Podcast Episodes

Ep. 26: Lightning Birds (Jacob Smith)

Today we present the first episode of Jacob Smith’s new eco-critical audiobook, Lightning Birds: An Aeroecology of the Airwaves. In this audio-only book, Smith uses expert production to craft a wildly original argument about the relations between radio and bird migration. The rest of the book is available, free of charge, from The University of…

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Ep. 25: For Some Odd Reason (Kate Carr)

Today’s guest, Kate Carr, is an accomplished sound artist and field recordist whose recent work grapples with issues of communication and longing—themes we can all relate to in the Covid era.  In part one of the show, we mark Phantom Power’s three-year anniversary and 25th episode. Mack does a little thinking out loud about the different kinds of…

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Ep. 24: Voice of Yoko (Amy Skjerseth on Yoko Ono)

Today, Phantom Power‘s Amy Skjerseth brings us the story of perhaps the most famous vocal performance artist and avant-garde musician whose actual work probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves: Yoko Ono. Collaborator with the Fluxus group in the early 60s, creator of performances such as Cut Piece and her Bed In with John Lennon…

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Ep. 23: Forest Listening Rooms (Brian Harnetty)

What would happen if you took red state rural voters on a walk into the woods with left-wing environmental activists and experimental music fans? Our guest this episode knows the answer. BRIAN HARNETTY is a composer and an interdisciplinary artist using sound and listening to foster social change.  While Brian studied composition at the Royal…

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Ep. 22: HEY, ROBOT! (Frank Lantz)

Today, we’re playing with voice assistants and thinking about the role of voices in gaming with our guest, game designer and NYU professor Frank Lantz.  Over the past nightmare year of the coronavirus, many of us have been hunkered down, trying to figure out how to pass the time with our families. Board game sales…

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Ep. 21: A Life Based on an Experiment (Siavash Amini)

Episode 21 presents a portrait of Iranian experimental composer Siavash Amini. His music, which moves seamlessly between contemplative ambience, menacing dissonance, and spacious melodicism, has been released on experimental imprints such as Umor Rex and Room40. His latest, A Mimesis of Nothingness, just came out on the Swiss label Hallow Ground.   Siavash tells host Mack…

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Ep. 20: What is Radio Art (Colin Black)

What is radio art? It’s a rather unfamiliar term in the United States, but in other countries, it’s a something of an artistic tradition. Today’s guest, Dr. Colin Black  is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning radio artist and composer. He speaks to us about his practice as a radio artist and the influence the Australian radio…

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Ep. 19: Under Construction

It’s been a minute, so in this short episode, we update you on what’s happening with Phantom Power and what’s coming in 2020. The big (and sad) news is that co-host cris cheek is departing. After two years of lending his unique voice, ideas, and turns of phrase to the show–not to mention producing fantastic…

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Ep. 18: Screwed and Chopped (Re-cast)

Today we re-cast one of our favorite episodes, an interview with folklorist and Houston native Langston Collin Wilkins, who studies “slab” culture and the “screwed and chopped” hip hop that rattles the slabs and serves as the culture’s soundtrack. Since the 1990s, many of Houston’s African American residents have customized cars and customized the sound…

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Ep. 17: The Sounds of Silents

What did going to the movies sound like back in the “silent film” era? The answer takes us on a strange journey through Vaudeville, roaming Chautauqua lectures, penny arcades, nickelodeons, and grand movie palaces. As our guest In today’s episode, pioneering scholar of film sound, Rick Altman, tells us, the silent era has a lot…

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