I recently talked with my friend Paolo Pietropaolo about ethnomusicology, taiko, radio, audio, and cultural immersion. Paolo is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and composer who hosts radio shows and has produced award-winning documentaries. We met in Vancouver, BC shortly after I relocated there, and immediately I could sense how like-minded we were. Paolo and I have had many interesting conversations over the years and I think his passion and thoughtfulness come through clearly in this recorded interview. Paolo's body of work is impressive in quality and diversity, and I especially appreciate his attention to detail. You can find his radio documentaries at the links below and I would encourage everyone to check them out. Paolo sent me music samples from his tinnitus documentary we talked about so I have included them in the interview. He told me they “consist mostly of recorded electronic hums (ie, my fridge, computer, etc.), processed hums, keyboards, bassoon, and various other electronic musical elements.”
An inveterate baseball fan as well as a musician and composer, Paolo has spent much of his life trying to explain the intricacies of the arcane to the uninitiated. After one year of undergrad science at the University of Toronto, Paolo gave up on his marine biology dreams in favour of that most secure of career paths: music. Shockingly, this strategy somehow worked when a taiko drumming gig led to a career in radio. Since 2012, Paolo has been the host of In Concert, the award-winning classical music performance program on CBC Radio 2. Paolo is a Peabody-Award-winning audio documentary producer, sound designer and writer/broadcaster passionate about building bridges through storytelling. He is also a two-time winner of the Prix Italia, most recently for The Signature Series, and previously for the documentary series The Wire: the Impact of Electricity on Music.
CBC Show: cbcmusic.ca/inconcert
The Wire documentary is archived here: http://bit.ly/1pBEv9l
Kiyoshi Nagata's taiko ensemble: nagatashachu.com