Steve Seel

Steve Seel possesses a broad knowledge of many musical genres, having hosted radio programs ranging from classical to jazz and even avant-garde music at public radio stations around the country. Steve came to Minnesota Public Radio in 1999 to be a part of its nationally-syndicated classical music programming. In 2005, he became one of the founding voices on MPR's eclectic station The Current, and has hosted various time slots from mornings to late nights, and conducted in-depth interviews with pop music luminaries ranging from Brian Eno to David Byrne to Tori Amos. Steve is an avid reader of political and social commentary as well, and he emcees The Current's popular Policy and a Pint community series, featuring discussions with noted scholars, politicians, community leaders, authors and big thinkers on important issues of the day. Steve is also a basement composer obsessed with all things both minimalist and slow, and might actually be incapable of writing anything that exceeds 75 beats-per-minute.

Stories

Extra Eclectic: An American Mirror

Derrick Spiva is an American composer who integrates musical practices from cultures around the world into his works. He's an authority on Persian, Balkan, Hindustani, and West African music, in addition to having traditional western classical training. Fittingly, his work "American Mirror" centers around the theme of immigrants, and how "inter-cultural collaboration," as he says, is "central to the well-being of American society." Steve Seel showcases Spiva's work on this week's program.

Extra Eclectic: Things That Aren't There

Sometimes, illusions are more powerful than reality. That's part of the undercurrent of several of the works on this week's show. Steve Seel features Scott Wollschleger's "We See Things That Are Not There," Brendon Randall-Myers' "Auras" from his "Dynamic of Vanishing Bodies," and Nico Muhly's "Seeing Is Believing," based on how ancient sky-observers saw shapes, animals, and objects in the heavens -- by grouping the stars into constellations.

Extra Eclectic: Aboriginal Dreaming

In native Australian culture, the Dreaming is a term devised by early anthropologists to refer to a religious cultural worldview attributed to Aboriginal beliefs. Since the term's inception, there's been argument as to whether or not it accurately reflects true Aboriginal culture, or is merely a western misunderstanding of them. Either way, today it's part of the lexicon in popular culture when describing Aboriginal mysticism, and thus, an attractive and interesting concept to Australian musicians and composers as well. Steve Seel explores some on this week's show.

Extra Eclectic: Stillness and Motion

Composer Kyle Sanna says that the best still photographs tell a story about motion. He wanted to pay tribute to that quality in music, and he called his piece, "Sequence for Minor White" - named after one of the most influential American photographers of the mid-20th century. Steve Seel features that work on this week's episode, played by the quartet Brooklyn Rider. In the second hour, Steve explores works that embody a sense of stillness and motion at the same time.

Extra Eclectic: Philip Glass' Latest Piano Concerto

Philip Glass wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 for pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who is universally known for her interpretations of Bach. In 2016, Glass saw Dinnerstein perform a concert of his piano etudes, and he instantly knew she was the pianist for whom he wanted to write his new work. Steve Seel features that concerto as the centerpiece of the first hour of this week's show, which also features works on the subject of birds by composers John Luther Adams and Somei Satoh.

Extra Eclectic: Meditations on Time

While Michael Gandolfi's "Imaginary Numbers" uses mathematical concepts as the centerpiece of the first hour, music about time and its passing make up a philosophical second hour on this week's program. Steve Seel shares Jason Thomas' "Time's Timeless," Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir's "Clockworking" and Bartosz Chajdecki's "Clockwork," and Norman Dello Joio's "Meditations on Ecclesiastes" offers a path to meaning amidst our powerlessness to stop time.