The Open Ears Project

A daily Music podcast
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Episodes of The Open Ears Project

“I find it lifts me out of wherever I am... I just love it.” For this bonus festive episode, actor Tom Hiddleston fondly reminisces about one of his earliest childhood memories, dancing along to a VHS of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. He re
“The language of music brings out different parts of us. It's universal. It's probably the most important thing with which [we] can make peace.” For the final episode in our opening season of The Open Ears Project, relationship therapist Es
“For me on a chaotic day, where maybe things are out of control or I don't have a lot of control over what's happening... I listen to this on repeat. And it smooths out some of the angular parts of the day.” Producer Krystal Hawes talks about
“There’s a patience that it asks for, and a patience it imparts, and you sort of have to be tall enough to ride this ride.” In this episode, Dessa talks about how when her father played her the “Chaconne” from J.S. Bach’s Partita for Violin i
“It changed my life… I had this revelation, juxtaposing my own privilege and the lucky life I had, compared to what she had gone through.” In this episode, Jesse Eisenberg talks about how a trip to visit family in Poland made him realize how
“It just makes me feel so much, this piece. There’s something happening here that’s so incredibly sweet but also so mournful.”  In this episode, Christopher Wheeldon talks about how he discovered Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev after seeing
“If the lights were on in the audience, listening to this music I would just be flayed open...” Children’s author and television producer Megan Reid talks about how a performance of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain sparked
“Beethoven, the guy who created art to speak to justice and equality. The guy who loved family, you know, so close to his mother — like I am.” WQXR evening host Terrance McKnight talks about a late Beethoven bagatelle and how the composer’s p
“When I was younger, classical music was only played in, like, bookstores... But nowadays you can expose children to the music in a way that allows them just to appreciate [it] without any stereotypes.” In this episode, New York City preschoo
“When I hear that piece playing, my back relaxes, actually. That's where I carry all my stress.” In this episode, Alison talks about how she gave up learning the piano when she was young after the sudden death of her piano teacher, and how the
 "I think that’s the beauty of music, there’s eternity in it. And I think that’s true also of architecture even in ruined architecture, you can see an [eternal] sense of a spirit.” Architect Daniel Libeskind talks about listening to the Toc
“It’s a sad peacefulness that sometimes we all need. When we need to take a breath — just before starting something new.” WQXR’s Jacqui Cheng talks about her journey in finding the Adagio movement from J.S. Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 1. Her in
“There [are] so many emotions in the piece, and so many states of consciousness — there's not one thing. There's an intensity of relationships that unfold over time.” Trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis talks about how Beethoven’s String
“The best children's books have this moment of ‘Why am I here? What am I doing?’ ... And I feel that in this music.” In this episode, Eva talks about how, each evening after finishing her day job at Instagram and spending time with her two yo
“It actually takes you off the ground. You are floating in the clouds, which doesn't make logical sense, but that's what it feels like.” Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard talks about Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and how its emotional pulse
“I think I've learned to not take things so personally through this piece of music.” In this episode, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges discusses the song “When I am laid in earth”, also known as “Dido’s Lament”. It’s a stunning aria from Henry P
“Not only did it change how I listen to music. It absolutely changed how I listen to people.” When Joe Young, army reservist and New York Public Radio receptionist, was stationed in Texas, part of his job in the army band was to play the “Tap
“In a scene of such brutality, to have something of such delicacy must have been a quiet kind of miracle.” Writer Robert Macfarlane remembers how he first read about Chopin’s Berceuse in the wartime diaries of Welsh poet Edward Thomas, whose
“The possibility for you as a listener is to open yourself up enough be taken somewhere that seems far from you.” Nicola Benedetti tells us how as a 10-year-old she first heard the second movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and without k
“For me, this is a melody of truth.” Lee Hill, Director of Public Engagement at New York Public Radio, talks about how “Little's Theme”, from Nicholas Britell’s score for Moonlight, let him find a way to stand in his own truth. Hill connec
“Music defies language in so many ways. One of its joys is that it takes words and direct meaning and narrative out of the equation.” In this episode, Sam Mendes talks about how, when he was looking for music to capture the emotional dissonan
“Great music transcends time... everything. No matter where this came from, happiness is happiness.” In this episode, actor, comedienne, and podcaster Rachel “La Loca” Strauss-Muñiz talks about sharing Mozart’s First Piano Sonata with her bab
“It's more just about feeling the wealth of greatness and the depth of humanity that these things that I love really harbor.” In this episode, musician, composer, and bandleader Jon Batiste talks about revisiting Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite
“It transports me back into this bedroom that I had as a kid. Sitting in my bay window, overlooking the field, leading up to the forest. There's nothing else out there.” Opera singer Jamie Barton grew up in an isolated rural community in no
“She loved the interaction of what a conversation is, and that's what chamber music is — it’s talking to people with your instruments.” In this episode, conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen talks about Franz Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1. It was
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