166 episodes

Join the quest! Learn how composers and songwriters create music in this podcast hosted by Minneapolis composer Charlie McCarron. Whether you’re a music composition grad or simply an occasional noodler on a guitar, each guest has a new perspective for you on the creative process of composing and songwriting, along with some concrete ideas to apply to your own music.

Composer Quest: A Songwriting and Music Composition Podcast Charlie McCarron

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 60 Ratings

Join the quest! Learn how composers and songwriters create music in this podcast hosted by Minneapolis composer Charlie McCarron. Whether you’re a music composition grad or simply an occasional noodler on a guitar, each guest has a new perspective for you on the creative process of composing and songwriting, along with some concrete ideas to apply to your own music.

    Tour 12: Finale in Minnesota

    Tour 12: Finale in Minnesota

    It’s finally here. Four years and 166 episodes later, we’ve arrived at the finale of the Composer Quest podcast. Before I get too sappy about it, I want to let you know what you’ll be in for in this monster episode. It rounds out the end of my world tour, after my journey home to Minnesota. This episode is definitely one for the fans; most of my interviewees in this episode have been prior Composer Quest guests, and I ask them what they’ve been up to. I don’t want to give away too much about how the episode unfolds, but I am really excited for you to listen, when you have 4 hours and 42 minutes to spare.

    • 4 hr 42 min
    Tour 11: Psychology in the Southwest

    Tour 11: Psychology in the Southwest

    Ever since I heard music psychologist Dr. Diana Deutsch on Radiolab, I’ve been fascinated by musical illusions. In this penultimate episode of Composer Quest, I got to visit Diana in person! Join me on a trip that starts at a Halloween organ concert in San Diego and ends in Phoenix with an unprecedented songwriting/podcasting experiment.

    • 3 hr 37 min
    Tour 10: Squirrels in California

    Tour 10: Squirrels in California

    This episode marks my return to the US after my trip to Australia and Asia. Despite the jet lag, I was able to get 5 interviews in for this Composer Quest episode. Also, Jeff Goldblum?! And you’ll just have to listen for yourself to find out why this episode is called “Squirrels in California.”

    • 2 hr 38 min
    Tour 9: Surprises in Taiwan 2

    Tour 9: Surprises in Taiwan 2

    The second act of my Taiwan adventure features more interviews with music makers in Taipei, plus an interview with me about interviewing. We also discuss the jingles heard everywhere in Taipei, from the train stations to the 7-Elevens to the garbage trucks.

    • 2 hr 2 min
    Tour 8: Surprises in Taiwan

    Tour 8: Surprises in Taiwan

    Join me on a musical tour through Taiwan in today's episode of Composer Quest. I stumbled into a music festival celebrating Hakka culture, and I got to record a bunch of interesting ensembles, including the Taiwanese jazz group Sizhukong. Plenty of other surprises come up in this episode, including an impromptu flight to another country...

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Tour 7: Family in Australia

    Tour 7: Family in Australia

    Australia has been my dream vacation spot since I was about six years old. In today’s episode of the Composer Quest World Tour, you’ll get an audio peek into my adventures staying with musical families in Melbourne and Poatina Village, Tasmania.

    • 3 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
60 Ratings

60 Ratings

Wmk465 ,

Very well done

Very informative. The producer does a great job of asking the right questions to make the interviews both informative and listenable.

Dragonnever ,

Great podcast, but the metal episode lacks

This is a great podcast that really tackles theories and practical skills that are inherent to good songwriting. They examine themes and methods, as well as, real world examples of what makes for intelligible craft. That being said, I listened to the one episode where they interview a modern heavy metal musician, and while I appreciate his stream of consciousness, the interview did very little to address the methodology behind song construction. I’m not trying to be a hater, but the gentleman being interviewed basically said that he either has no, or chooses to use no, real musical theory. This infers that his songs are just a jumbled mesh of clever riffs. While I’m not specifically saying that he is a bad musician, which it is clear that he is not, this is certainly indicative of a novice workflow that provides very little visceral mentorship to the listener.

MathewSomers ,

Composer Quest Review

A really fantastic podcast that will help nearly any musician become more successful. It really is packed with great ideas and interviews. Podcasts do not have to be listened to in order, but I would suggest listening to all of them. I actually found myself taking notes! Great job Charlie and thank you for all you do!

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