Simple Gifts: Saturday, Nov. 25 | 9pm

The ensemble yMusic is featured in this week’s episode. Photo by Graham Tolbert.

Classical music doesn’t always have to be so complicated.

There is beauty in simplicity—and there is music, too, if you slow down to listen! This Saturday on Second Inversion: Simple Gifts. From dainty macaroons to afternoons spent at the piano, we’ll hear music inspired by life’s simple pleasures. Join us as we take a moment to appreciate the little things.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 9pm PT.

Furniture Music: Saturday, Nov. 18 | 9pm

by Maggie Molloy
Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Some music is meant to be the main event—it demands your full focus and attention. And some music…is just for ambiance.

The composer Erik Satie coined the term “furniture music” in the early 20th century to describe music that blends into the atmosphere of a room. It might add a bit of color, texture, or even comfort to a space—but it’s never the main focus. It’s music that, in the words of Satie, “might mingle with the sound of knives and forks at dinner.”

This Saturday on Second Inversion, we’ll hear music that invites us to settle into our surroundings. So by all means, stretch out on the couch, make yourself comfortable, and join us for some furniture music.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 9pm PT.

New Music Noir: Saturday, Nov. 11 | 9pm

by Maggie Molloy
Bernard Herrmann’s music for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is included in this episode.

Love, betrayal, corruption, murder—all crucial ingredients in any great film noir. And so is a swingin’ soundtrack.

On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion: New Music Noir! We’ll hear cinematic sounds that beckon us to a world of black and white. From the dizzying twists and turns of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo to the smoky streets of Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, we’ll hear music that embodies the ominous world of film noir. Plus, music from a black and white movie that’s all about color—and an imaginary film score that invites you to be the director. Settle in for an evening of moody strings, soulful trumpets, and the sultry swing of the city streets.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 9pm PT.

Ghost Opera: Saturday, Nov. 4 | 9pm

by Maggie Molloy
Carrie Wang performed Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Seattle Symphony musicians in November 2022.

Do you believe in ghosts? Not the Halloween kind of ghosts—but spirits of the past…and maybe, spirits of the future, too.

This Saturday on Second Inversion: Ghost Opera. The Chinese composer Tan Dun takes us back in time, to the shamanistic ceremonies of his native Hunan, where musical rituals launched the spirit into new life. In ghost opera, the performer is in dialogue with past and future, spirit and nature.

In Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera, he calls on the spirits of Bach, Shakespeare, ancient Chinese folk traditions—and the sounds of the earth, too. He combines a string quartet with the sounds of water, metal, stones, paper, and one instrument that you might not be quite as familiar with: the pipa, a kind of Chinese lute.

Seattle Symphony musicians performing Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera at Octave 9. Photo by Brandon Patoc.

Last year, the Seattle Symphony presented two sold-out performances of Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera in their immersive Octave 9 space. The string quartet included violinists Andy Liang and Mae Lin, violist Olivia Chew, and cellist Nathan Chan. The pipa player was Carrie Wang. She joins host Maggie Molloy in studio this week to introduce us to the sounds of the pipa and to take us behind the curtain of this special performance.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 9pm PT.

Spooky Tunes: Saturday, Oct. 28 | 9pm

by Maggie Molloy
Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho film score is among the featured works in this episode.

Monsters and witches and werewolves, oh my! The spooky season is upon us—and nothing sets the scene for All Hallows’ Eve quite like some ghostly music.

Let us provide the soundtrack for your Halloween haunts. On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion: music of ghosts, goblins, and things that go BUMP in the night. Listen along as we visit a musical Frankenstein, spend a night at the Bates Motel, dance with an army of skeletons, and step inside a composer’s nightmare.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 9pm PT.