The Sunday Magazine·THE SUNDAY EDITION

Musicians on music

Our musical programming hopes to provide a musical landscape as wide as your imagination.

Originally published Dec. 31, 2017.

Old Plato knew a thing or two about music when he said, "It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and everything." 

Music is an essential part of this program. Each week, there is a heavy music component, whether jazz, classical, pop, rock and roll, opera ... even country. Our hope is to provide a musical landscape as wide as your imagination.

Music producer Dean Ples is our resident alchemist; he somehow always finds just the right piece of music for the right moment. And we don't just play music — we also talk to musicians.

Here's a selection of the conversations we've had with musicians over the years:

  • Robert Harris dissects Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues"
  • Conductor and artistic director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, on discovering his calling when he was 10 years old
  • Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, who wears a dominatrix outfit (with whip) to conduct
  • Blues/jazz diva Molly Johnson on finding her own authentic sound
  • "Outlaw" Steve Earle, who works with inmates and campaigns against the death penalty
  • Petula Clark remembers a disastrous concert in Montreal, then singing "Give Peace a Chance" with John and Yoko
  • Out-takes from a shambolic mike check with the four Butterfield brothers

To hear these snippets of Michael's conversations with musicians, listen to hour 3 of this week's program.