Episode 1

What does it mean to work without limits?

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“There’s something really inspiring about something that seems — to you — impossible. If you take on one of those things and you find yourself doing it, that’s an amazing feeling.”

— Steph Davis

What possibilities emerge when we begin to question the tacitly accepted — and easily overlooked — limits that govern who we can be and what we can do?

Composer Samuel Adams, rock climber/BASE jumper Steph Davis, and arts leader Ed Yim all push past traditional limitations in their everyday lives by writing music that reaches new emotional depths, scaling cliffs and flying off of them, or making a platform for artists to create without compromise. Each of them offers a unique and insightful perspective on this question in the debut episode of Imagination Radio.

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Episode 1 Guests


Samuel Adams, composer, sound designer, curator


Steph Davis, rock climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot


Ed Yim, President of American Composers Orchestra

Music in this episode

  • Dylan Mattingly: from Stranger Love (2018) — Contemporaneous

  • Samuel Adams: Tension Study no. 2 (2010) — Living Earth Show

  • Judd Greenstein: Change (2009) — NOW Ensemble

  • David Moore: Broad Channel (2015) — Bing & Ruth

  • Samuel Adams: from Chamber Concerto: Prelude (One by One) (2017) — Karen Gomyo, violin

  • Samuel Adams: Shade Study (2014) — Sarah Cahill, piano

  • Samuel Adams: Drift & Providence (2012) — National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic & James Ross, conductor; Samuel Adams, electronics (learn more)

  • John Lewis: Silver (1964) — John Lewis, piano; Orchestra U.S.A.; Gunther Schuller & Harold Farberman, conductors

  • Dan Trueman: Silicon / Carbon (2008) — Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk); American Composers Orchestra & Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor

  • Ólafur Arnalds: Hands, Be Still (2013)

  • Philip Glass: from Symphony No. 4 (1996): I. Heroes — American Composers Orchestra & Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: from String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11 (1871): II. Andante cantabile — New York Philharmonic & Leonard Bernstein, conductor

  • Julia Wolfe: from Fuel (2007): Part II — Ensemble Resonanz & Brad Lubman, conductor

  • Hector Berlioz: from Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 (1830): V. Songe d'une nuit du Sabbat — Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique & John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

  • Gustav Mahler: from Symphony No. 8 in E-flat, Symphony of a Thousand (1906): Accende lumen sensibus — Schola Cantorum of New York, Juilliard Chorus, Columbus Boychoir; New York Philharmonic & Leonard Bernstein, conductor

  • James Horner: from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: from String Quartet in E-flat, Op. 74 (1809): I. Poco adagio; Allegro — Artemis Quartet

  • Samuel Adams: Quartet Movement (2016) — Spektral Quartet

  • Meredith Monk & Mieke van Hoek: Vow (2011) — Katie Geissinger, voice

  • Steve Reich: Proverb (1995) — Theatre of Voices; Steve Reich Ensemble & Paul Hillier

  • Dylan Mattingly: from Atlas of Somewhere (on the Way to Howland Island) (2011): II. Islanded in a Stream of Stars — Contemporaneous

  • Morton Feldman: String Quartet No. 2 (1983) — FLUX Quartet

  • Anthony Motto: Live at GGBY in Moab (2017)

With gratitude and admiration, this episode is dedicated to the memory of conductor, composer, pedagogue, and family man Harold Farberman (1929-2018).