Podcast Episodes

Ep. 16: Soar and Chill (Robin James)

Why do certain musical sounds move us while others leave us cold? Are musical trends simply that—or do they contain insights into the culture at large? Our guest is a musicologist who studies pop and electronic dance music. She’s fascinated by the way EDM privileges timbral and rhythmic complexity over the chord changes and harmonic…

Read More

Ep. 15: Goth Diss (Anna M. Williams)

With My Gothic Dissertation, University of Iowa PhD Anna M. Williams has transformed the dreary diss into a This American Life-style podcast. Williams’ witty writing and compelling audio production allow her the double move of making a critical intervention into the study of the gothic novel, while also making an entertaining and thought-provoking series for non-experts. Williams uses…

Read More

Ep. 14: Resonant Grains (Craig Eley on Carleen Hutchins)

In the 1950s, a schoolteacher named Carleen Hutchins attempted a revolution in how concert violins are made. In this episode, Craig Eley of the Field Noise podcast tells us how this amateur outsider used 18th century science to disrupt the all-male guild tradition of violin luthiers. Would the myth of the never-equaled Stradivarius violin prove…

Read More

Ep 13: Jams Bond (cris cheek)

In an unusual episode, we listen back to field recordings that co-host cris cheek made in 1987 and 1993 on the island of Madagascar. It’s a rich sonic travelogue, with incredible musicians appearing at seemingly every stop along the way. Mack interviews cris, who discusses the strangeness and surprises of listening back to the sounds…

Read More

Ep. 12: A Book Unbound (Jacob Smith)

What would it be like if scholars presented their research in sound rather than in print? Better yet, what if we could hear them in the act of their research and analysis, pulling different historical sounds from the archives and rubbing them against one another in an audio editor? In today’s episode, we get to…

Read More

Ep. 11: Breathing Together (Caroline Bergvall)

Working across and among languages, media, and art forms, Caroline Bergvall’s writing takes form as published poetic works and performance, frequently of sound-driven projects. Her interests include multilingual poetics, queer feminist politics and issues of cultural belonging, commissioned and shown by such institutions as MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Antwerp, and…

Read More

Ep. 10: Animal Control (Mandy-Suzanne Wong, Robbie Judkins, Colleen Plumb)

This week, we examine the sounds humans make in order to monitor, repel, and control beasts. Author Mandy-Suzanne Wong’s Listen, We All Bleed is a creative nonfiction monograph that explores the human-animal relationship through animal-centered sound art. We’ll hear works by Robbie Judkins, Claude Matthews, and Colleen Plumb, interwoven with Wong’s unflinchingly reflective prose. By…

Read More

Ep. 9: A Drummer’s Tale (Charles Hayward)

Charles Hayward is one of the most propulsive, resourceful and generative rock-plus drummers of the past half-century. An influential percussionist, keyboardist, songwriter, singer of songs, and forward thinker through sound, Charles spoke with Phantom Power about a 40thanniversary touring with a partly reformed and enlarged This Heat as This Is Not This Heat, and then opened into…

Read More

Ep. 8: Test Subjects (Mara Mills)

Season Two erupts in our ears with a film-noir soundscape—an eerie voice utters strange and disjointed phrases and echoing footsteps lead to sirens and gunshots. What on Earth are we listening to? We unravel the mystery with NYU media professor Mara Mills  who studies the historical relationship between disability and media technologies.  In Episode 8, “Test…

Read More

Season One Recap

It’s T minus one week and counting until the Launch of Phantom Power Season Two! We can’t wait to share this season’s shows on auditory psychology, animal sound art, radio drama mashups, ritual poetry, and more. As always, we’ll interview performers and scholars at the cutting edge of sound, but you don’t need to be an…

Read More