Open Ears is an ongoing series of audio features that explores how contemporary musicians' listening habits shape their music-making. Each installment features a Twin Cities musician talking about a favorite piece of music from a genre outside his or her own. The series taps musicians' wide-ranging tastes and deep musical knowledge as it explores the surprising and revealing influences that affect today's sounds.
This nationally known experimental
musician and composer is originally from the Mississippi Delta.
The music he chose comes from an artist who frequently performed
in Memphis where Cartwright lived as a young man.
John Munson has been a key
figure in some of the most popular and influential rock bands
in Twin Cities music history. But the music he's most immersed
in is thousands of years old and originates from a place thousands
of miles away. (08/24/2005)
Williams, 86, has been a
fixture in the Twin Cities jazz scene for more than 50 years.
His favorite classical piece comes from a composer known in
jazz circles for his jazz sensibilities.
Chris Silver used to be a member of the famed bluegrass band Stoney Lonesome. He's now frontman for the Chris Silver Band. Silver says he spends many of his waking hours listening to a broad range of music. Lately, he's been pretty fixated on jazz.
Nirmala Rajasekar has been performing ancient south Indian classical music for most of her life. She's also an accomplished player of the veena, a traditional Indian stringed instrument. But Rajasekar also happens to be a huge fan of the American musical.
Wendy Lewis, lead singer and songwriter for the band Redstart, comes from a musical family. Both her parents are gifted musicians. Her brother Greg and Greg's son Mike are members of Redstart. So it's not surprising Lewis' favorite piece of classical music has a familial connection.
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
concertmaster Steven Copes usually turns on the CD player
in the car or when he's cooking a meal for friends at home.
He's drawn to music that has a lot of rhythm, and artists
with very distinctive voices.
Heather Barringer of Zeitgeist
has a not-so-secret confession.
Libby Larsen is one of Minnesota's
best known composers. It turns out that for the last 10 years,
Larsen has been listening to a lot of "electronica," including
rave, turntable, and re-mix music.
Minneapolis rocker Adam Levy
of the Honeydogs says his favorite piece of classical music
is the Prelude from J.S. Bach's Cello Suite #1 in G major.