Underscore taps into an exciting space where the concert hall meets its boldest outer reaches. Our goal is to connect with curious listeners by presenting the works of modern composers and musicians blurring the lines between classical, electronic, ambient and beyond. Through podcasts, curated playlists and original content, we’ll discover a new soundtrack to our daily paces.
Weeds, Prison, and the Good Time Gang
Gwendolyn Sanford is most known as a composer for the TV shows Weeds and Orange Is the New Black, but she got her start as a quirky children's singer. In fact, it was because of her children's band that she and her writing partner Brandon Jay secured the audition for Weeds in the first place. On this episode, we talk about how she crafts suitable music for show characters, listen to some of Gwendolyn's favorite TV cues, and learn more about her hilarious, unbelievably "L.A." tale of spontaneity, opportunity, and good old fashioned grit.
Operatic Meteor Shower
Dorian Wood is a magical typhoon disguised as a humble singer-songwriter. LA Weekly calls them “a fearless artist and performer whose voice inhabits a room like a choir of ghosts,” while Mondosonoro compares their concerts to “a meteor shower and the four elements.” If we had to boil down the essence of Dorian Wood’s music, we’d call it a mixture of theatrical-experimental, folk, gospel-soul, and classical music, with a large dash of performance art. Speaking with Dorian was a rare treat. On this episode, we listen to musical excerpts and talk about sensuality, queerness, classical roots, bittersweet family, Dorian’s “curvy delicious body,” and so much more.
Bonus: Hindustani Vocal Serenade
In our last episode, Washing Machine Revelation, we interviewed composer Reena Esmail, who talked about her unique blend of Indian and Western classical music, revealed her composing ritual, and told us about the washing machine that sparked a revelation. For this bonus episode, Reena treated us to a live Hindustani vocal improvisation.
A Washing Machine in Dehli
Reena Esmail knows she doesn’t look like a stereotypical composer, but that doesn’t prevent her from making a big impact. Known for her signature blend of Indian and Western classical music, Reena joins us in the studio to discuss stage fright, getting in touch with her heritage, how the #MeToo movement inspired her, and the washing machine that sparked a revelation.
Bonus: Accordion Serenade by Isaac Schankler
In episode 6, Goofy Baby Songs, we interviewed composer, accordionist, and electronic musician Isaac Schankler, who shared their inspirations and led us in a goofy baby jam session. For this bonus episode, Isaac treated us to an exclusive live studio performance on the accordion.
Goofy Baby Songs with Isaac Schankler
Isaac Schankler is a composer, accordionist, and electronic musician whose music is described by the LA Times as "the antidote to sentimentality." On this episode, we take an audio tour of some of Isaac’s most inventive pieces, from their Spotify hit "Alien Warp Etude" to their brand new collection of goofy baby songs. The interview is interspersed with live goofy baby performances from Isaac, Chrysanthe, and Thomas.
Very new and very interesting!
The content of this podcast is amazing! As far as music podcasts go, this one covers really versatile and different topics. Highly recommend for anyone interested in new music, classical music, and the weird space in between ✨
Excellent insight for all
Musicians and humans alike 😂 will love the thoughtful interviews and deep dives into music. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not a composer - the journey explored here is universal and fascinating.
The digital geniuses at USC Radio have done it again. Yet another outstanding product to bring classical music main-stream. From apps, to streaming, and now a great podcast, these guys clearly have their fingers on the pulse of future music lovers everywhere. Subscribe - you won’t be disappointed.