« 99% Invisible

423- Sean Exploder

2020-11-20 | 🔗

As you might know, we have our own composer here at 99pi named Sean Real who works with the producers to score our episodes with original music that she writes and records right here in Oakland. She has created over 300 amazing original songs for 99pi to date! So this week, we are bringing you a tribute to one of our favorite shows Song Exploder, and to our favorite composer, Sean Real.

Sean Exploder

Plus a preview of Katie Mingle’s new 99pi spin off According to Need (Out December 1).

Buy Sean’s first record of 99pi music in the 99% Invisible Store

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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I'm roman Mars. I dont have a fairer podcast. It me to unfair there too. Many at leg is hard to choose just one, but when people ask me that question I always make sure to mention the baby. Utopia show song. Splutter, I think it is the fact concept broadcast, if you haven't heard it by, reschedule way he entered. Whose musical artists and gets them to break down a song into its component parts to show how it all came together. Its recently been adapted into a Netflix tv show is so much from the watch. I hope you check it out and we love song exporter here on the show so much that at a meeting a few months ago, we thought: what are you trying to do that for one of our own songs? You might know
that we have our own composer here at nine, a M p. I her name is shown Rio and higher in her was one of the best decisions I ever made. I love that we have our own in house composer. I love work, machine and John works with all the producers to score or episodes with original music that she writes records right here in Oakland. So on this episode, we're bringing you tribute to the brilliant Podcast Sykes voter our brilliant composer, Sean, Rio and we're coin. It Sean exploded, it's the story of his own Sean wrote for every job, men back when she worked here. It's called the loom and the person in every spin off series articles of interest in detail the story of the song. You really need to start at the beginning of April insurance relationship, electrons Take it from here high my name is John Rio, I'm the composer for ninety nine percent. Invisible I've been with this
for four years now, but before that I was playing music and bands and making a living working dogs, dog walking. It's actually mostly driving and picking up so like a lot of listening to stuff in a car and at a certain point you just like, gets like sick of music so that when I started like religiously, lessening the broadcasts, and I couldn't make refresh the feed fast enough and the music was big part of it to like, I think, like that- was a big part of like what made it feel like this new kind of art. For me and pardon me, thought like I, put right that music, but then I thought you know, they probably just pull from some me library or something theirs one person who writes music Four podcast answer them. What kind of just put it out of my head? I was getting to appoint
working all day and then going home and trying to find the energy to work on music. With my bands, little deepen basement the sustainability now I was emotionally and energetically bankrupt. They turned me: there has to be a way out of this. Without, like writing I hit song, that's gonna. Make me rich and famous like there has to be a way to make this a living and then I met Avery higher every truffle woman. I am the host of the podcast, the cut from New York magazine, but for most of my life. I worked at ninety nine percent invisible John and I met on Okcupid, which now considered like the old fashioned way to meet someone? It's like quaint. You hear that someone met on Okcupid like that's, that's romance you to read a whole profile. One of us
The questions are can like. What's the first thing, people notice about you and I was like my voice and I think she responded and suddenly awake. You know I have a pretty signature voice too, and so we started sharing these voice memos back and forth for, like a long time before we ever met, we had this very like Radio courtship, I remember them walking down to the office like walking down telegraph, Avenue three miles, my blood, I like leaving voice members for Sean one time I was a centrist, recording, voice, memo and then looked at as like, oh god. This is Forty five minutes, I'm about to light, stand up, voice memo and I'd texted. You- and I was like this- is forty. Five minutes, as is too much and you and you responded, you know I'm about to get on the plane. Please send it now. I need something to listen to it. singly. Remember that I did think remember we like download downloading before the plane took off like we were. There was so fun. Yes, we like his voice memos for a long long time before ever meeting and that we finally map and has been allowed.
Out of time, Like Hyaena Johns House going to strong, shows like getting to know all the band drama, shuns band we dated. It was for months we dated for awhile, and honestly, this musical relationship was sort of our way back to friendship. he's working on this story called this Manhattan and it was a story about the most famous. Model in all of new Archie appears on statues all over the city and also in other cities. Across Amerika shoes choose a famous this model and the does a story about one woman's life. It's very dramatic and more cinematic than anything I tried to cover in the past, and I realize that a lot of the music beds We used we're like these rhythmic jams. What sort of keep you humming along, but this is a story with
real high highs and lows like I wanted it to be scored almost like a film. I don't know a lot of musicians and I thought a Sean. For every to be like when you want to make some music for now, percent invisible. I just like well, he fell down. It is like a dream. Come true that thing that I could ever actually be. A real thing was really possible. I'm working with Sean felt like mixing paint for them. time you know before it felt a little paint by number them like a girl, you know good song we like to use when things get happy and there's a good luck. plodding talking. Och song, I used to call the genre. poor those like, then you had the blinkered blogs like Boop Dupe, dupe like music to talk over and then Sean was able to address all of these different nuances and the ways a story can take a turn. You can have me,
that moves with the narrative, and I didn't even realise how badly I wanted that. You know you're talking about stories about buildings and stories about objects. It's like weirdly, more complicated like, and this is where it was sad, and this is where it was excited and happy. It's ok you know it's like. Can we make it like a ponderous, but a little dark? Can we make it exhilarating, but also a little sinister they're, just like yeah fella sing paint it felt like Sean was helping make new colors. I love collaborating with people and I think that's it One of the things I love so much about about this job. I about working for the show. Is that like we that I write is like Do you know it's like it's for the show by it Also like very much for person whose, like producing the episode and over the years I like worked with
all the producers and when developing developing our working relationships with like what what kind of music like works for people like, for example, I met her Vivian. My asked me to make something now would highlight how silly earn delightful. Something is Katy, my what music? That is, more news, robot has a cool be, and I felt like I could. We count on every two really mean I'm gonna put me in a new direction to be like Let's do something experimental. You know, like so really blow their minds as time and I was sad to think- that and be losing that with Avery when she started working on articles of interest, which is- no I'm here. I shall about clothes everyone working with the different musician to score it re royal but lucky for me, every decided, She wanted to bring me back for this one crucial song. I wanted
but after the launch in point like why talk about textiles at all and it began with the oil. Ten of the computer and the computer punch card which came from a loom. a loom was arguably the first computer was the first to have an automated form of weaving and that's where the punch card came from that eventually lead to the computer, and so this felt extremely like we'll house. Ninety nine p, I that the core fact that's cool story to get people into the series and then Those learning about punch cards is like. Oh, this is also the same technology that makes music boxes. It would be kind of cool to have a music, sound so that people will be like oh punch cards? I know what those aren't you ve seen a player, piano or music box itself. Exact same technology, where there is a whole or not a whole. You know basically there. I want of one or zero, and that decides There's gonna be a note there or not. so I turned to John, and I was like: could you A music box song
immediately? I was like oh yes like To do that then? Ok, how can I make amused barks kick ass ever didn't. Just while you know some, It sounded like a music box every one of the real thing, so she gave me this children's make your own music box care. So like order, the others like ideas, may the bucks I waited for. You go, make a sound articles of interest and the music Firefox, isn't really like an instrument so much as it's a machine you ii programme by hunting holes in these little punch cards and then you run those through it. As you turn a hand, crank holes from the punch cards, little times in the music box each time This is a now and if the punchline in exactly the right place to get the right now. Get the right rhythm. Why didn't want on Minos our punching holes. Until I knew what the song you know what I wanted the sun sound like, and so I stopped
by making a few demos on the computer digital instrument in place on the music parks, and I was really thinking when you know like the aim of this- is like a waiter entered. Is this new series with a bang light here like how do I walk on song for every and pretty quickly like this is kind of genes, the actually end, my meaning and a little too hard to that, and actually music box part is barely in this demo So then I came up with an the idea that one's lake Nina more driven by the music box. You know and
find more like a music box, but then I thought it sounded too much like a music box sake. It is makes me think of every music you see a movie is like a porcelain, ballerina, slowly spinning and as your packard. We good, sound? you know a little more unique. How can I make the music box actually feel like it is less of a toy and more of like an instrument. How can I make it like, like a valid instant, in an orchestra and soda The third idea came from
is everything this. When the kind of accomplish is on paper, The things I want to do you know make music, led an orchestra except that delay, a kind of lost that sort of like kicking ass, like walk on song feeling, but then some day later, I was in the shower and age. stake started hearing this kind of like circular, already in my head, the unknown? It's like this line in the episode like in the script, about going around and around like the punch card programming for like a player, piano aura? he now or music box or an old computer, and I was like how think I have it and sorry, just like grandma Keyboard tag teach us,
get this idea out. Uh huh, Ah We the notes circle around it feels what kind of Hills Demille like turning the crew? the music box I remember I wrote this on the computer, so the next step was to programmes actual music box at Ever- gave me to play the part I took my time become and I wanted to be really care fallen, make sure What then, can punch any holes in the wrong places, but eventually poking. I was in the paper and I tested it out and I think what was really magical was just hearing by this music, that I have made in the family. computer world being me
by this tangible little machine It's not like. I have really made something and the next was to record it. one in the music box to start out slow, and then now can and gradually speed up and so to do that. recorded. A few different takes at different speeds, enter first when I didn't was really slow. You can actually like really here the little girl Turning in the little like squeak from the crank, I really like loved that sound. who is when you can like here component parts: rabbit, sounds like you, don't just here like the sound, but here what's making the sound, I love hearing like the strings of like a violin or something like that kind of scrape of the bow I could have done some kind of stop telling lesson
the screen, but I loved this week I wanted to let it be adds has squeaky, as it was and then I did another one that was a little bit. faster. And I had a tempo in mind that I wanted to build two- that I wanted the other instruments to come up over and in order to get it to go without fast. I had the lake and get really thousand this tiny little crank is not very organized, so I'm just like a woman. We'll be any real. There was a manoeuvre like I'm, not gonna, be able to keep us up like consistently enough to have like I can still read them. a sound like a mass, so either act as it alive before I could like get. I gotta go courting of like love fast. Take
I'm sure if, like you know, anybody would like listen to that the music, On its own and think like driving but like when I hear that I like here does not that bad that's what the rhythm is doing to me. Those are like this that syncopation that, like that, here in my head, and so that's naturally how I started playing the next instrument filial of cod, fast in music. So I wanted the next instrument that you here to be like the polar opposite of the music box. Second, stand a base and started like going bad bad be near like driving, eighth notes, and then I really want to like emphasised that chop toy also liked. It really high note on the base so about the cutting
cutting rhythm would be like unmistakable or something, and so then just just as I am product Miss Lake harsh Chow be base in order to counter pretty little music box. I wanted to counter choppy sound with long very pretty tone. From the cello This belongs to one of my old ban maids and she was nice. Let me borrow it for those issues, this really like. Falling woody sound that I love. I had all these other idea
As for other instruments to come in to and might bring it to them explain sunlight about huge crashing ending by something that I consistently learn from this job is that less is more and a lot of times. it makes I just as much sense or more sense. You know to get something: that's good, and then quit, while you're ahead and now I really love how the song and some really happy with how ended up. I felt lake with like these few little components I had really accomplished the things I had set out to do, which were making music colleagues feel bigger and better than in meaner than you normally think of it, and making a song tat matched and played the content of the story and giving every this sum this up
in closing of a chapter song for her opening and closing of their have a chapter series I don't want it when I was getting ready to play it for every area. A little bit of of worry, That's ok, leg! I know I'm proud of this by, like The real test is like showing the producer getting it's getting my ego like checked a little bare so that, even even with how proud I was other, I would still protecting myself a little baby. I was ready to start to be like ok, it doesn't mean it european musician edges means that this process, the press, of making articles of interest was really all over the place, and I remember one day I was here like, really scared and nervous about because of interest and but I'll come together in time, and I remember Shun being like hey I want to show you something it brought me into her office and my memory you played,
song for me and it was just like already done. It was like immaculate conception, perfect- and I remember the minute you played it for me when the base kicked in. I start crying and as like John, it's perfect. Number it made me feel so calm was like all. Maybe this will be like. Maybe this serious will be good and putting it under that moment, when, like Roman handed the series off to me as like off girl at this, is this is great. This rules, You crank the gear of music box you can make to go as fast or as slowly as you want. As you say, the little handle around and around and around the music is read from the series of little bumps like Braille producer. a breach. These little bump stick up and they hit the series of times which create a song
and it's funny like I hear this song being used in other ninety nine p. I episode sometimes- and I always get Billy Possessive, I'm ok, you know your dancing with my girl, with what I mean it's a great site If anyone else for using it is like an amazing song, but I do feel I do feel like. I will do all you, Sir, like she is mine, the sun, so a bit after After articles of interest was finished, and it was becoming more clear that every would be leaving the show at some point now I had the music box, and I felt like every should have. It I, like I, wanted every to be hold on hold on to this physical token of making the best that are working relationship had brought us and so
I had a friend of mine actually make a little wooden case. To put the but the little music box machine inside of, and so I had. Can actual, like you know, like nice, little wooden music box, that I heard that I gave to every as a gift, and I have the box here. It's the music box If I keep playing it, it's gonna make me cry like honestly. This is my little rosebud moment and I hear this music box, and I mean, if you think about it, the most beautiful thing in the world.
And now here's the loom in its entirety
Miss bonus episode of ninety nine percent. Invisible was produced by Emmett, that's Gerald and mixed by Bryson, Barnes, music, very clearly by Sean Rio, national music by Pennino Albert Schwartz, special thanks this week to Ash Clayton Sophia Bell and our good friend average awfulness gave now who's the podcast cut from New York magazine. It is fantastic. If you don't already listen to it. I highly recommend you listen to it because you need more avery travelling in your life.
I mention this in the intro, but Regimes bank, as has recently been turned into a Netflix show, and although I continue to think that song explode or is the perfect concept for upon CAS, I'm here to tell you that it works incredibly well on television to their ever sewed up right now, with Elisa Keys and tidal assign in Orient I've been enjoying them with the boys, their great for the whole family, and we were very special announcement of our own. We produced a seven inch record of music that Sean is written for the show over the past few years. Have you ever wanted to hear nine IP, I music on its own without me talking over it? I highly recommend this album. This evidence is a beautiful object is filled with gorgeous instrumental music. That's great work, too, were to cook to order judicious to or just to help you relax in Euro apartment. We also have digital version that you can download when you pay a little bit money, but I also, I really hope you get the record. The record is really special. I think it would make a great gift this holiday season, you can purchase shown so right now, just click on the shop tab and our website
p, I dot org and speaking of new stuff. Coming up after the break we ve got an extended preview of a brand new. Ninety nine p. I spin offs areas as dropping next month, stay with us Your miles go further with the capital one venture card, the travel card that lets you earn unlimited double miles for more than just air travel, right now earn one hundred thousand bonus miles. You can actually use redeemable for vacation rentals, car rentals and more when you spend twenty thousand dollars in your first year. What's in your wallet, limited time offered terms, Bligh see capital, one dot, com for details.
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Dozens of other people were also moving to the Bay area for work, the cost of rent skyrocketed and over the course of about. five years homelessness in the county where I live doubled, all over town. You can see the effects of this almost as if a tidal wave of wealth, washed people out of their houses and into the streets in the tens, And our views and cars, I know these people right here alone, he's right here. I know them. People write their homes, their cars, renting, not apartments did not bedrooms beds, for twelve hundred a month here, college, that's our is hard to get out and What your lives will be the next two hours we just like swallows. You were about to think about
a house given just the sheer scale of homelessness all over the Eu S, but in the Bay area in particular, you can beef given for thinking there is no system in place to address it. but you'd be IRAN. Thank you so much provoking. How can I see today? Yeah me lie lemon euro around in home. There is actually a system to help people out of homelessness, but it doesn't help everyone. What is it? to be a priority for them. I don't understand it, so they get on the left are very good at getting people on lists. How this system works is confusing and opaque Son might say Kafkaesque it's all a huge Three I may we're like in approach, she goes here. You know we have laws we can't figure out. What's going on, I can't get all people I and a long time trying to understand this system
feels a little bit like the wizard of OZ. I guess my first question is like. Are you the wizard? Is this eyes. I do have a map of us. There are. Hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing homelessness in the United States and codes it could make things even worse, What are we doing about it? The court need is a special documentary series from ninety nine percent. Invisible that looks at the system. We have to get people, back inside find it in your ninety nine p Ipod Cast feed on December. First somebody you gonna, do anything rap all of this what is ninety nine percent invisible, like isn't a magazine? Is it a radio like what are we doing
I'm so excited for you to hear case new series. It is incredible just keep up to date on this feed and you will get it automatically. Your product of ninety one point: seven K, L W in San Francisco and produced on radio row which lives in corners of North America, but centered in beautiful, downtown Oakland. California, We are a founding member of radio. Toby from Pierre acts are fiercely independent, collective of the most innovative lister supported one hundred percent hardest own podcast in the world, find them all radio Tokyo not affirm. you can tell me a roman Mars and show at nine IP org, Instagram and read it to you- can order our first book, the ninety nine percent, invisible city and ninety I'd org slashed book, two approaches it anywhere. You get your books, including signed additions and the audio books too, for all your other nine ip. I need look no further than nine IP. I dont work
radio do. Taipei wanna? One is one of the tallest buildings in the world, but also happens to be in a city with frequent earthquakes in typhoons when it was proposed every when I was afraid of falling over, so designers covered it with good luck, dragons and gold coins, but the way innovation that worked to assuage people's doubt in the buildings integrity was taking the normally an invisible structural feature, the tune mass damper and bring. In it out to the open for visitors to see a too Ass damper is a large counterweight that keeps the building from Swain too much. It usually sit behind closed doors and even on its own floor. But in Taipei Wanna one. They made Amber into giant golden orb and invited visitors on tourists to see it even ended it with the help of the Saint real company,
little by little damper baby character shaped like the orb ass souvenirs, the design Brilliantly turn that doubt in the building into a successful piece of art in commerce it became Key feature that made the tower one of the most beloved in world doubt is often catalyst for innovation. It's down it pushes us into action that makes progress, possible, locally we transfer in its set of tools were built to help you transform your doubt into ideas, collect to buy, we transfer is mobile, laptops you save, organise and share. Every bit of inspiration you find weather Videos, images, articles or other references paper we transfer the digital notebook that allows you to sketch type paint and draw all in one place. Paste by we transfer is a presentation to all complete with ATO formatting, to make it easier than ever to present and collaborate on your vision yourself focus on your ideas.
I dont know what our staff would do without We transfer pro to share and collaborate on our large audio files. So next time you doubt something to good use and let we transfer set of tools, help you move. ideas forward so bill bets you put all tower typhoons on it'll. Be fine. Go to. cool to move ideas, dot com to learn more. Before you could know about our fellow radio utopians at the mortified podcast for years. They brought you here there awkward stories of growing up and now they ve released again but allows you and your friends to share your own stories of growing up who says twenty Twenty has to feel so isolating from the makers of mortified- I can't believe I did- that is a part of game that brings people closer.
by bonding over their awkward past, share memories of first kisses, ridiculous fashion choices and most intense pop culture obsessions and yes, you can even play. I can't believe I did that we face time or do this all of it. Your friends, the gift of togetherness, discover mortified game and their pod cast by visiting, get mortified dot com, slashed game.
Transcript generated on 2020-11-21.