Le Guess Who? presents ‘The Big Playback’, a conversational, in-depth podcast about all things music. In ‘The Big Playback’, host Margaret Munchheimer talks to musicians, scholars, record label owners, and music managers and delves into different topics exploring individual and collective musical experiences. You can now listen to the first of three episodes, about the relation between music and spirituality, and the community that it generates.
Episode 1 of ‘The Big Playback’ is titled Is Music A Religion? This first episode investigates how music and spirituality are inextricably intertwined and takes a closer look at the transcendent experience of live music, the re-enactment of its rituals, connection and belonging. It examines what it means to be a part of the music community, from the maker to the listener – the spectrum of ways music affects us, from the individual to the collective, which can be both a social glue and a vehicle for transcendence.
The episode centers around conversations with three guests: Brian Collins (Chair of Indian Religion and Philosophy, Ohio University), Sanae Yamada (Moon Duo, Vive La Void) and Yale Evelev (Luaka Bop Records). You can listen to the first episode of ‘The Big Playback’ below or via your favorite podcast app.
As an actively lecturing professor, music lover and record collector who often writes articles about religion and popular culture on the side, Brian Collins takes us through the various aspects of Indian philosophy and religion which were incorporated into popular music in the 60’s, giving birth to a radical psychedelic culture which lead to so many modern musical genres of today.
Sanae Yamada is a Portland-based artist, composer, musician and writer, who plays keyboard in the bands Moon Duo as well as her solo project Vive La Void. As an investigator into many spiritual traditions, from buddhism and meditation to feminist anthropology, Yamada takes on the question Is Music A Religion? from the perspective of someone who, for over a decade, has been active within a scene which glamorizes spirituality without necessarily practicing it.
Founded in 1989, Luaka Bop Records boasts a rather mysterious catalogue, the crown jewels of which are often archival projects of artists who have already passed on, or rarely still play live. While their releases include the likes of Alice Coltrane, Tim Maia, William Onyeabor, as well as the upcoming Pharoah Sanders and Floating Points album, Yale Evelev speaks about his process and philosophy behind the World Spirituality Classics series, and why he views himself as merely a conduit for the music, in his work.
Host of 'The Big Playback' is Margaret Munchheimer, an American visual artist and writer living in the Netherlands, and veteran Le Guess Who? supporter since 2012.