Over the past few years, I've had the privilege of documenting the work of some of the greatest artists in music. From jazz legends to classical luminaries to Broadway's brightest to pop superstars, I've helped shape the story of their life's work - their art - through the podcast. Though a product of the digital revolution, when done with the complete care and attention to the respective subject, the podcast in and of itself, becomes an enduring work of art.
It's no wonder I was drawn to this medium. I grew up with a great affection for FM radio. I not only loved the music but I was also captivated by the passion an insight shared by the DJ's. There was an intimacy to radio - a sense of discovery that came from the aural storytelling. I've always loved great listening. For me, that is the essence of an engaging music podcast. If I can recapture that lost art of listening in these noisy times then I've done my job.
I approach each project as would any storyteller. Like a good film or song or written work, there is always story at its heart. In my work, I attempt to uncover that story and then I get out of the way. As I listen to a brilliant artist share their influences, their inspiration and creative process, the story reveals itself and takes on a life of its own making way for the unexpected. Podcasting allows for free form storytelling and is open to improvisation. There are no rules -- no programming limits.
I want the listener to experience the artist and their music like never before. I want the listener to hear it just as I've heard it -- up close and personal. I want them to hear Stephen Sondheim methodically break down a musical sequence from Sweeney Todd or jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb speak from the heart as he recounts his days backing up John Coltrane -- stories that need to be told and the podcast is my canvas.
The series I produced documenting the work of Miles Davis is one of my personal favorites. It took over a year to complete and I could have easily kept on going. Miles was the quintessential artist. His impact on music and far beyond is immeasurable. This podcast episode features trumpeter Chris Botti as he eloquently sums up the magic of Miles. I hope you enjoy it - all you have to do is listen.