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audio & radio

Listening with our ears engages us fully and deeply. It’s intimate and taps into the magic of storytelling, whether the story is told in words or music, or a combination of the two. I make compelling audio programs—producing, programming, hosting, editing, engineering, mixing, sound designing, and writing—and I’ve been doing it for more than 30 years. 

As a challenge to see what I could do with the form, I wrote, directed, and produced “Bitterly Cold,” a three-minute audio play. In December, 2016, it was declared the winner of The Sarah Awards’ Very, Very, Short Short Story audio fiction competition.

My weekly eclectic music show Spinning On Air broadcast on WNYC New York Public Radio from 1987 to 2015. As producer/host, I arranged, researched, and conducted interviews with musicians, authors, and artists ranging from obscure to famous—including pop/rock/folk musicians well-established and just starting out, top classical musicians, Oscar-winning film music composers, jazz performers, and avant-garde musicians. Episodes like “The World’s Most-Used Musical Sequence” or “The Hawaiian War Chant Extravaganza” meshed insight, illumination, and discovery—and often a sense of fun.

I also originated, hosted, and produced the weekly show of film music Movies on the Radio on WQXR New York Public Radio, which included interviews with film score composers and world-premier broadcasts of significant film music; and a weekly show of early music, Old School, also on WQXR. I was on-air host of classical music on WQXR from 2010 to 2015, and hosted and programmed a nightly show of wide-ranging music, Evening Music (aka Evening Muse), on WNYC from 1990 to 2010. I’ve hosted many live broadcasts and events, from Carnegie Hall to CBGB’s Gallery.

david garland spinning on air on the roof of the NYC municipal building

“Broadcasting” was originally a seed-sowing agricultural term, and whenever I broadcast music I wonder where it might take root and grow. In 2003 Oscar-winning animator Gene Deitch joined me on Spinning On Air to present, among other things, a striking song he documented in the 1950s. It was “One By One” by an obscure songwriter named Connie Converse, and it had never been broadcast before. We sent it out on the airwaves, inviting people to listen carefully to its quiet, devastating beauty. Since then, awareness of Converse’s music has grown. Here’s a special I produced in 2009 that tells her poignant story. 

For more information, or to discuss possible audio projects, contact me.

Hear some of my Spinning On Air shows on NPR.

Here’s the Spinning On Air archive on wnyc.org (audio is not included)

I took many photos of my in-studio guests. View them on Flickr

I also filmed a lot of guests’ performances. View some of those on YouTube, and here on my video page

Spinning On Air guests
Spinning On Air guests

Akron/Family • Michael D. Anderson • Angels of Light • Animal Collective • Antony & The Johnsons • Apothecary Hymns • Arlt • Arborea • Mark David Ashworth • Ed Askew • Au Revoir Simone • Meg Baird • Nat Baldwin • Devendra Banhart • Ann Bannon (author) • Kevin Barker • John Barry • Les Baxter • Steve Beresford • Noah Berman • Bernice • Elmer Bernstein • Don Bikoff • Bitch • Iva Bittova • James Blackshaw • Hal Blaine • Jordyn Blakely • Oren Bloedow • May Boeve (activist) • The Books • Jeff Bond • Mx Justin Vivian Bond • Tyondai Braxton • Tom Brosseau • David Thomas Broughton • Vashti Bunyan • Dana Buoy • Charles Burns (author) • Carter Burwell • Reuben Butchart • Callers • Cantar alla Viola • Eric Carbonara • Castanets • Isabel Castellvi • Olivia Chaney • Sylvain Chauveau • Christy & Emily • Tenzin Choegyal • Irwin Chusid • Cibo Matto • Claire and the Reasons • Nels Cline • Diane Cluck • CocoRosie • Ora Cogan • Colleen • Judy Collins • Common Rotation • Cryptacize • Currituck County • Chris Cutler • Danielson • Michael Danna • Corey Dargel • Dark Dark Dark • Death Vessel • Deerhoof • Deertick • Gene Deitch & Kim Deitch (authors) • Dave Deporis • Alexandre Desplat • Brian Dewan • Dewanatron • Gareth Dickson • Dirty Projectors • Tsechu Dolma (activist) • Orion Rigel Dommisse …

Spinning On Air guests
more Spinning On Air guests

… Donovan • Doveman • David Driver on Scott Walker • Electric Junkyard Gamelan • Elephant Micah • Amir ElSaffar • Espers • Et Ret • Piers Faccini • Feathers • Fern Knight • Ferron • The Fiery Furnaces • Finnish Psych-Folk • Fog (Andrew Broder) • Rebecca Foon • Josephine Foster • The Four Bags • Joel Fredericksen • Gerald Fried • Rima Fujita (author) • Gaida • Bernard Gann • Kyle Gann • James Gavin (author) on Chet Baker • Noah Georgeson with Pete Newsom • Lisa Germano • Glass Ghost • The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT) • Michael Giacchino • Michael Gira • Jimmy Giuffre • Golden Ghost • Goldfrapp • Jerry Goldsmith • Chilly Gonzales • Jose Gonzalez • Julia Greenberg • Grey Reverend • Anders Griffin • Larkin Grimm • Grizzly Bear • Conrad Harris • Dave Harris • Pauline Kim Harris • Miho Hatori • Victor Herrero • Shelley Hirsch • Holden • Will Holshouser • Michael Holt • Cameron Hull • Jana Hunter • Jenny Hval • Ilham • Incredible String Band • Invisible Familiars • Essie Jain • Johann Johannsson • Glenn Jones • Milo Jones • Eyvind Kang • Lydia Kavina • Lenny Kaye • John Kelly performs Joni Mitchell • Julia Kent • Guy Klucevsek • Amy Kohn • Pamelia Kurstin • Kuupuu • M. Lamar • Lau Nau • Natalie Rose LeBrecht …

Spinning On Air guests
more Spinning On Air guests

… Sean Lennon • Michael Leonhart • Lightspeed Champion • Kelly Link (author) • Brian Lipson • Rachel Lipson • Liturgy • Fay Lovsky • Alex Lukashevsky • Luxury Pond • Karen Mantler • Michael Mantler • Rachel Marco-Havens (author) • Christian Marclay • Hannah Marcus • Laura Marling • Scott Matthew • Ryan Maxwell • Paul McCartney • Mike McGinnis • Kenny Mellman • Helen Merrill • Metallic Falcons • Mi & L’au • Mice Parade (Adam Pierce) • Adam Minkoff • Juana Molina • Monika • Robert Moog • R. Stevie Moore • Peter Morén • Ikue Mori • Mountains • Charlotte Kemp Muhl • Múm • Sport Murphy • Mystical Weapons • Marissa Nadler • Nature Theater of Oklahoma • Amy X. Neuburg • Nomi • Marianne Nowottny • Cian Nugent • O.blatt (Keiko Uenishi) • Yoko Ono • Meara O’Reilly • Jim O’Rourke • Osso String Quartet • Amanda Palmer • Van Dyke Parks • Andy Partridge • Annette Peacock • Harvey Pekar & Joyce Brabner (authors) • Kembra Pfahler • Gretchen Phillips • Phillips & Driver • Phosphorescent • The Pictish Trail • Rozi Plain • Plastic Spoon • Polygraph Lounge • Richard Gid Powers (son of artist Richard M. Powers) • Simone Prattico …

Spinning On Air guests
more Spinning On Air guests

… Dory Previn • Bobby Previte • Ben Reynolds • Jean Rohe • Joshua Rifkin • Rio en Medio • Sam Rosen • Bridget St. John • Jared Samuel • R. Murray Schafer • Rob Schwimmer • Seductive Sprigs • Seth (author) • Aiko Shimada • Jim Shooter (author) • Howard Shore • Jen Shyu • Sian Alice Group • Silver Mt. Zion • Joe Simon (author) • John Simon • P.F. Sloan • Slow Club • Bill Smith (William O. Smith) • Jesse Paris Smith • Keely Smith • Patti Smith • Sean Smith • Snowblink • Jeri Southern • Jesse Sparhawk • Spenking (Spencer Kingman) • Spider • Art Spiegelman (author) • Devon Sproule • Stars Like Fleas • George Stavis • Sufjan Stevens • Stew • D.M. Stith • Will Stratton • Susanna • Nobukazu Takemura • Adam Tendler • William Tenn (author) • Thao and the Get Down Stay Down • They Might Be Giants • Craig Thompson (author) • Thinguma*Jigsaw • Timesbold • Mia Doi Todd • Adrian Tomine (author) • Rokia Traoré • Trembling Bells • Valerie Project • John Vanderslice • Laura Veirs • Vetiver • Viking Moses • W-S Burn • Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) • Ann Waldman (author) • Holcombe Waller • Peter Walker • Quinn Walker • Holcombe Waller • M. Ward • Chris Ware (author) • Joan Wasser • Weird Weeds • Mike Wexler • White Magic • Wingdale Community Singers • Jozef van Wissem • Wooden Wand • Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice • Robert Wyatt • yMusic • Zarela • John Zorn