showcased his ability to write a much more joyous piece of music. He joins Garrett to talk about his opera, "The Snowy Day", life in the shadow of his more famous work, and walking in the footsteps of those who came before him. Scott explores jazz's influence overseas and looks back at the activism of Louis Armstrong, Garrett highlights Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideas on a renewed economic system, and the guys wrap up by revisiting Dr. King's ideas on "the white moderate" and "the white liberal".
Andrea Davis Pinkney is a New York Times-bestselling author whose work recently earned her an invitation to create the libretto for an opera adaptation of "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. She joins Garrett to talk about her life as an author, her experience writing for an opera, and the importance of Black joy in art. Scott offers the story of a church that's paying reparations to local Black institutions, Garrett celebrates reggae-inspired video game music by Nobuo Uematsu, and the guys honor the late Sidney Poitier. For the weekly TRILLOQUY, Garrett and Scott explore the relationship between anti-racism and anti-capitalism.
María Isa Pérez-Hedges is a musical artist and lifelong Minnesotan whose activism has inspired her to make the big decision of running for Minnesota State Senate! She joins Garrett in-studio to talk about her journey, her music, and her goals as a potential representative for countless Minnesota-based artists and citizens. Scott shines a light on an all-Black, Nashville based wind symphony, Garrett honors the anti-racism of Betty White, and the guys spend the final movement unpacking the idea of "losing friends to CRT".
Context can be an important aspect of experiencing music, but The Honorable Elizabeth A. Baker believes in offering audiences an opportunity to experience sound free from external description. She joins Garrett to talk about her unique approach to artistry, her recent collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians/American Composers Forum, and more. Scott questions new approaches to "The Messiah", Garrett highlights notable "classical" moments of 2021, and the guys spend the final movement drawing. comparisons between "The Matrix: Resurrections" and the future of diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts.
Hip-hop can be transformed with a heightened awareness of "classical" music, but the converse may be even more true! Garrett is joined by the hosts of the Speaker Geekers podcast to unpack the art of marketing orchestral music to Black audiences, hip-hop culture's larger role in society, and the notion of Christmas rap. Scott shares a relatively unknown fact and piece of music by Florence Price, and celebrates an ally to anti-racism within the country music industry. And the guys wrap up the show by responding to a video published by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's former principal clarinetist.
Composer Renee Baker believes that "classical" training doesn't have to be a barrier to other genres and styles - she sees it as a bridge! She returns to TRILLOQUY's third movement to talk about her entry into the world of "creative music", her recent collaboration with the American Composers Forum and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and the way capitalism helps maintains American orchestral paradigms. Scott shines a light on the intersection of Black history and present as it relates to "classical" guitar, and Garrett speaks to white supremacy as it exists in both heavy metal and "classical" cultures.
The generations of work that have gone into creating racial equity in "classical" music can't be overstated, and Chicago-based composer Renée Baker joins Garrett to offer her story and why the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) remains a vital part of the movement. The guys offer their Christmas music picks for the season, and unpack the notion of inappropriate musical characterizations of culture. Garrett and Scott wrap up the show with a raw and emotional discussion that centers Julius Eastman's "Crazy Nigger" and Claude Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk".
Julia Adolphe is a composer who, in addition to writing music, speaks to and advocates for the conversation of mental health among musicians. She joins Garrett and Scott this week to talk about her podcast, her creative process, and the upcoming premiere of her latest work, "Woven Loom, Silver Spindle". Garrett dedicates a piece of music to his 2-year-old niece who lost her battle with cancer last week, Scott triggers a pointed conversation on race in highlighting William Levi Dawson's "Negro Folk Symphony", and the guys return to a Sister Souljah interview in which she questions the existence of "good" white people.
Support for this opus comes from Opera NexGen
As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the nation there's a question that's being pushed more and more to the front: Are white people a help or a distraction in these spaces? Garrett and Scott dive into this conversation as it relates to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and urge listeners to see the reverberations of racial injustice in the court system within all institutions - even the arts! The guys honor the late Young Dolph, unpack a violent situation at a local theater, and more. Rhapsody Snyder and Orbert Davis from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic return for part 2 of their conversation with Garrett, which leans on "Third Stream" as the key toward a more accessible and equitable arts ecosystem for future generations.
Support for this opus of TRILLOQUY comes from:
Adrian Dunn & The RIZE Orchestra
Orchestras come in all shapes, sizes, and sounds, and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic is moving forward in its goal to offer a uniquely American aesthetic to as many listeners as it can. Garrett chats with the ensemble's Executive Director, Rhapsody Snyder and Artistic Director, Orbert Davis about the CJP's origins, the necessity of offering FREE concerts, and the concept of "Third Stream". Dalanie Harris from the Classically Black Podcast guest co-hosts and offers insights on the International Society for Black Musicians' inaugural conference, a widely overlooked album by Stevie Wonder, and more! Garrett and Dalanie spend the weekly TRILLOQUY engaging the conversation of respectability among some of the industry's Black musicians.
Support for this opus of TRILLOQUY comes from HenselPushers
The album, "White Power Outage Vol. 1" is a culmination of poetic and musical sounds and perspectives from across the globe that has been challenging institutions and individuals across political spectrums to rethink the road toward a harmonious, anti-racist human society. Two of the album's collaborators, Deniz dee!colonize Lopez and Genesis Blu join Garrett to talk about this project and its impact, alongside the project's Executive Producer, Nick Cooper. Scott revisits the issue of an opera singer's problematic use of face paint, and invites listeners to decide how far-off change is by surveying the programming of their local arts institutions. The guys spend the TRILLOQUY speaking to a recent local election that's blazed a trail in the fight for renters' rights.
What would be your response to seeing a woman walked on a leash? Garrett and Scott explore this question in the weekly TRILLOQUY as it applies to the backlash surrounding a popular reggaetón artist and a real-life trip to a hardware store! Garrett chats with composer Ozie Cargile about the importance of self-confidence, "The Creation of the Universe", and life in Los Angeles. Scott honors the music of Elijah Daniel Smith, and the guys return to the conversation of "difficult" and "challenging" music, and how new music advocates can promote it.
The discussion of Beethoven's alleged Blackness has taken yet another turn, with one artist calling for his body to be exhumed so that a DNA test can be administered. Garrett and Scott break this down, and bring a few other ghoulish themes to this year's Halloween edition of TRILLOQUY. Bill Doggett returns as special guest to highlight what he sees as one of the biggest missteps in orchestral DEI following the murder of George Floyd, and the guys speak to the importance of platforming local perspectives when arts institutions attempt to speak to local issues.
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.