Recently, a colleague turned me onto the Song Exploder podcast, which is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway. The show premise is straightforward: Where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.
Hirway takes a deep dive into a single song and often breaks things down even more by diving into specific tracks from the original recording session. Each episode is right around 15 minutes and while there is the occasional classical musician, the bulk of content focuses on rock and pop artists. An ideal example of this is the episode featuring House of Cards composer, Jeff Beal. Its fascinating hearing him talk over a single track of the open credits piece and how, in conjunction with the director, it contributed to an overall structure.
It would be fascinating to adopt this format to feature new classical music by living composers. Take a single movement from a recording, extract each track and dive into the why. Having a series dedicated to Film and Television music would be fabulous as well.
I can think of several people who would be wonderful hosts: classical music super fan Jonathan Becker, composers Alex Shapiro, Kenji Bunch or George S. Clinton, conductors Bruce Kiesling or Bill Eddins, acoustician Christopher Blair, timpanist Jason Haaheim, and violinist Holly Mulcahy. In fact, it would be cool to rotate hosts per season in order to give the show more variety and cast as wide a net as possible into the world of living composers.
There’s the idea, now someone can get out there and run with it.