Speaking of Music ◀◀ Rewind

The highly regarded Speaking of Music series (1983-1992) was co-presented by the Exploratorium and Charles Amirkhanian of KPFA radio. Conversations between Mr. Amirkhanian and prominent musicians and composers focused on the creative process. The archived files have been released as a podcast series.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Najma Ahktar Part 1 (Podcast)

Najma Ahktar Running Time:00:53:03

Najma Akhtar is a singer, composer, and actress who has been in heavy rotation in the World Music orbit for over 20 years. She was born and raised in England but sings in the traditional style of India, her ancestral homeland. In this presentation from 1991, she performs many songs with her band, and openly discusses her unique cultural and musical fusions.

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Speaking of Music Rewind: Najma Ahktar Part 2 (Podcast)

Najma Ahktar Running Time:55:58:00

Najma Akhtar is a singer, composer, and actress who has been in heavy rotation in the World Music orbit for over 20 years. She was born and raised in England but sings in the traditional style of India, her ancestral homeland. In this presentation from 1991, she performs many songs with her band, and openly discusses her unique cultural and musical fusions.

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Speaking of Music Rewind: Laurie Anderson Part 1 (Podcast)

Najma Ahktar Running Time:01:15:45

Laurie Anderson is a groundbreaking American composer, vocalist, instrumentalist, and performance artist. She is celebrated for her multimedia performances and innovative use of technology in art. In this candid, in-depth interview from December 1984, Anderson talks about her very diverse inspirations, including her relationship to technology, her past lives, television, and handheld versus electronic instruments. She also plays samples of the music and sounds that fuel her process, as well as some of her own work.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Laurie Anderson Part 2 (Podcast)

Laurie Anderson Running Time:01:14:06

Laurie Anderson is a groundbreaking American composer, vocalist, instrumentalist, and performance artist. She is celebrated for her multimedia performances and innovative use of technology in art. In this candid, in-depth interview from December 1984, Anderson talks about her very diverse inspirations, including her relationship to technology, her past lives, television, and handheld versus electronic instruments. She also plays samples of the music and sounds that fuel her process, as well as some of her own work.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Anthony Braxton (Podcast)

Anthony Braxton Running Time:01:54:49

In this extensive talk from 1985, prolific American composer, musician, and self-proclaimed 'student' Anthony Braxton discusses many elements of his musical work. Because Braxton sees his musical output as part of larger constellations of culture, politics, and spirituality, his talk is huge in scope, and his language sometimes dizzies while it dazzles. He discusses his personal rejection of music for entertainment, and considers instead what music might do to further universal values. He also takes audience questions and plays excerpts of some of his recordings. This talk will amuse, awe, challenge, and inspire interested parties old and new.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Brian Eno Part 1 (Podcast)

Brian Eno Running Time:01:11:25

Brian Eno is a supremely influential English musician, composer, producer, and popularizer of ambient music. In this informal, free-range chat from February 1988, Eno discusses his origins as an artist and some of the major influences in his life. He's never short on wit or opinions, and the interview will amuse fans and newcomers alike.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Brian Eno Part 2 (Podcast)

Brian Eno Running Time:00:31:00

Brian Eno is a supremely influential English musician, composer, producer, and popularizer of ambient music. In the second half of this informal, free-range chat from February 1988, Eno discusses his origins as an artist and some of the major influences in his life. He's never short on wit or opinions, and the interview will amuse fans and newcomers alike.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Philip Glass Part 1 (Podcast)

Phillip Glass Running Time:01:17:06

Philip Glass is an enduringly prolific composer, collaborator, intellectual, and one of the inventors of a type of music called minimalism. In this extensive and candid interview from 1988, Glass discusses many things including his involvement in world music, his innovative approach to rhythm, and his work with film and opera. He also talks about the people who have inspired him, including legendary composer, conductor, and teacher Nadia Boulanger and sitarist Ravi Shankar. The interview includes many samples of his musical work.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Philip Glass Part 2 (Podcast)

Phillip Glass Running Time:01:06:25

Philip Glass is an enduringly prolific composer, collaborator, intellectual, and inventor of a pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and sitarist Ranew kind of music now known as minimalism. In this extensive and candid interview from 1988, Glass discusses many things, including his involvement in world music, his innovative approach to rhythm, and his work with film and opera. He also talks about the people who have inspired him, including legendary vi Shankar, and the unique human narratives that he finds inspirational. The interview includes many samples of his musical work.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Jin Hi Kim Part 1 (Podcast)

Jin Hi Kim Running Time:01:09:05

In this intimate talk from 1990, cross-cultural composer and musician Jin Hi Kim reflects on her diverse experiences in Eastern and Western musical worlds.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Jin Hi Kim Part 2 (Podcast)

Jin Hi Kim Running Time:00:31:50

In this intimate talk from 1990, cross-cultural composer and musician Jin Hi Kim reflects on her diverse experiences in Eastern and Western musical worlds.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Annea Lockwood part 1 (Podcast)

Annea Lockwood Running Time:02:04:30

An inspiring conversation with Annea Lockwood, New Zealand-born experimental sound artist and musician known for her boundary-burning explorations of the world of natural acoustic sounds and environments.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Annea Lockwood part 2 (Podcast)

Annea Lockwood Running Time:00:36:31

An inspiring conversation with Annea Lockwood, New Zealand-born experimental sound artist and musician known for her boundary-burning explorations of the world of natural acoustic sounds and environments.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Meredith Monk Part 1 (Podcast)

Meredith Monk Running Time:01:07:18

Meredith Monk has been on the vanguard of interdisciplinary performance for 45 years. In this conversation from 1984, she discusses her works of that era, reflects on her process and aspirations for her work, takes questions, and performs excerpts from Education of the Girlchild.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Meredith Monk Part 2 (Podcast)

Meredith Monk Running Time:00:53:35

Meredith Monk has been on the vanguard of interdisciplinary performance for 45 years. In this conversation from 1984, she discusses her works of that era, reflects on her process and aspirations for her work, takes questions, and performs excerpts from Education of the Girlchild.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Pauline Oliveros (Podcast)

Pauline Oliveros Running Time:01:34:04

Composer and performer Pauline Oliveros has been a pioneering figure in American music for over four decades. In this intimate talk recorded at the Exploratorium on February 21, 1985, Oliveros discusses her decision to quit teaching and flee to Italy with her accordion, her appreciation of the Grateful Dead's concert sound system, and the perils of the squeezebox. She also takes audience questions and performs "Rattlesnake Mountain" live.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Astor Piazzolla (Podcast)

Astor Piazzolla Running Time:01:00:00

On January 15th we will release a gem of a vintage interview with revolutionary musician/composer Astor Piazolla! In this inspired 1989 chat, Argentinean nuevo tango composer and bandoneon (concertina) player Astor Piazzolla dazzles the audience with a surprising story about the tango's origin in Argentina. He traces his musical beginnings and the "very beautiful way of feeling crazy" that resulted in his best compositions. Piazzolla also plays the bandoneon, and answers audience questions.

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Speaking of Music Rewind: Steve Reich Part 1 (Podcast)

Steve Reich Running Time:00:36:59

Join us for another podcast in our series, Speaking of Music Rewind. This program features Grammy and Pulitzer-winning composer Steve Reich, a pioneer of minimalist, jazz, and Western Classical music.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Steve Reich Part 2 (Podcast)

Steve Reich Running Time:01:00:00

Join us for another podcast in our series, Speaking of Music Rewind. This program features Grammy and Pulitzer-winning composer Steve Reich, a pioneer of minimalist, jazz, and Western Classical music.

Speaking of Music Rewind: Trimpin (Podcast)

Trimpin Running Time:01:23:00

In this gem from 1990, we get a brief peek into the flourishing mind of German-born composer/sculptor Trimpin, a MacArthur "genius" award winner and the subject of a recent feature documentary. He chronicles his unique adventures through sound and music making, takes audience questions, and stages modified versions of his musical installations in front of the live audience.