There are many contemporary choral institutions that honor the "traditional" repertoire - the Southern California-based Choral Arts Initiative is not one of them. The group's Artistic Director, Brandon Elliott, joins Garrett (55:00) to talk about their new album, the power of entrepreneurship, and his unique view of diversity. Scott and Garrett share their favorites from Beyoncé's latest album, discuss the latest misstep by the Aspen Music Festival, and unpack a fundraising call from the Metropolitan Opera.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon is one of America's busiest composers, and her catalogue is even more vast than many people realize. She joins Garrett (49:00) to talk about the Pulitzer win, her late brother, and the influence of East Tennessee on her musical identity. Scott unpacks "The Price of Luck" and highlights a one-man band; Garrett celebrates Tower of Power and offers a critical look on a historic conductor hire, and the guys spend the finale raising awareness about the potential connections between shows of equity and white supremacist organizations.
Inspired by the viscerally provocative poem, "Here, Bullet" by Brian Turner, the art song of the same name by composer Kurt Erickson is, among many things, a plea for western classical arts spaces to directly address gun violence. This composition inspired multi-disciplinary artist Will Chase to write a screenplay, which will be the foundation for an upcoming short film. Both Kurt and Will join Garrett (1:02:00) to unpack the inspirations and challenges of this work, along with its context within the framework of "classical" music. Scott highlights a work by Phillip Glass and cites excerpts from "Stuff White People Like", Garrett addresses opera's latest use of blackface, and the guys talk "big steps" in the finale.
Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a professional violinist and multi-disciplinary entrepreneur whose love for music, coupled with her grandmother's loving spirit, inspired Music Kitchen: the pioneer organization to bring top classical music artists in concert into homeless shelters. Kelly talks with Garrett (1:02:00) about Music Kitchen's origins, the impact it's had on patrons, and how we all can change the world by leading with compassion. Scott celebrates Maestro Jeri Lynn Johnson and Joe Rainey, Garrett highlights the music of Reena Esmail and Flutronix, and the guys unpack the week in news, social media, and advocacy.
One of the biggest challenges for living composers today is getting music played by orchestras, but Akron-based music creator Eriq Troi focuses on his gift, utilizing digital technology to fuse the sounds of funk, Western classical, and more. He joins Garrett (1:05:00) to talk about his process, his own discovery of Black orchestral musicians, and his early inspirations. Scott turns to the music of Eric Ewazen, Garrett celebrates Mason Bates, and the guys unpack the week's news in police brutality, gun violence, and arrest warrants.
Applauded by The Washington Post as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music,” and by The New Yorker as “independent-minded,” the GRAMMY nominated PUBLIQuartet’s modern interpretation of chamber music makes them one of the most dynamic artists of their generation. The ensemble's Jannina Norpoth and Curtis Stewart join Garrett (1:00:00) to unpack the music and inspiration behind their latest album, "What Is American". Scott continues his Pride Month-inspired musical picks with a work by Angela Morley, Garrett highlights orchestral music by Janelle Monáe, and the guys unpack the latest, including Opera America's scathing report on racial diversity, the recent decision made by SCOTUS, and more.
Orchestral percussion is usually only featured from the back of the stage, but Third Coast Percussion is changing the concert experience by bringing percussion to the front. Garrett chats with Sean and David (1:00:00) from this unique quartet to unpack their new album, "Perspective", and to get their thoughts on musical entrepreneurship, collaborating with today's most famous composers, and more. Scott honors the music of Aldous Harding, Garrett shares his favorite tracks from Drake's new dance album, and the guys cover the dissolution of the San Antonio Symphony, the many musical moods of Yo-Yo Ma, and more.
This year, Raven Chacon became the first Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music with his "Voiceless Mass". He joins Garrett (1:00:00) to talk about his reactions to the win, his perspective on Indigenous land acknowledgements, and more. Garrett and Scott cover a Lizzo misstep, unpack a maestro's words pertaining to "thoughts and prayers", and highlight music by Jennifer Higdon, Kendrick Lamar, and more. Scott takes the lead in the final movement to address racist reactions to Moses Ingram's recent role in "Obi-Wan Kenobi".
Led by rap duo Thee Phantom and The Phoenix, the Illharmonic Orchestra masterfully links classic hip-hop with "classical" music in a way that's wowed audiences from Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, and countless other venues. The duo joins Garrett in this week's third movement to talk about their recent developments, the Illharmonic Orchestra's upcoming Juneteenth concert, and more. Scott offers insights on TV themes from decades past and celebrates Pride Month with a Lil Kim accidental and music by Orville Peck. Garrett engages the conversation of "Jewface" as it applies to an upcoming Leonard Bernstein film, and shines a light on film music by Terence Blanchard. All of this and lots more!
Opus 150 of the TRILLOQUY podcast featured a conversation between Garrett and two of the leaders of the newly formed Black Orchestral Network: Alex Laing and Jennifer Arnold. Check out their uncut conversation which covers the differing levels of arts activism, BON's plans for the industry, what freedom for Black orchestral musicians really looks like, and more.
Black Orchestral Network Website
**TRILLOQUY RETURNS WITH BRAND NEW OPUSES AND THE START OF SEASON 4 ON JUNE 8TH!**
Opus 148 of TRILLOQUY featured Garrett's conversation with Travis and Andy from The Living Earth Show. Check out their extended, uncut interview where the guys talk about cannabis, "noise" music, and more. Check out all of this collective's work at: https://www.thelivingearthshow.com.
***Season 4 of TRILLOQUY returns with brand new opuses beginning June 8th!***
In February of 2022, Damian Norfleet joined Garrett for Op. 139 of TRILLOQUY to discuss mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and a then upcoming collaboration with Ensemble Pi that explored those conversations musically. This week, Garrett offers the extended, uncut conversation that covers adjusting to life in Minnesota, a deeper look at the historical violence of prisons, and more.
Damian Norfleet's website
**TRILLOQUY WILL RETURN WITH BRAND NEW OPUSES AND THE START OF SEASON 4 ON JUNE 8TH!**
The newly formed Black Orchestral Network, led by some of the western classical industry's biggest stars, is demanding immediate change from orchestras with a focus on hiring Black musicians into tenure-track positions by the end of the 2022-2023 orchestral season. Two of the organization's founders, Alex Laing and Jennifer Arnold, join Garrett in this week's third movement to talk about the goals of BON and what the potential impact of hiring Black musicians more intentionally could mean for orchestra culture across the country. Scott celebrates Lenny Kravitz and Eydís Evensen, Garrett connects an SWV classic to a Drake hit, and the guys wrap up season 3 with a heartfelt final movement centering around forgiveness, grace, and hope.
After enjoying a career as a successful ballet dancer, Christina Salerno shifted into the field of arts administration where her work as Executive Director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra earned her the 2022 title of "Executive Director of the Year"! She joins Garrett to talk about her experiences in "classical" dance, the successes she's seen with the IPO, and her thoughts on shifting programming toward equity and audience development. Scott honors Cinco de Mayo with music by Silvestre Revueltas, Garrett offers a complementary work by William Grant Still, and the guys unpack the latest from controversial arts columnist, Norman Lebrecht.
The Living Earth Show exists to push the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility while amplifying voices, perspectives, and bodies that the classical music tradition has often excluded. The group's Travis Andrews and Andy Meyerson join Garrett in this week's third movement to share more about their work and to explore conversation that affirms words like "noise" and "weird" as they relate to live performance. Scott concludes his celebration of International Guitar Month with an ode to Nile Rodgers and offers his perspective on the recent resignation of The Current's Mary Lucia. Garrett celebrates Anthony Parnther, highlights music by The Silk Road Ensemble, and offers a peek into where he wants to take TRILLOQUY conversations as the guys approach the finale of season 3.
Based in Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra was established as a model for the 21st-century American orchestra with a mission to combine artistic excellence with cultural diversity. The ensemble's Artistic Director, Jeri Lynne Johnson, joins Garrett to discuss the origins of Black Pearl, changing the culture surrounding "traditional" repertoire, and more. In movement two, Scott continues his celebration of International Guitar Month with music performed by Paul Galbraith and Garrett offers Japanese jazz. The guys start with an acknowledgement of 4/20 and wrap up with words on this week's historic event at Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Eugene Rogers is a two-time Michigan Emmy Award winner, a 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, and a 2015 GRAMMY® Award nominee who is recognized as a leading conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad. He joins Garrett in the third movement to talk about how Black culture drives many people's love of music, his new role as conductor of the Washington National Chorus, and the upcoming premiere of the "Justice Symphony" that he will lead in June. Scott offers ideas on how to engage the classical sub-genre of "new music", Garrett unpacks a church's decision to "give up whiteness" for Lent, and the guys use jazz and Indian classical to demonstrate the importance of "free listening". In the weekly TRILLOQUY, the guys shed light on the continued injustice of police brutality and approach the conversation of proverbial "tap dancers" in politics and arts institutions.
This week, Garrett and Scott spend some time reviewing and unpacking the latest Grammy Award ceremony, highlighting the show's performances by Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, Curtis Stewart, Chris Stapleton, and several others. In the second movement, Garrett revisits a bit of operatic video game music while Scott honors the birth anniversary of Muddy Waters. Perri and Charlotte from the "Thrilled to Announce" podcast join Garrett in the third movement to discuss digital creation, DEI in opera, and podcasting in the "classical" sphere. And in the weekly TRILLOQUY Scott offers a whistleblower letter written by a former employee of Chamber Music America, and Garrett sends a dark shout out to three senators who refused to vote for the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act.
Support for TRILLOQUY comes from the Lakes Area Music Festival.
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".