Episode #1043

Richard Powers, A Cappella, Squier

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Studio 360 Episode 1043, Richard Powers, A Capella, Squier Ran Ortner working on his winning painting, a 19-foot-wide oil painting called "Open Water no. 24" (Xavier Guardans)

An oil painter is the $250,000 winner of ArtPrize. A cappella gets its due: the Yale Whiffenpoofs celebrate their centennial and Sonos, the harmonizing indie group, performs live in the studio. And in the only radio interview he's doing for his new book, "Generosity: An Enhancement," the novelist Richard Powers finds his muse in genetic engineering.

Grand Rapids Idol

At this fall's ArtPrize -- the massive visual arts contest in Grand Rapids, Michigan -- 37,000 members of the public voted for their favorite work. A 19-foot-wide oil painting, "Open Water no. 24," beat out more than 1,200 entries. Kurt spoke to winner Ran Ortner about ...

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100 Years of Whiffenpoofs

Every year at Yale, 14 male seniors are tapped to sing in an elite a cappella group called the Whiffenpoofs. Their repertoire ranges from Cole Porter to Gladys Knight, and they perform around the world. In early October, 600 Whiffenpoof alumni (aged 22-92) gathered in New Haven for ...

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Web Bonus: What is a Whiffenpoof?

Hear how the Whiffenpoofs got their strange name.



Sonos takes a creative detour when it comes to a cappella. The L.A.-based indie outfit favors Radiohead, Björk, and Fleet Foxes for its unlikely harmonies. Kurt talks with the group and they perform live in the studio –- unaccompanied, of course.

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Bonus Track: "Joga"

Sonos performs the song (by Björk) live in Studio 360.


Aha Moment: Billy Squier

Indie rocker Mitch Davis recently got to collaborate with his childhood idol: 80's guitar hero Billy Squier. Davis performs as Orba Squara -- his new album features Squier and brings everything full circle. Produced by Studio 360's Derek ...


Bonus Track: "Tell Me"

Orba Squara performs the song live in Studio 360, from the forthcoming album The Trouble with Flying.


Richard Powers

For years Richard Powers has based his novels on challenging ideas and controversies from modern science. His latest is Generosity: An Enhancement -- Powers tells Kurt how he came to the story of an inexplicably happy young woman and the genetic engineer who wants her secret.

Comments [2]

Web Bonus:
Richard Powers reads

The author reads an excerpt from Generosity: An Enhancement.


The War At Home

British artist Jeremy Deller created the traveling art exhibit "It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq" to get (and keep) people talking about the Iraq War. It's on view now at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Produced by Josie Holtzman.


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