Soundwalker

Soundwalker

A series of talks music, nature, sound, the world around us hosted by musician and writer David Rothenberg... Show More

Episodes

December 24, 2020 64 min

Jon Balke, master pianist, composer and bandleader, has blended the music of Africa and the Middle East with a uniquely precise and personal approach to improvisation, which sometimes blends his keyboard work with electronics and field recordings. I spoke to him online and blended his words with soundscapes from his entire career. 

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I am honored to present this live duo concert and discussion with the great Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of the books FREE PLAY and THE ART OF IS—improvisor, teacher, thinker. We converse through music and words, presenting our shared fascination with the beautiful sounds of birds, sped up, slowed down, and transformed beyond recognition into a window from the human to the natural worlds.

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Unable to see, hear, or touch each other in the real world, Hanna and David try everything to break through the ‘meaninglessness' of nature to find truth, beauty, contact, and love in a world where invisible species are constantly trying to lure us beyond our mere humanity. Released in cooperation with Montez Press Radio in New York and the 3hd Festival Berlin...

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Professor David Rothenberg’s electronic music class at the New Jersey Institute of Technology is introduced to John Cage, and they are not pleased. As they ask themselves and their friends some of Cage's famous questions about what music is and is not, they come to change their tune.

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May 24, 2020 54 min

Today I interview the great environmentalist and nature writer Carl Safina, discussing his new book Becoming Wild, which introduces culture in the world of animals, from sperm whales to macaws to chimpanzees. We discuss how his work moved from science to writing and activism, and why it was that legendary editor Jack McRae told him to write a book on just one bird.

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A walk through Queens with William Helmreich, a man who has walked every street in all the boroughs of New York City, not once but twice. 

We walked together in November 2017. In 2020 Helmreich became yet another casualty of the COVID-19 global pandemic. No one know the city the way he did, because he took the time to walk, to engage with people, and to take the time to discover things he never knew he would find.

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February 5, 2020 50 min

A conversation with jazz pianist and composer Daniel Kelly, where we discuss his unique series of pieces called "Rakonto," that combine storytelling with original music, created in communities all across America.

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The great German synth player Bernhard Wöstheinrich, founder of Iapetus Media and Centrozoon, here reveals his secrets for what makes a good electronic sound. He and I experiment with some sounds he likes, some he dislikes. Together we learn to listen to and to shape the unknown.

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Elliott Sharp and David Rothenberg discuss their new books, IRRATIONAL MUSIC and NIGHTINGALES IN BERLIN, with sound artist Jem Finer, at Iklectik Arts, London, June 12th 2019.

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May 25, 2019 49 min

We travel to the Arctic Hideaway, or Fordypningsrommet, on the Arctic archipelago of Fleinvær, invited by Nordic Music Days 2019. With Tine Surel Lange, Bjarne Kvinnsland, Håvard Lund, Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, Leif Haglund and Espen Tversland, with everyone introducing some of their favorite sounds. The snipe hunt is real...

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Once again David and Jacob talk through some of their favorite ECM tracks, now all streaming everywhere except ONE mystery song, one of the earliest recordings Paul Motian ever made... You can only hear it here! Otherwise we've got Sinikka Langeland, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Zakir Hussein, Lester Bowie, Valentin Silvestrov, Craig Taborn and more. Whole playlist we talk about is here: https://tinyurl.com/ycqq6hj9

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June 7, 2018 10 min
In this episode we listen and walk through a quarter-mile graffiti-covered subway tunnel, up an elevator to a park full of birds, and down under the George Washington Bridge to hear the darkest sound of all.
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March 26, 2018 16 min
In this episode, I wander from Long Island City to Greenpoint with Anna Roberts-Gewalt of the folk group Anna and Elizabeth, and we talk about how turning the volume of the city UP sometimes makes all the more sense.
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At the end of 2017 ECM Records, long a holdout against streaming, finally released its entire catalog online. Two ECM artists, guitarist Young and clarinetist Rothenberg, picked ten lesser-known tracks from the vast assembly of jazz, improvisation, and world music releases on the label to share with listeners and to discuss. Is there a definite ECM sound? Is that a myth? How does this music fit into our contemporary oversaturat...
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