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.

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Sonos

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.

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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 ...

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Bonus Track: "Tell Me"

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

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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.

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Web Bonus:
Richard Powers reads

The author reads an excerpt from Generosity: An Enhancement.

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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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