Open Ears
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.

John MunsonZhang Ying
Audio George Cartwright
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 MunsonZhang Ying
Audio John Munson
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.
Irv WilliamsFrederick Delius
Audio Irv Williams
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 SilverStan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie
Audio Chris Silver
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 RajasekarThe Sound of Music
Audio Nirmala Rajasekar
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 LewisSamuel Barber
Audio Wendy Lewis
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.
Steven CopesSon House
Audio Steven Copes
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 BarringerLed Zeppelin
Audio Heather Barringer
Heather Barringer of Zeitgeist has a not-so-secret confession.
Libby LarsenThe Avalanches
Audio Libby Larsen
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.
Adam LevyJ.S. Bach
Audio Adam Levy
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.