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In C

Monday, December 14, 2009 - 09:00 PM

Ok, so last podcast you heard counting babies. Here’s a new spin...

Not too long ago, Jad was invited to contribute to In C Remixed, a compilation of remixed versions of the 1964 Terry Riley piece that quietly changed the world of classical music (and eventually pop music too). In this podcast, Jad talks to musicians Michael Lowenstern and Zoe Keating about their remixes, what they did and why. Then Jad plays Robert his own kaleidoscopic remix of In C: minimalism as seen through the lenses of fatherhood and Radiolab. For his version, Jad threw a few counting babies into the musical mix (actually, only one of the babies can count ... the one that isn’t his).

Special thanks to Amanda Aronczyk and her daughter Mina (the baby who actually counts), to Bill Ryan and the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble, and to Silas Brown and Jennifer Munson (for their engineering expertise).

Zoe Keeting’s new album, “Into the Trees” will be available shortly. We can’t wait.

And Michael Lowenstern, in all his tweaker glory, can be found here.


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Comments [74]

Elinor L. Rousseau from USA

This podcast was great. I loved how they played each persons rendition of in C, and everyone's was different. Its amazing how a song so simple can be taken in so many directions, like the second which leaned more classical while the first and third had pop beats and unconventional sounds. My favorite spin of In C that they showed was the second by Zoe Keating, she talked about the simplicity and childless of the key of C, which rang true. The key of nothing, is the first we learn, so her take on the remix is most appropriate to me and I'm sure to a lot of young musicians.

Jan. 19 2015 07:34 PM
Anna from Seattle, WA

This is old news, but I just can't help it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece. I play it over and over and over again. I've shared it with tons of people. It is just magical. I go to such a dreamy place whenever I listen to this. Jad's composition is absolutely in my Top 10 favorite songs, and it might actually be #1. Thank you for this.

Nov. 21 2014 01:27 PM

This. This. THIS. I LOVE THIS. I FREAKING LOVE THIS. IM CRYING I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. MUAHAHAHAHAHA.I played this at the Chamber Music Camp of Portland. Everybody got angry at me because after everybody stopped, two cellists, the piano, a violist, and I kept playing for another half an hour. I held #21 for the ten minuets everybody played it (it is just an F#) and then for the half hour I played the last part (Bb followed by G over and over again).I currently have the sheet music hung up in my room.

Jul. 14 2013 09:27 PM

Your explanation of contemporary classical music was totally ridiculous, oversimplified and really insulting, and you guys use contemporary classical music clips (much of which is "dissonant") on your show all the time. You should really know better.

Aug. 24 2012 05:49 AM
Rory from Sweden

Im s musician myself and I can hear Jads perfectionism. I always think of perfectionism as a handicap but sometimes it creates vivid, colorful beauty like Jads remix. Actually I think I want to try to remix "In C" myself today =)

Thanks for creating my favorite podcast(I love novelty and Radiolab is the only place to surprise my otherwise very, VERY bored mind)

Apr. 19 2012 11:35 PM

Very beautiful. Thank you.

Dec. 02 2011 03:33 PM
Mark from West Orange, NJ

Er... Lowenstein. The text to the left has Lowenstern! The link to his site works though: very nice site.

Sep. 28 2011 10:11 AM
Mark from West Orange, NJ

Great! Lowensein's piece sounds a little like Ozric Tentacles. Can I get it on iTunes?

Sep. 28 2011 09:56 AM
Katie from California

This episode was awesome. I think I listened to the whole thing 3 times in a row and your song another 3 after that. Rad don't stop doing radio lab but please keep doing music.
Your show makes me smile at times when nothing else seems to bring me comfort, so thank you.

Sep. 27 2011 02:23 PM
Ellis from Pittsburgh!

My favorite part of this show was the awe and admiration in Robert's voice after Jad's piece. Kind of made me feel all fuzzy :)

Sep. 22 2011 03:31 PM
Howell from New York

Very good sounds, but I'm not really sure what you mean in this case by "remixed." That makes me think of taking the same basic sounds and putting them in different places, or adjusting the volume or overdubbing,. What exactly did people do to change this and yet keep it a version of "In C?"

Apr. 28 2011 04:57 PM
Uncle Tony from at home, taking a sick day

Jad, you're version of In "C" was for sure, the best mix i listened to out of the three, not to say the other two were bad. When the mother says "Do you remember how to count?..." that just gives me chills. I was listening to this at work and I had to listen to it 3 time in a row AND I HATE BABIES!, but you're baby sound so cute. I hope you're baby has just as much talent as you do. Now try to remix Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi. The whole thing!!! LOL

Sep. 29 2010 11:26 AM
Dave Kleinschmidt

Absolutely transporting as usual. Especially Jad's composition. I experienced aesthetic arrest. Good thing I didn't crash the car!

Sep. 26 2010 01:11 AM
Durk Niblick

Do you remember how to count?

Jul. 28 2010 03:14 PM
Derin Beechner

Fantastic short podcast. Thank you so much! I just love it when the music stops, silence, "Do you remember how to count?" then BOOM, into the music again. Brilliant. Really. It brings tears to my eyes. Good job!

Jul. 28 2010 11:48 AM
Alexander Ayzenband

This is my favourite Short. Overall, Radiolab is the art of Radio, to me, and an absolute must - I keep a copy of every episode, like a collector. But this episode, and Jad's remix nothing short of made me gape. I don't know how you guys do it, but sometimes it's just ridiculous how awesome this program is. I love you. Period.

Jun. 16 2010 12:39 PM

Absolutely fantastic. Thanks Jad. this piece was as good as it gets for experimental music.

Apr. 25 2010 08:51 PM
David Hopkins

The world needs an In C iPhone app.

I just started listening to the Radiolab podcast. I greatly enjoyed the In C short. I downloaded the album from iTunes and I'm really enjoying it. Thank you.

The music seems ideally suited to being made into a smartphone application. The app would have a sound bank of various music clips in the key of C and users could create their own performances by controlling what voices played when and for how long.

Mar. 24 2010 12:07 PM
kenn neely

I have long been an "In C" fan and follower of T.Riley. Anyway I love your remix,,, very clever and inspired!
Also, love the show!

Feb. 21 2010 09:23 PM

very nice and interesting in this context cheers

Feb. 15 2010 11:19 AM

I played "In C" in an ensemble in college. One of the greatest aspects of the piece is its ever-changing nature--it's never played the same way twice. The re-mix was refreshingly wonderful, a great take on Terry Riley! It's great to see the piece gain some publicity.

Feb. 07 2010 01:27 AM

excellent… reminds me a lot of The Books' album 'Though for Food'

Jan. 14 2010 07:41 PM
Barbara P

Do babies like to listen to Jad's remix?

It WAS a little self-indulgent, but I'm more than willing to forgive, since it was very original & cool. Go ahead & self-indulge as long as you don't leave Radio Lab!

Jan. 10 2010 07:30 AM

Just Wanted to say that Jad’s version of in C was fabulous! I love to play it while doing my daily chores. It keeps me moving on the boring tasks of a house wife without the regular begrudging attitude.

Jan. 07 2010 03:42 PM

Love Jad's remix of In C. I listened to it four times straight this morning. Got me off on the right foot. Thanks! Love the moments of near-silence in the piece. The stops and starts on top of that steady rhythm which holds it all together and creates a sense of hold and release. Sort of reminds me of the drumming of Billy Kilson. Thanks again.

Jan. 06 2010 10:51 AM

JAD! That is absolutely incredible. I have listened to your take about 30 times already. I listened to it 10 times in a row last night alone.

that drop into "Do you remember...", so perfect. The layers are just mesmerizing.

So beautiful.

Jan. 05 2010 06:27 PM
Ron Broberg

Walking a winter road,
kicking up sprays of snow,
sparkling in the crisp sunlight.

Remembering a similar walk,
many years ago with my teenage son,
on a Christmas Eve day.

Strong laughter ringing off the rocky hillside,
cheering the old pine trees,
listening to Jad's In C

The fox have walked the frozen creek this morning.
As I do now. The ice thick enough to support a man ...
... mostly. :D

Jan. 03 2010 07:54 PM

Nice, though "In C" isn't quite right without the beautiful-girl-as-metronome bit ;)

Dec. 29 2009 08:51 PM

I know you didn't want us to feed Jad's ego, but after listening to this episode, I immediately went out to my local independent music store and bought the In C Remixed CD. It was $30 Canadian, and worth every penny (and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they even had it in stock right at Christmas).

Dec. 29 2009 03:46 PM
John L

Don't buy from iTunes! Buy from Amazon. Don't support the DRM monster =P

That said, great show - I bought this album this morning.

Your podcast/show is fantastic.

Dec. 29 2009 12:36 PM

I really love this mix! I had just listened to the numbers episode only a week before hearing this, so the significance was especially in the forefront of my thoughts as I listened to it. Seriously, Jad: don't leave the show, but DEFINITELY consider putting out more music, too!

Dec. 29 2009 12:30 PM

*I should add that I didn't intend to insult Jad and Robert by implying that they are not overly concerned with professionalism. I love the fun, casual feel of Radiolab and would have it any other way.

Dec. 29 2009 12:20 AM

I absolutely love the fact that Radiolab is about both science and art. Both are essential elements of life as a human being, and it's not often we see them explored in the same space. Thank you!

I can see why some people saw this piece as "self-indulgent," but I personally disagree. It would come off as unprofessional for Ira Glass to showcase his own writings, but Jad and Robert have always tried to keep Radiolab very casual. They encourage interaction from their listeners and maintain a light, mess-around attitude on the show, and professionalism has never really seemed to be one of their greatest concerns. Given that precedent, this show didn't bother me a bit.

Dec. 29 2009 12:12 AM

I listened to this last night while I couldn't sleep and I was transfixed. Totally transfixed. I am always totally amazed by the mixing in RadioLab, now even more so. You guys, you guys, you guys. I love your show. Thank you.

Dec. 28 2009 11:34 PM
h l fuller

sorry robert - i know you don't want us to encourage him...and i sympathize--i really do...but jad, that was effin amazin. :o)

Dec. 28 2009 10:46 AM

My eyes saw "Teddy" Riley and I immediately thought this was about New Jack Swing. But that's okay. Even though I'd never heard "In C", I enjoyed the podcast.

I just finished downloading the compilation from

Dec. 26 2009 11:22 AM

Yes. Thank you, Jad. The drop and comeback at 15.00 was special. Work it out, player!

Dec. 23 2009 11:17 PM

I am not such a fan of your music. It is not that I think it is bad, I don't listen for the music. I love the science that is explained so well and really makes you think about things.

Dec. 23 2009 02:40 PM

i love the mixture of science-stories and music that you do! i have to second the notion, jad, that playing your piece in full and just a little bit of the others is totally acceptable; it's really nice to hear what you are creating since the focus of the show isn't usually about personal projects, but about other musicians, ideas, scientific theories, etc....

Dec. 21 2009 03:04 PM

Here's a link to mp3 of Jad's tune, and the others. AWESOME show.

Dec. 21 2009 10:57 AM
John Dill

Jad, I really would love to get an mp3 of your remix. I cant stop listening to it and would love to include it in my library. Or, at least, offer it on the website for download. PLEASE?????

Dec. 21 2009 01:01 AM
Ken Lyman

I actually have a piece of vinyl in my attic titled this. I didn't know the history of Terry Riley though. This explains why my musical strings are harmonically energized by listening to Radio Lab.
A faithful listener.

Dec. 20 2009 05:34 PM

Loved the show. Listened to it about 5 times now and still not finished.

Looking forward to a 1 hour show as well though :)

Dec. 19 2009 05:40 PM

Jad's piece reminded me of Aphex Twin's 'Richard D. James Album'. 'Richard D. James' is all about childlike wonder and a sort of horrifying transition into adulthood, which Jad's rendition of "In C" brought to mind. Every track was excellent- please do this again!

In summation, This was ill.

Dec. 18 2009 02:07 PM

jad, please don't ever leave radio lab, but just so you know, your interpretation BLEW MY MIND. thank you.

Dec. 18 2009 01:25 PM

loved jad's version, loved zinc, loved the show.

Dec. 18 2009 11:38 AM

Jad, your version strongly reminded me of "Ralph's Rhapsody" by Ray Lynch. Not in a "carbon copy" way but in a "if you like this you'd like that" way. I hope you'll give it a listen, if you're not familiar with it already.

Dec. 18 2009 05:20 AM

Good show. I love when Radiolab does music. Which recording of In C was the first one featured in this episode (starting at about the 2:04 mark and again at 3:04)?

Dec. 18 2009 01:23 AM

I know you told us not to say so, but I LOVED Jad's version of In C! Thank you for another inspiring show. I'm off to buy the album now. :-)

Dec. 17 2009 09:09 PM

Yeah, I have to agree with those above who thought Jad's piece was too long. I'll add that combined with all the chatter about (and musical inclusion of) his new son, it was pretty self-indulgent. I kind of can't stand new parents, and this did nothing to change my mind. If anything, Zoe Keating's piece should have been played in full. I love this program and will keep listening, but let's reign in the self-indulgence.

Dec. 17 2009 09:09 PM

Nice. I'm happy to have discovered in C.
But really, the 2 first pieces are much nicer (3 if you include the original)
Jad's one was a bit long.
This podcast was nice, and a bit different, but I much prefer the regular radiolab podcasts.
In fact, at the start, I thought they were going to link the 2 logarithms from the previous podcast: the one from the children counting (and amazon people), with the Benford's law logarithm.

Dec. 17 2009 07:29 PM

All of the pieces were great, and Jad, I thank you for sharing your piece. I heartily disagree with one of the commenters above.... this is your podcast, after all, and Radiolab, as much as it is about the contributors, is also about Jad and Robert... they (and their producers) are the heart and soul of the program, and I love it when we hear about things they've done or have worked on in the podcasts, whether its a musical piece from Jad or one of Robert's great interviews at the Y. Zoe's piece was excellent... but Jad, your piece was equally brilliant and a wonderful listen. Keep it up.

Dec. 17 2009 01:45 PM

Holy wow, Jad.

Sorry Robert, can't oblige.

Jad, make more music!!!

Dec. 17 2009 02:12 AM

As a follow-up, would love to hear a podcast from Radio Lab that has stories about photography...(I can point you in some great directions)

Dec. 17 2009 01:59 AM

Long time fan of Radio Lab and I anxiously await each new podcast ever since getting connected to it. When I saw the title of this short "In C" I thought it sounded a little familiar - and I don't follow classical music trends very closely - I leave that to my brother-in-law, quite the musical guru in our family.

So, I download it, and about two minutes in realize that it sounded familiar because it was Grand Valley State that Jad was playing with. How cool - I sent off a message to my brother-in-law congratulating him on the mention of the group on Radio Lab. Kinda cool to hear a group he was connected with on my Radio Lab (is it wrong I think of Radio Lab as "mine"?)

Then, at the end, Jad actually gives some shouts TO MY BROTHER-IN-LAW!!! That just threw me over the edge. Congrats to Bill for the honor, and thanks to Jad and Radio Lab for sharing the story - you have no idea how cool it was to hear it...really.

Dec. 17 2009 01:49 AM
Kathy Orlinsky

I see a future in music for counting babies. Who wouldn't buy the dulcet tones of infants?

Dec. 16 2009 08:48 PM

Maybe it's just me, but I've never been a fan of any sort of remix. I dunno... I feel like the original composer's artistic vision is always lost compromised for some artistic vision of another individual. It's not that either individual did anything wrong; it's just that the mix of visions really doesn't make the piece very strong.

That's just me.

I think all the pieces sounded nice; they just didn't sound... hm... coherent.

Dec. 16 2009 08:32 PM

Jad's version was absolutely my favorite. Thanks!

Dec. 16 2009 02:35 PM
Lyle Solla-Yates

Ridiculously good. Cheers to you, Jad. I wonder if you're listening to Venetian Snares? He gets a little more violently noisy than you, but I believe you could appreciate it.

Dec. 16 2009 01:15 PM
Tim Khaner

Wonderful show - I love Jad's remix too!

Dec. 15 2009 09:31 PM

I loved the Radiolab Remix! Reminded me of the Katamari Damaci videogame soundtrack. Happy, quirky, infectious. Bravo.

Dec. 15 2009 09:21 PM
i'm a fan, but...

radiolab is so great and one of my favorite podcasts.

jad, you should have only played an excerpt and then linked to the full version. if anyone should have had the time given for the full piece it should have been for ZinC.

maybe keep your personal art projects going on your own site, or start a new show, etc. it would be a mistake to continue to use radiolab as a venue for your own non-radiolab work.

the show is FANTASTIC and you are allowed to do anything, but imagine ira glass playing a bit of two other artist's writings and then take the rest of the show to read his own -- it just wouldn't work on so many levels -- especially if one knows glass' work on TAL, where he's almost always humble and lets the content shine.

keep up the great work and keep making non-radiolab music and projects.

Dec. 15 2009 08:40 PM

I agree with Lisa B and others. Jad, you have such a musical ear. How about an album! Or a series of podcasts just on sound and music!

Dec. 15 2009 06:47 PM
Lisa B

sorry robert, I never follow the rules. MORE MUSIC JAD!!!!!!!!! =)

Dec. 15 2009 05:43 PM
Lisa B

Jad....!!! Amazing! In the break, "remember how to count", wow! When are you going to put an album out!?!

Dec. 15 2009 05:15 PM

Amazing work, Jad. Radiolab never fails to inform and entertain all at the same time. I've always been a fan of electronic and ambient music but I have never heard of "In C". Thanks for putting a spotlight on this fascinating piece.

Dec. 15 2009 01:40 PM
Johan von Boisman

We were not allowed to praise Jad, so I won't. (and I think you misspelled Amanda's last name in the text above)

Dec. 15 2009 12:38 PM

Really, really, not really cool

Dec. 15 2009 11:58 AM
Nate Twedten

I can't stop listening.... third time through!

Dec. 15 2009 11:29 AM
Tony Staub

Awesome Jad, really awesome. As always, love to hear Zoe.

Dec. 15 2009 10:01 AM
Warren Harrison

This show really hit the spot. Excellent reinterpretations of a great piece. Off to get the full album now!

Dec. 15 2009 08:23 AM
Wissam Dow

Philip Glass? I hear more Steve Reich.
What's the name of that random drum generator programme?

Dec. 15 2009 05:03 AM


Dec. 15 2009 02:23 AM

Wow! Simply amazing. I think Radio lab should open it's own record label.

Dec. 15 2009 12:37 AM

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