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Vraidden von Strykenbach is a self-taught composer and pianist, and a good friend of The Glenn Gould Foundation. His grandfather was a member of the Tahltan First Nation in British Columbia, and Vraidden experienced an abusive childhood and spent his teen years living with poverty, homelessness, trauma and despair. Meet this extraordinary man and artist, as he recounts how he discovered the power of music, taught himself to play and compose, and in so doing, transformed his life. Vraidden's message of hope carries the powerful lesson that none of us is without value and each possesses the potential to bring beauty into the world, no matter how afflicted their situation.
Legendary musician Loreena McKennitt sat down with The Gould Standard to recount the journey for her illustrious career that has taken her from Morden, Manitoba to the far reaches of the globe. Known for her unique blend of Celtic, Middle Eastern, haunting melodies and poetic lyrics, she reveals her early inspirations and the vast array of cultures and musical traditions that have influenced her work over the years. McKennitt is not only a masterful storyteller and multi-instrumentalist but a music-biz whiz. She founded her own record label that allowed her to maintain creative control of her music and be involved in production, marketing and distribution of her albums.
Best-selling novelist Charles Palliser is best known for his debut novel, The Quincunx, a vast mystery set in Regency England that deftly combines Dickensian elements with contemporary techniques such as the use of unreliable narrators. Published in 1989, after 12 years of research and writing, this 800 page tour de force became an international best-seller. The Anglo-American Palliser was praised for his intricate plotting, vivid characters, and a portrayal of London in the early 19th century so shockingly realistic that Dickens wouldn’t have dared expose social conditions with such brutal honesty. Palliser has published four other successful novels including Betrayals, The Unburied and Rustication. Palliser’s newest novel Sufferance is projected for release near the end of 2023.
Award-winning science fiction writer, blogger and activist Cory Doctorow rallies the creative class against an ever-expanding industry of monopolies and monopsonies. Co-written by Australian scholar Rebecca Giblin, Chokepoint Capitalism unveils the tricks Big Tech and Big Content use to lock-in users and suppliers, eliminate competition, and extort creators and producers, and extract value so that artists can’t survive and audiences pay through the nose. Doctorow shares his thoughts on how we can recapture creative labor markets to make them fairer and more sustainable.
This month we talk to acclaimed children’s author Sarah Ellis and Illustrator Nancy Vo, who made the life story of Glenn Gould accessible to a younger audience through their new children’s book, As Glenn as Can Be. Sarah Ellis is an acclaimed Canadian children’s author of over 20 books and has won numerous prizes, including the Governor General’s Literary Award and TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. For “As Glenn as Can Be,” she teamed up with the talented artist Nancy Vo to bring to life the story of Gould’s childhood in Toronto during the 1930s, to present a moving portrait of a solitary, deeply creative child who experiences the world differently from his peers, and finds liberating solutions to his challenges through technology. Go behind the scenes and listen to the thought and process behind the beautiful illustrations and story of the book and discover musical easter eggs hidden in the pictures.
Legendary trumpeter, composer and educator Wynton Marsalis takes us on a journey through his early life and formative influences. He discusses his evolution into one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time, how he learned to love the pioneers of jazz, his triumphs as the director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, his experiences with classical music and how he brought all these elements together brilliantly in his own boundary-breaking compositions.
The outstanding Canadian stage and film actor Colm Feore is among the most accomplished Shakespearean performers of our time, but has appeared as everything from a mad scientist (Gotham) to a Frost Giant of Jotunheim (Thor) and from German rocket scientist Werner von Braun (For All Mankind) to a Renaissance Pope (The Borgias). Colm shares fascinating insights into his remarkable career, including his preparation for this year’s Stratford production of Richard III, as well as his incandescent portrayal of Glenn Gould in Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould.
Kevin Bazzana is the world’s leading authority on Glenn Gould, and one of the most perceptive, wry and interesting commentators on music anywhere. The author of the Gould biography Wondrous Strange and the past editor of Glenn Gould Magazine, he joins us for an insightful conversation about Gould, his continuing impact on the arts, and the significance of his 90th birth anniversary. This is another special episode celebrating GlennGould@90.
Glenn Gould was propelled to stardom by his 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. After a lifetime of study and contemplation, and in anticipation of his 50th birthday, Gould decided to return for another trip to the summit of this musical Everest. His radical rethinking of the Goldbergs became a new masterpiece, admired by music-lovers around the world. It was also a valedictory statement: released on his 50th birthday, the album preceded the stroke that would end Gould’s life by a few days, a tragic bookend to a storied musical life. As Sony Classical releases a brand new 11-CD set of the complete 1981 Goldbergs session material, we talk with two consummate musical minds who were there with Gould during the creation of the recording: distinguished composer and producer Richard Einhorn, who was part of the production team, and Gould’s friend and Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, Tim Page. Enjoy these amazing insights into Gould's life and work as we revisit the birth of a legend in the annals of recording.
Join us for an inside look at the making of a Canadian film classic, 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, which was shot 30 years ago. Renowned film, theatre and opera director François Girard is joined by actor, screenwriter and director Don McKellar as they reveal the creative process behind one of the most memorable and structurally daring works about a musician ever committed to film—their inimitable portrait of Glenn Gould. Listen to their conversation on why Glenn Gould continues to be a powerful artistic presence in their lives and imaginations, four decades after his death. This episode continues our series of GlennGould@90 podcasts celebrating the 90th anniversary of Gould’s birth in 2022.
New from Tapestry Opera, Gould’s Wall is a contemporary opera from Canadian composer Brian Current. This audacious work invokes Glenn Gould’s dizzying pursuit of artistic perfection, defying expectations as well as gravity by literally shifting the plane of reality from horizontal to vertical. Featuring composer Brian Current, librettist Liza Balkan, director Philip Akin, and Tapestry Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Hidetoshi Mori, this special conversation contemplates art in its highest forms.
In a special encore presentation, we’re highlighting one of our most popular episodes with Laurie Anderson and Bob Ezrin, originally published in February 2021. Two of the most transformative musical forces of our time—Laurie Anderson and super-producer Bob Ezrin—sit down for a talk with host Brian Levine. This intimate conversation is one of old friends reminiscing on career highlights, the creative passions that drive them and, of course, their shared love of Lou Reed. Listen to Laurie and Bob's remarkable stories of days past, thoughtful perspectives on our current moment, and plans for future collaboration.
In the annals of world cinema, a select group of artists—the composers of film music—have earned a special place of honour. Their work unlocks the inner emotions of films, builds suspense, and drives the action in masterpieces as well as mass market franchise features. In this select company, Howard Shore holds a unique position. His creations showcase immense psychological depth, and his stylistic range spans collaborations with directors such as David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton and Peter Jackson. Howard spoke with us about the four distinct careers he’s had over the past few decades. He was a member of pioneering Canadian jazz-rock fusion band Lighthouse, then the first Music Director at Saturday Night Live. He became a composer of serious concert works and, finally, wrote some of the most memorable music in film history. This conversation covers it all, including his ascent of that musical Everest: the many hours of unforgettable orchestral and choral music created for The Lord of the Rings.
Jordi Savall is the greatest living specialist in Early Music. As a conductor, composer, and viola de gamba player, he studies music pre-dating Bach, performed with its specific instruments and styles. Savall has placed his passionate stamp on a repertoire spanning 1,300 years and ranging across Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa and the Americas. From rocking dance rhythms to sacred splendour, Savall makes the peoples of these distant times and cultures come alive again, sharing their joys and sorrows with us, and demonstrating that nothing human is ever beyond our empathy. In this rare conversation, the UNESCO Artist for Peace discusses his 50 years of bringing forgotten worlds to life.
In Part II of our conversation with pianist and YouTube sensation Nahre Sol, we explore how she creates her hugely successful online content. Nahre also dives deep into her stint as a PBS cohost, the creative process underpinning her debut album, and the triumphs and tribulations involved in her daily life as an artist and creator. In a tribute to Glenn Gould on his upcoming 90th birth anniversary, Nahre displays the wit and grace that have made her a favourite among piano-philes and music lovers everywhere.
Nahre Sol is a real pathfinder. A classically trained pianist, she has swapped the concert stage for a very different platform, becoming a hit YouTuber with over 460,000 subscribers. Now a successful composer and broadcaster, Nahre breathes fresh life into the classics with her blend of wit, musical brilliance and incisive explorations of everything from musical styles to mini-concerts on toy pianos. In this first part of an expansive interview, Nahre discusses her classical training and transition to multimedia forms of creative expression, as well as her wide range of musical influences.
Academy Award-winning director of ground-breaking documentaries such as Roger and Me and Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore joins us for a revealing conversation about the early experiences that shaped his worldview. As a kid growing up in Flint, Michigan, Michael learned about standing up for his principles, resisting censorship, corruption and greed, and battling systemic injustice. Long before he shot his first foot of film, he was telling stories as a way to speak publicly about uncomfortable, political issues. Here, he talks about the uneasy balance between navigating teenage insecurity and finding the grit to become an activist—as well as his special relationship with Canada.
Gene Kelly remains one of the most beloved and iconic stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, renowned for his dancing and singing in musicals such as An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain and On the Town to Brigadoon. But Gene Kelly was also a hugely influential innovator, who transformed dance on the screen from tie-and-tails elegance to an everyman art form infused with athleticism and combining classical, folk and popular styles. His groundbreaking contributions to choreography and direction had a huge impact on musical theatre, contemporary dance and filmmaking, setting the stage for the work of Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. As an actor, singer and dancer, he projected a persona that audiences loved, could identify with and root for, even while being dazzled by his spectacular production numbers. Patricia Ward Kelly, Gene’s widow, gives a personal view on their relationship, his contributions to cinema, and her ongoing work celebrating his legacy.
In a career studded with dramatic and directorial milestones, Sir Kenneth Branagh has scored an artistic triumph with his most personal film ever, Belfast—the fictionalized story of his own childhood amidst the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In this candid and wide-ranging conversation, the virtuoso actor-director takes us inside his exploration of childhood under siege, along with other career highlights, including his lifelong love-affair with the works of William Shakespeare.
Kat von D, by any measure, is one-of-a-kind. One of the world’s most celebrated tattoo artists, Kat defies the idea that while life is short, art is forever, choosing a medium that is inherently perishable: the human body. She rose to fame for her starring appearances on two popular TV shows, Miami Ink and LA Ink, and parlayed that recognition into a wildly successful entrepreneurial career through her line of makeup, simultaneously becoming both an alternative fashion icon and a social media sensation. Music has always been central to her creative inspiration, and while her image evokes the worlds of punk, metal and goth, she is equally devoted to the classical piano, citing Beethoven and Glenn Gould among her heroes. We caught up with Kat on the eve of the release of her first album, “Love Made Me Do It,” for a conversation ranging from her modest beginnings to her rise to fame and her new musical adventures.
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