Play It Like It's Music

Play It Like It's Music

trevorexter.substack.com/podcast
Writing/talking about/providing music: how I hear it, ways to listen, ways & reasons to play. trevorexter.substack.com


❤️ Serviam
Dec 11 • 3 min
Hi folks!In this edition: a bit of housekeeping and some end-of-decade reflection. This will be my only post this month because I have quite a bit of travel and work on the books right now. But stay tuned: “Play It Like It’s Music”, the podcast will be…
Lazy Cello pt 2
Nov 20 • 1 min
[It rained today. Looks like fire season is officially over.]In this edition:A bit o bluesIntegratedYour moment of zzzzzzhhenIntegratedI keep getting reminded that here in America we have created a totally disjointed musical situation for ourselves, but…
Lazy Cello
Nov 13 • 1 min
[…working on like 4 albums…]In this edition:A quickie jamOut of hidingA semi-repeat shareOut of hidingIt bears reminding that many of us (if some of you are like me) found music as a place to hide in our more vulnerable years.At 13, 14 I just wanted to…
abandon feeling smart
Nov 6 • 2 min
[…feverishly making lots of music…]In this edition:A spontaneous jamWalking the line of learningMusic, as talked about by people who know what they’re talking aboutPINCH ME. This just grew in our backyard:I’m always either learning something new, or…
Ancestry and True Sounds
Oct 30 • 2 min
Good evening. In this edition:Some more legato bowing, just me and the reverb today. [press play]Ancestry and True SoundsA rad pod, oh my God!Coming to you today from the little black dot in the yellow zone:Thanks for all your notes and calls, we are very…
Spectrums
Oct 23 • 3 min
Good day to you. In this edition:Some full-throat legato bowing, something I’m trying to get better at. [press play]Control vs. ParticipationA thread from a big headAs a cello player I constantly navigate on a spectrum between control and flailing: at…
the gift of shred
Oct 16 • 2 min
Just a tune today, another instrumental sketch. It’s been a slow week for me out in public. (Hell, it’s been a slow year or a slow several years!)[photo by kk]I don’t perform much lately, but last Wednesday I joined my friend Jim Caruso and played a song…
creating headroom
Oct 9 • 1 min
Good evening!In this post:a tune ideaa helloa recommendation”If you don’t create you will destroy.”I don’t know if this cliche is true, but it sure feels like it.My sounds come to me at the most inopportune times, and sometimes I’ll jump out of bed at 2am…
Are you there, Ennio? It’s me, Trevor
Oct 2 • 2 min
Short and sweet this week. Press play.I’m happy to say that the new studio is officially up and running.In Topanga.Sun is shining and the juice is flowing.(And I told you I loved that Cinema Paradiso melody…)Love to your ears,Trevor Get on the email list…
the cultivation of small delightful actions
Aug 7 • 2 min
song: “Natalie” by XVSK (Trevor Exter & John Morgan Kimock)press play above or listen here.When I play one note, it’s a simple action with some part of my body that generates sound, and I’m instantly delighted.To play one note is delight. Do I need the…
A guy inside my head
Jul 24 • 4 min
The move, part 2 with musical reflections[press play]song: “Hudson”[music & lyrics c. Trevor Exter - all rights reserved]got a guy inside my head who doesn’t like mecan’t stand my type, my band, my signbut you seem to handle me just fineI’ve got the…
Most Right
Jul 3 • 3 min
Missed you folks last week! The reality is that I simply crashed… after 2 months living out of a bag (with 1 more to go) I had to crawl into a cave for a few days. Emerging now to say a quick hello and provide a peek at one of the songs I have in…
no use for a butter knife
Jun 12 • 4 min
Back in NYC this week like:In this edition:An oldie but a goodie.A comparison of implements.A gig for Friday in NYC.a lumberjack has no use for a butterknife.I was surrounded by horn players last night. Great ones. Saxes, trumpets… they can play lead or…
adventure lies off the grid
Jun 5 • 3 min
Sending love from Eagle Rock! Overheard:New Yorkers are not “nice”, but we are friendly. Angelenos are not friendly, but they are “nice”. [last word spoken through a clenched perma-grin]In this edition:Some happy celloA bit o’ moaninA podcast I listened…
Much move, many play
May 29 • 0 min
Sending love from Seattle. In this edition:A tiny sting [press play]. A pep talk to go deeper.An array of gigs for June.[tea in the Sahara with you…]No Giving Up.People become friends with me for whatever reason, but the meat of our relationship often…
¿Que és hip?
May 22 • 2 min
Beautiful day in New York today. In this edition:A little melody. An oldie swipe.An awesome invitation for the cellists.[I promise I’m just keeping an eye on the group here. Not trying to look colonial or anything.]What is hip?Classic song, timeless…
Train Stations
May 15 • 4 min
Beautiful day in the Sahara today. In this edition:A song called “Train Stations”An ostrichAn underwater show to listen to on your desert island.[Today’s location: Morocco. More on that in future.]OstrichA friend once compared playing the cello to making…
A Wreath for Emmett Till
May 8 • 5 min
Beautiful day in NYC today. In this edition:A quick jam with my friend @digifiddler, who was my guest on Episode 7.Nostalgia for the future.Some amazing new music from another podcast guest.[Today’s guest violinist in action. Press play above!]It is a…
With You
May 1 • 3 min
Today has been a day of cranking things out. Thus: a bit tardy.A new sung song of mine you may not have heard.Nostalgia for the future.Triplets from Brazil, animated and beautifully sung.[Cellos must relax! Lie down, little cello.]NostalgiaWhen I hear…
Sunnyday Cello
Apr 24 • 3 min
Greetings from an LA café. In this edition:Some sunny day cello.Some freedom of epression.A movie to not sleep on.[Serious-er times with John Kimock]Freedom Of ExpressionThe more smart and connected one gets, the more elusive our freedom of…
Blockbuster
Apr 17 • 2 min
A long time ago…In this edition:Fresh music: a Mancini-inspired cello “big band”.A single recommendation(That’s all. I hope you like it too.)[John Williams conducting Star Wars]Big time podcast recommend:I just fell in love with this thing, so I’m…
Headroom Hunting
Apr 10 • 3 min
Hot days, cool evenings. Best time of year.In this edition:An instrumental soundtrack.A riff on headroom and overtones.A beautiful cello video.HeadroomYou could say that a musician has found their “voice” IF their sound feels like home to them AND they…
Cello Sunset
Apr 3 • 2 min
I’m about to look at a beautiful sunset here in NYC, and it was approaching a welcome 70 today. Here’s a tune for that.In this edition:A little lush sound.A touch o writingA pod recommendA GREAT cello video (by a musician I hope you’ll already know…
One for Wednesday
Mar 27 • 4 min
In this edition:Some cello textures and melodies for your face. No talking today.A bite o writingA pod update and recommendAnother amazing short video.[2007 was a trying year, though I tried not to show it.]ResponsibilityIt’s a leap to take responsibility…
springtime travels
Mar 20 • 3 min
In this edition:A taste of a vibe (no talking on this one)A bite o writingA video morsel(hungry, trev?)[I did not buy this shirt at the sample sale. Vegas can wait.]springtime travelsI don’t know about you, but I have to go places in order to find myself…
Truth in tension
Mar 13 • 2 min
In this edition:A narrated beat, or a beaten-up narrative? You be the judge… click play and follow the blog/script (blipt? scrog?) below.A very cool video[Last year’s summertime train season]Truth in tensionThe pursuit of music reveals an essential life…
Changes (a non-narrated musical post)
Mar 6 • 2 min
Just music this time, couldn’t get my narration together today. Here’s the vibe from home this week. [click play]In this edition:a bit of a track for you [see above]a bit of writing for youa beautiful performance I just watched[Paris circa 2010]ChangesWe…
Peace of Mind
Feb 27 • 4 min
In this edition:Edition #two of my “email exclusive” sonic dispatches (press play and then scroll to follow the written version.)A treat for your face and what’s behind it[me, sometime in the 80’s]Peace of mindI don’t always remember the incredible peace…
The Blank Canvas
Feb 20 • 4 min
In this edition:A short riff on silence, complete with narration and musical accompanimentYou read that right! (Press play dear friends, and engage those headphones.)A sweet recommendation.The blank canvasSome people feel they need to make a loud sound in…
018 NewK
Jan 29 • 51 min
Today we visit John Newcott, composer and singer. Goes by the stage name NewK. Like many, I first knew him as a Marketing guy for Universal and Verve Forecast back in the 90s, but as happens with all first impressions I later had to seriously expand the…
017 Chris Morrissey
Jan 19 • 24 min
We got a good one today, so settle in. I went to Greenpoint to hang out at the home of Chris Morrissey. Bass player, singer, guitarist, composer, arranger and bandleader. He’s literally everywhere, you can hear him on records by Sara Bareilles, Mark…
016 Damon DueWhite
Jan 19 • 22 min
Good times today, because we’re hanging out with master drummer Damon Due White. The guy’s been around the world with everybody: Harry Belafonte, Shemekia Copeland and a long list of others. He and I did a bunch of James McBride gigs together in France…
015 Gregg August
Jan 19 • 32 min
GREGG AUGUST is the man of the hour on the bass. He’s played with Ray Barretto, Ornette Coleman, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, James Moody, The Chico O’Farrill Big Band, The list goes on. As a classical bassist he frequently performs with the…
014 Kiku Collins
Jan 19 • 32 min
Kiku Collins has established herself at the heights of pop, jazz and R&B. She has performed with everybody: Beyonce, Michael Bolton, Jill Scott, Train, Gloria Gaynor, Carole King, Sza, Sam Moore, Esperanza Spalding, Queen Latifah, Trombone Shorty, Smokey…
013 Daniel Sadownick
Jan 19 • 44 min
Bronx native Daniel Sadownick has toured with a large (and growing) cross-section of the greatest musicians we all love: Michael Brecker, Me’shell Ndege’Ocello, Steely Dan, Tony, Toni Tone’, Maxwell, Angie Stone, Dennis Chambers, Nicholas Payton,…
012 Trevor P. Allen
Jan 19 • 0 min
“You just have to sit in a certain place.” - Trevor P. AllenMy friends, today we hear from a true keeper of the flame, Mr. Trevor P. Allen. From the trenches of the New York club scene to bandstands all over the world, this guy delivers on the bass. Get…
011 Jim Caruso
Jan 19 • 30 min
There’s a guy who’s been running an open mic at Birdland in midtown New York City for an insanely long time, and he looks like he’s 15 years old. I don’t know how he does it, but here he is: Jim Caruso. Showbiz man of the hour here on Play It Like It’s…
010 Pablo Mahave-Veglia
Jan 19 • 33 min
“When I was young there were a lot of sixteen-year-old cellists. There are not that many 48 year old cellists.”Today my guest is Pablo Mahave Veglia, cello professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a total pro. We get into it here, the…
009 Tony Hume
Jan 19 • 18 min
We were in too much of a time-crunch for me to record him playing, but the night after we spoke I witnessed him holding court at a campfire jam with about 200 people getting quite sweaty and singing at the top of their lungs. This guy brings it. Get on…
008 James McBride
Jan 19 • 32 min
Today is a great day because I get to speak to my good friend, world-famous author James McBride. I know him as a band leader. You probably know him for his best-selling books, the movies he made with Spike Lee… all that stuff. I went and met him at the…
007 Todd Reynolds
Jan 19 • 31 min
He’s got major cred: he actually studied with Jascha Heifetz, at age 20 he played principal second violin for the Rochester Philharmonic, then went on to work with Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren, the Mahavishnu Project… he founded…
006 Hallie Bulleit
Jan 18 • 34 min
Hallie and I have been friends for most of our adult lives, we performed together in De La Guarda back in ancient times and have stayed in touch. It’s been great to follow her career through several bands and albums to now get to watch her perform on TV…
005 Richard Julian
Feb 13, 2018 • 33 min
Today we’re talking with a legit songwriting giant, Richard Julian. You might know his supergroup The Little Willies, or his solo albums like Slow New York or Fleur-de-Lis. He hangs out with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Norah Jones and he’s…
004 Mazz Swift
Jan 30, 2018 • 37 min
Today we feature Mazz Swift. She’s one-of-a-kind: plays, sings writes and performs with total fire. I’m proud to call her friend. She’s been a member of Burnt Sugar, Brazz Tree. She’s got her own band called MazzMuse and she also plays in a string trio…
003 Tony Mason
Jan 16, 2018 • 20 min
Today we’re talking with one of my favorite drummers Tony Mason. Something of a local legend in the New York club scene, he’s played with everybody and you can always trust him to keep it bouncing, no matter who he’s appearing with that night. Get on the…
002 Luqman Brown
Dec 30, 2017 • 36 min
We’re in Harlem today with the legend, Luqman Brown. Singer of FunkFace, Dope Sagittarius and an accomplished composer, producer and sound designer. Check out his brand new Dope Sagittarius album, Sacred Places. Out this month on Buddhabug Records.Here’s…
001 Emily Hope Price
Dec 30, 2017 • 26 min
We’re uptown today with Emily Hope Price, a prolific cellist and singer. She put in a lot of miles with a beloved band called Pearl and The Beard, and she also played cello for Sting, Roger Waters, Ani DiFranco, D’Angelo and Father John Misty. Get on the…