Episode #638

Backdrop, Bass, Aimee Mann

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kurt Andersen and Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman pull back the curtains on the usually invisible techniques artists use to make a scene or character or tune more powerful. We’ll visit a master artist who spends her time repainting classic works with the key figures removed. And we’ll learn how bass players are able to switch with ease from staying in the background to stepping in the spotlight. And Aimee Mann stops by the studio to perform and talk about her music.


Rachel Portman

Special Guest: Rachel Portman

Rachel Portman visits Kurt to talk about what's in the background — how scenery, scoring, and props change the art around us.

Portman has composed music for dozens of films including Cider House Rules, Chocolat, The Joy Luck Club, and Jonathan Demme's Manchurian Candidate. Her newest score is for Roman Polanski's ...


HDTV Takes the Scenic Route

Set designers for television always want their sets to look good — whether a police precinct, fake emergency room, or news magazine backdrop — but they never want them to upstage the performers in the foreground. As Dave Johns discovered, these days the super-sharp resolution of high definition television is making ...


Bass is Beautiful

It used to be in popular music that you'd feel the bass line more than hear it. Today's bass players have to balance their crucial supporting role with increasing duties as a soloist. Bill Leigh of Bass Player magazine and Victor Wooten, a virtuoso of the ...


Mona Lisa Has Left the Painting

Sophie Matisse is a New York artist who has been reproducing masterpieces by great painters like Vermeer, da Vinci, Velasquez, and even by her great grandfather Henry Matisse. But her reproductions leave out the crucial people and objects that are supposed to be the focus of our attention. Studio 360's ...


How Art Works: Illustrate This

Jason Holley is a successful editorial illustrator, a hybrid of artist and commentator. Dennis Nishi followed Holley's work on a recent New York Times Magazine article to find out what it’s like to paint nonfiction on deadline.


Aimee Mann

Studio 360's Eric Molinsky has been following Aimee Mann's career since he was a kid. He had a chance to speak with Mann when she visited our studio to perform songs from her new album, The Forgotten Arm.


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