Apr 11, 2019 • 3M

Headroom Hunting

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Purists may whine that the best days of music are behind us, that capital “M” music has seen its peak and is no longer relevant. But here at Play It Like It's Music we believe the opposite: not only is the act of musicmaking an essential life skill with a lineage stretching back to the beginnings of human history, but the vocation of the professional musician is more vital today than it ever has been. Once a month, join musician, songwriter and producer Trevor Exter as he drops in on working musicians from every genre.
Episode details

Hot days, cool evenings. Best time of year.

In this edition:

  1. An instrumental soundtrack.

  2. A riff on headroom and overtones.

  3. A beautiful cello video.


You could say that a musician has found their "voice" IF their sound feels like home to them AND they can find a circumstance where it can do some good for an audience.  

I've owned my sound for a long time and explored a number of places for it, and lately I’ve been tapping into some new energy. I recently played cello on a film soundtrack which premiered at SXSW less than a week later.

Tight deadlines produce surprising results and I was amazed at the work this composer pulled off. (When a proper release happens I’ll tell you about it, of course. )

But the cinema music experience is all about the headroom, much more than performing live. And I love the sound of headroom.

At conservatory I used to create pieces to help me work through my burning musical questions. The practice pieces always led to further questions, which naturally led to more writing.  

Convinced that the cello had untapped flavors and looking for ways to let it breathe, I realized early on that it’s not about the cello at all, but the space you create around it.

Life on the road taught me that you can make any sound you want - anywhere, using anything - if you can find the moments where it will enhance people’s experience.  

But it’s important to listen from outside.  

Because while a melody might live on the canvas or as part of the frame, overtones are the light without which none of our musical ideas can ever matter.

Let the sound breathe.




something curated:

Some cello brilliance by Helen Mountfort. I was mesmerized. “Soliloquy is inspired by and pays homage to the music of extraordinary Armenian composer and duduk player Djivan Gasparyan.” What a sound.

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I appreciate you. Enjoy spring!

Love your ears,





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