Warren Zanes: Rockstar Biographer

December 1, 2023 | 1:11:53

Warren Zanes talks life as a rocker and writer, his new book on Springsteen’s Nebraska, how to weave theory into a great story, and why he narrates his own audiobooks.  Continue reading

Making Radio History (Elena Razlogova)

November 17, 2023 | 1:03:22

Elena Razlogova discusses U.S. radio history, audience research, music recommendation and recognition algorithms, and her current book project, which centers on freeform radio station WFMU and the rise of online music. We also talk about Elena’s research strategies as a historian working in the digital age. Continue reading

The Audiobook’s Century-Long Overnight Success (Matthew Rubery)

November 3, 2023 | 47:49

Today we present the first episode of a miniseries on audiobooks by getting into the history and theory of the medium. Audiobooks are having a moment—and it only took them over a century to get here. Dr. Matthew Rubery, a Harvard PhD and Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London, pioneered the study of the audiobook, its history, and its affordances in literature.  Continue reading

Going Public

October 19, 2023 | 19:26

In this brief opener for Season Six of Phantom Power, Mack discusses his new project of writing a trade press book, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Continue reading

A Philosophy of Echoes with Amit Pinchevski

May 24, 2023 | 00:58:38

Amit Pinchevski challenges the notion that echo is mere repetition. Instead, echo is a generative medium. Just as a baby first learns to speak by repeating the sounds of others, a philosophy of echoes reminds us that our own agency and creativity reside in repetitions that respond to the past. Continue reading

John Cage: Echoes of the Anechoic

April 28, 2023 | 0:26:17

Today we explore the mythology around John Cage’s visit to the anechoic chamber. The chamber was designed to completely eliminate echoes. Ironically, the tale of Cage’s experience in that space has echoed through history, affecting our understanding of silence, sound, and the self. But what do we really know about what happened there? Continue reading

Sonic AI: Steph Ceraso & Hussein Boon

April 17, 2023 | 00:34:12

Today we hear two scholars reading their recent work on artificial intelligence. Steph Ceraso studies the technology of “voice donation,” which provides AI-created custom voices for people with vocal disabilities. Hussein Boon contemplates the future of AI in music via some very short and thought-provoking fiction tales. And we start off the show with Mack reflecting on how hard the post-shutdown adjustment has been for many of us and how that might be feeding into the current AI hype. Continue reading

Words and Silences: The Thomas Merton Hermitage Tapes

March 14, 2023 | 44:58

Musician and sound artist Brian Harnetty breathes new, musical life into the analog meditations of 60s Catholic mystic Thomas Merton. Continue reading