I get angry every time the political shit show that is the American Presidential campaign ramps up. To hear so many of the political elite who likely have never worked outside of an office (except of course to raise money to get a fancier office) in their lives shout about how they have all the answers just makes me want to give up and move somewhere quite and remote. To some idyllic place where people listen to each other, and accept that someone else who has spent all of their life on a subject might know better or at least have a justified opinion. I want to go out into the world and connect with the things that just show up as another image on my computer screen in a way that seems more tangible, in a way that might change something. Unfortunately the realities of life make this goal just slightly out of reach for the foreseeable future, but I can take solace in the fact that other people are doing it, likely better than I ever will.
Fugitive Waves - Cry Me A River
The Kitchen Sisters are the OGs (Original Gangsters) of public radio. Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva craft some of the most engaging documentaries around, using the voices of normal every day people, archival audio, and perfectly placed music. Their projects including The Sonic Memorial Project, The Hidden World of Girls, Hidden Kitchens, and Lost and Found Sound are some of the best examples of what public radio can be both in their mission and execution. Their goal to "create public media and educational programs that work to build community through storytelling" is one they have met successfully for over 30 years winning 2 Peabodys for their work. They find the heart of America (and everywhere else they travel) through work that sounds breathtaking and effortless while being intricately complex at the same time. You can start anywhere with the Kitchen Sisters and you won't be long, but below is one of my favorite episodes from their podcast, which is a collection of some of their best stories.
John Luther Adams - Become Ocean
This music is in touch with nature in a way I'm not sure I could ever be, even if I gave up everything and moved to a cabin in the middle of the woods. Thankfully I don't have to since John Luther Adams (not to be confused with composer John Adams of Nixon in China fame) has already done it for me. Having lived in Alaska for most of his adult life, his music is ethereal and all encompassing, sometimes meant to be performed in a concert hall and sometimes site specific using the land as his instrument. He harnesses the power, not of the single musician, but of the collective, weaving together textures that have no right to exist from man made instruments. In Become Ocean, his pulitzer prize winning piece for symphony orchestra, John Luther Adams finds a way to harness the beauty of the ocean, and the growing fear that it will engulf us as climate change becomes more and more pressing.