On February 11, 2022, Agile Vocalist celebrates its one-year anniversary. Here (hear!) is a look back on the journey and the shifts along the way.
Celebrate and Test Your Knowledge: Take the Quiz
Between now and and March 4, 2022 you are invited to explore, be entertained (or edutained) by the anniversary quiz. Anyone who knows a bit about music, is observant or can make intelligent guesses can win. This quiz is for listeners AND non-listeners alike! You’ll learn about my first year guests!
Answer just 6 (or more) questions out of 20 and you can be entered in a drawing to win beautiful podcast swag (it will need to be mailed, U.S. locations only- sorry!), Girl Scout Cookies & fun things.
Producer’s mini-FAQ: What does a podcast about sound have to do with Girl Scout Cookies?
Answer: Absolutely nothing! I’m supporting two young women’s cookie sales this spring and spreading the love from your ears to your mouth—because it’s fun, because I can, and because the timing is right.
Life’s Natural Sound Studios: the Shower & the Car
Agile Vocalist’s public story is that it began in a drought and in our bathroom, the ultimate sound studio. The concept name? Wasting Water. I knew that my most creative, uninhibited places were the shower and the car. I wanted to find out if that was true for others. For 60% of my guests, it absolutely was. I also found exciting research about music’s connection to memory and brain science, as well as with the connection between positive mental health and bathing.
Top Episodes and Firsts
Within the first month of my inaugural episode recorded on December 17th 2020 with Joshua Silverstein (his audio was great, mine was terrible), I decided every episode would also be publicly available on YouTube. Agile Vocalist was publicly launched on February 11, 2021. By October of 2021, I had syndicated all 12 episodes to podcast. As Covid-19 waned, sort of, I was also able to do my interviews in person- for that I’m grateful!
I’m amazed and humbled by more than 1600 listens from people in 37 countries across all channels for this first season! My most popular episodes were:
- A two-part conversation with Vidya Srinivasan who sang us a primer about Indian classical music in 4 languages.
- My conversation with Joshua Silverstein where I asked him for an impromptu vocal soundscape and later made guest performance something I included in every episode (in spoken or written word, instruments, singing, etc.)
- My two-part conversation with music-thanatologist Jennifer Hollis who taught us about music vigils, performances at the bedside of the dying and her research and subsequent book addressing the unrealized power of music and sound in medical settings.
More Interview Highlights
My guests taught all of us so many things including:
- Multiple flavors of gospel music. British octogenarian singer, writer, and visual artist Opal Nations played and sang us the sounds of clanka lanka gospel. Longtime Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir vocalist, Mary Ford taught us how she was merely a messenger for the divine.
- Real history of women contributors to the birth of the blues. Producer and vocalist Pamela Rose who gave us the history of her work producing two shows in homage to women composers and black women artists who aren’t often credited enough for their significant contributions to bringing the blues to life.
- The possibility of making music on the internet in real-time. Audio engineer Brian Walker took us on his own journey learning and implementing the JackTrip hardware solution.
- The blessing of being in person, including my conversation with Justin James mixing it up for me on his turntable.
Diverse and Unheard Voices, Including Mine
While many of my guests were Caucasian, I found passionate people and unusual stories everywhere. I tried and will continue trying to empower and raise awareness of BIPOC history and artists as well as the struggle women in sound have faced. I also dipped my toe into compact audio memoir, a fancy term for putting my own personal sound stories out there. The Screaming Fields episode was experimental and taught me a lot.
A Timely Tribute and Labor of Love for the Arts
Most of all, Agile Vocalist is a labor of love born deep in the 2020 pandemic. Despite some health challenges, I am continuing into 2022 and I encourage you to stay tuned to this site or to my mailing list for more anniversary celebrations beyond my fun and entertaining quiz!