Agile Vocalist

Agile Vocalist

Agile Vocalist is a podcast about sound and includes creator stories, history, inspiration, performance, and thinking differently about the role of sound in our lives. The podcast explores the careers and talents of creators who work in sound as well as compact audio memoir content about its creator, Rachel Medanic‘s life in sound. Agile Vocalist is for anyone who is curious, creative, and who wants to fearlessly explore the connection between sound and our humanity. Agile Vocalist began as a blog in February 2021 and its non-podcast content can always be found at: https://www.agilevocalist.com

Episodes

April 2, 2022 38 min

Betsy Blakeslee’s work has connected refugees with the healing power of music for two decades. She directed expressive arts programs for refugee youth in Bosnia and Croatia during the wars of the 1990s. Since 2016, her Expressive Arts Refuge team and Moira Smiley have been running similar programs at refugee camps in France, Greece, and Lebanon.

In this episode she shares stories of how her experiences as a volunteer have touched ...

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In celebration of Agile Vocalist's 1-year anniversary, this epilogue takes you back through an unexpected trend that emerged with many of my guests about creativity. The theme was this:  people are often most creative and get their sound practice and ideas... in the bathroom, specifically the shower. Cars were also a theme as havens for creating. Who knew?

Talking about bathrooms, showers, cars & visions for the arts (post...

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December 31, 2021 40 min

What is it like to be a modern-day disc jockey(DJ) artist? How, with sound alone, does a DJ engage people they’ve never met to celebrate, raise the energy, hop onto a dance floor, and come together for a shared experience? I talk engagement and the craft of DJing, including the craft of Dance Floor Architecture in this interview with veteran DJ, Justin James. His work leading Justintertainment, an events company with a team of DJs ...

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Growing up in England, Opal Louis Nations was passionate about soul music and followed his calling to perform it amid England’s soul and blues scene. In this interview Opal shares the roots of the painful history of gospel music and its evolution through decades of the 20th century to the 1960s. The episode includes rare music from his vast vinyl collection along with Opal's candid and brilliant humor in his short story, The Th...

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This continuing conversation with Indian classical music vocalist, Vidya Srinivasan gives us insights into how she balances a multi-dimensional life with music and how music is a tool as frequently used in her work life as it is in her personal life as a creator and performer.

Vidya Srinivasan was introduced to the world of music at age 2 by her parents. Enrolled in music school at age 3 to learn Carnatic music, she gave her fir...

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Working in technology, it’s rare to find someone whose passion is as deeply in the arts as it is in the sciences. With very early life training in Carnatic music, Vidya Srinivasan’s career journey is filled with insights about how she uses a music as a tool for creativity, problem-solving, and as a means for processing life's emotional rhythms. In this two-part episode, we explore her career, the basics sounds and flavors of In...

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Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir singer Mary Ford talks about her career with the group and her life roots with the art form. Mary chose the gospel at a crossroads after nearly losing her life on her honeymoon. The power of music on and inside the body as well as the unifying spirit it brings to audiences and performers is featured in this conversation with Mary. 

Mary Ford has been a vocal performer for 45 years. She has sung a ...

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In this conversation with audio engineer, Brian Walker, we talk through Brian's work learning the JackTrip technology. Use of JackTrip dramatically reduces audio latency while preserving original audio quality. The technology allows musicians to make music together synchronously via the internet and can be used for either rehearsals or live performances. This episode contains performance examples using JackTrip from the San Fra...

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In this continuing conversation about Jennifer Hollis's music-thanatology work (part 2 of a 2-part episode), she shares her perspective on the future of music-thanatology and Harps of Comfort, an organization she formed that has adapted with virtual music to the circumstances of Covid-19.  

Jennifer Hollis is a writer, music-thanatologist and project director for Harps of Comfort, an organization that provides virtual harp a...

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There is a little-known branch of the performing arts that brings harp and vocal music to the bed side of the dying. It’s called music-thanatology. In this part 1 episode with music-thanatologist Jennifer Hollis, she shares what music-thanatology is and the amazing discoveries she made about the field researching her book about the power of music in medicine.

Jennifer Hollis is a writer, music-thanatologist and project director ...

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Part 2 of my 2-part conversation with San Francisco Bay Area vocalist, Pamela Rose.  Originally published:  March 2021 as a celebration of International Women's Day.

Pamela Rose is a  jazz and blues vocalist who has thrilled local and international audiences for decades with her swinging, soulful style. Rose has performed at clubs and jazz and blues festivals throughout the United States, Germany, and Denmark. She has six reco...

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Agile Vocalist's inaugural compact audio memoir episode. This episode is a personal reflection on and for our world navigating Covid-19 and the treacherous realities of 2020. This compact audio memoir was created as an expression of gratitude for all the people who powered us through 2020:  healthcare workers, essential workers, all those whose work is “now seen.” I am so thankful for them and the perils they faced putting thei...

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San Francisco jazz and blues vocalist, Pamela Rose has thrilled local and international audiences for decades with her swinging, soulful style. Rose has performed at clubs and jazz and blues festivals throughout the United States, Germany, and Denmark. She has six recordings to her name. In recent years, Rose has toured nationally with her critically acclaimed show Wild Women of Song: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era and her mor...

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Joshua is an award-winning actor, comic, writer, beatboxer, and educator whose path into the arts was  punctuated by overcoming a speech impediment. The episode also includes his live improv soundscape performance as a meditation for 2021.   

Joshua’s various performances have received admiration from Norman Lear to Prince. He has collaborated with artists such as Slash (Guns and Roses), poet Ursula Rucker, and Wayne Brady. Joshua...

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