Arts and Culture

Mushroom music

Mushrooms have inspired scientists, chefs and even musicians. Mycologist Lawrence Millman says they’ve also inspired a few composers, including Vaclav Halek and John Cage.More

A drawing of a carving by Charles Edenshaw in the late 1800s depicting the Haida myth of the origin of women. Fungus Man is paddling the canoe with Raven in the bow in search of female genitalia. (Courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago)

The Haida First Nation people in British Columbia have a myth about the origin of humanity coming from "Fungus Man." And that myth contains plenty of truth.More

Nikka and Strings

When Nikka Costa was ten, she was a pop sensation in Europe. In her 20s, she was Britney Spear’s opening act. But she’s left pop music behind and now she’s performing songs by some of the musicians she’s known, including Prince and Frank Sinatra.More

Philip Glass

Philip Glass the avant-garde composer has composed operas, symphonies, film scores. He also wrote a memoir called “Words Without Music.”More

Caryn McKechnie didn’t like high school, but now she’s a college senior working on her teaching certificate. She went back to her high school to interview her favorite teacher. And that teacher? He left the public schools altogether.More

Evelyn Glennie (Caroline Purday)

Evelyn Glennie is an award winning solo percussionist and composer who performs with great orchestras and popular artists. She's also deaf. She talks with Steve Paulson about touching sound.More

Toni Blackman

When it comes to crossing musical borders, hip hop artist Toni Blackman has crossed so many and traveled so far, she ended up at the US State Department as its first ever Hip Hop Ambassador. Here’s what she sounded like live in our studio.More

Jazz pianist Robert Glasper started messing around with hip hop. What emerged was a casserole of R&B, jazz, hip hop, and even rock and roll.More

Dictators who are also authors

When they weren’t committing mass murder, many of the noteworthy authoritarian leaders of the 20th century wrote books. Terrible books. Journalist Daniel Kalder read all of them.More

From Vivienne's Shadow Walk in Venice

 Sound artist Vivienne Corringham takes us on one of her "shadow walks," where she records local spaces and how they affect the people who live there, then "sings the walk" through vocal improvisations.More

Well, maybe not all of them. But we'd like to get there! In "Listening to the City" we travel from New York to Los Angeles to Jacksonville to Baltimore and beyond, seeking to better understand the urban environment through some seriously close listening. More

headphones in the city

Composer, environmental philosopher and guest producer David Rothenberg teaches us how to deeply listen to urban spaces.More

gas station

Can you hear racism and intolerance? Jennifer Stoever can when she listens to the “sonic color line” — a way to hear racial division, how it’s reinforced and maintained, by whom and why, and at what cost. 
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Amanda Shires

While pregnant with her first child, Amanda Shires was playing fiddle on the road for her husband, the country superstar, Jason Isbell. Near the end of her pregnancy, touring got to be too much. So she stayed home, alone, for weeks… with nothing to do but write songs.More

 The Great Lakes mobile, by Melanie Ariens

Melanie Ariens has become known for her water-themed art, a focus of her combined loves of art and environmental activism. She uses mostly recycled materials to make art that makes people think about the Great Lakes, the rivers, and the water we drink.More

Jacqueline Woodson

Author Jacqueline Woodson writes the kind of “black girl narrative” that didn’t exist when she was younger — and she’s always wished she had to read.More

Potato gleaners in France

Influential French New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda has passed away at 90. She died of breast cancer in her home in Paris. In 2002, Steve spoke to her about her seminal work "The Gleaners and I."More

Zoe Quinn

Game developer Zoe Quinn on how her game "Depression Quest" brought a torrent of harassment and abuse to her doorstep. She tells Anne about the steps she took to protect herself, and why she's still optimistic about the potential for living and working online.More

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