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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.

01:03:00
This presentation, originally recorded in 1992, is a meditation on a lifetime dedicated to music. The renowned Hindustani classical music master Ali Akbar Khan recounts the earliest days of his musical study with his father (including his 18-hour practice days); how he chose to play and master his instrument, the sarod (maybe it chose him); and how music can be a healing force. He plays the instrument and explains how it works and how it’s different from the more well-known sitar. Khan also discusses the founding of his music school in San Rafael, California, a manifestation of his philosophy that knowledge of music should be shared with others.

01:03:00
A concert performed by the renowned Hindustani classical music master Ali Akbar Khan on sarod, recorded in 1992.

01:28:01
John Cage was one of the most influential composers in modern American music. He raised fundamental questions about the nature of music, and invigorated, provoked, and perplexed audiences throughout his long career. In this lecture from 1987, excerpts of his work are played and discussed. Afterwards, Cage takes questions and shares his thoughts on subjects ranging from the origins of his impulse to make music-"Many composers hear music before they write it, but I write music in order to hear it"-to using chance to create without ego or intention. He asks why we should listen to music instead of just listening to the sounds around us, and answers: "There's no reason."

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.

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.

00:01:49
A highlight of this After Dark evening was Thee Oh Sees, one of the Bay Area’s best underground bands, who created a playful aural disorientation while playing in front of “visual music” by the late experimental filmmaker and musicologist Harry Smith.

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.

010000
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.

00:08:39
Geeks have strange hobbies. Staff physicist Paul Doherty plays the corrugated plastic tube, also known as a “whirly,” and explains the surprising science behind the sound.