Written and produced by Tom Voegli, and produced by Minnesota Public Radio in association with the San Francisco Symphony and its music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, this lovely 13-part radio series "tells the story of the distinctly American music that grew along with the country." Part of this essential story is the music of such iconoclastic tradition-breaking composers as Charles Ives, Henry Brant, Laurie Anderson, John Cage, and many others. The programs are hosted by noted musical innovator and performer Suzanne Vega and may be listened to their entirety here on the site. The first program explores the questions: What is music? What is noise? Each program has its own separate webpage, which allows visitors to learn more about each composer mentioned in the show, listen to the complete versions of each piece of music from the program, and provides links to extended interviews with selected composers. The interactive features offered here for visitors are simply inimitable, as visitors may play the instruments of the musicologist Harry Partch, experiment with the spatial separation techniques that were so compelling to Charles Ives, and play a virtual rhythmicon modeled on the actual machine built by Leon Theremin in 1931. Designed to be edifying, entertaining, and inspirational, visitors will want to visit this website numerous times to explore all of its various facets.
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