Life, Music, and the Pursuit of Answers

Life, Music, and the Pursuit of Answers

By Phil Circle
Welcome to Life, Music, and the Pursuit of Answers with Phil Circle.

This is where I and my guests seek positive answers to life's questions, often, but not always, within the realm of the arts. This is also where I encourage on-going open dialogue between all people, everywhere.

When I discuss topics specific to music as a craft and business, I'm likely to attach it to something bigger. Music and the arts are the miracles that happen every day. We connect through them.

Please send me a message with a question, comment, correction, or idea for a topic.
More places to listen

More places to listen

Why We Create, Stage Fright is Good, and the Truth About Marketing, with Bob Baker
Why We Create, Why Stage Fright is Good, and the Truth About Marketing, with Bob Baker. Bob Baker is a music and arts marketing guru and coach who has been ahead of most every trend for the last 25 years. Also a singer-songwriter, visual artist, and improv comedy teacher, he brings his wide understanding of the arts to his work. Phil Circle and Bob cover the 4 reasons people create, why stage fright is good, and the truth about marketing for the creative. This was recorded at the 2019 CD Baby DIY Musicians Conference in Austin, Texas on Sunday, August 18th at the Austin Hilton.
August 19, 2019
Acting, Always Learning, and Dealing with Bigotry, with Megan Corse
Megan Corse is a Chicago-based actress. Phil Circle is her husband. They take walks and talk about stuff. This time, they recorded their conversation. They talk about the need to never stop learning and being entrepreneurs in the arts. They talk about collaboration.  Then Megan shares her experience as a woman of mixed race. She relates some stories about bartending in a small town in Wisconsin near where she grew up. Her insights related to opening dialogue where there's real potential for greater rifts and even hatred, are indispensable.  If you care about creating dialogue, as a pathway to healing rifts and bringing people closer together, you'll want to listen to this episode carefully. This was recorded while walking through Chicago's Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhoods, ending up in Indian Boundary Park. It was Saturday, August 3rd, 2019.
August 5, 2019
Open Dialogue as a Disruptor, Cultural Evolution, and the Creative Process: Darin Jellison & Shenendoah Thompson
Songwriters Darin Jellison and Shenendoah Thompson join Phil Circle to discuss what fascinates them and the conversation goes down many paths. Darin shares his experience with the creative process as an architect, they talk about Guilt By Association Records' place as a disruptor in the music industry, how cultural evolution changes what's considered right among humans, the exponential effect of collaboration and open dialogue, and how they'd each change the world. This was recorded at Phil Circle Music/Guilt By Association Records in Rogers Park, Chicago on the evening of 7-14-2019. This podcast completed a weekend of GBA Records events, including live shows, radio appearances, and a promotional boat tour down the Chicago River that was filmed for a video. July 12-14th, 2019 is considered the official launch of the cooperative efforts GBA is making to replace and refit the ailing record industry in America. Shenendoah and Darin are the first two artists to join Phil Circle in this Patron-funded co-op.
July 15, 2019
How a 19 Year-old Capitalist is Changing His World with Jon Prizant
Jon Prizant owns Skokie Printing in suburban Chicago. He's 19 years old and going to school for business and marketing. His clientele includes local libraries and schools. Jon shares his views and experience, including some insights into his own generation's thoughts and feelings about the world and where it's going. This was recorded at Phil Circle Music on June 6th, 2019.
June 7, 2019
Curiosity, Courage, Creativity, and Elvis Impersonators, with Lem Roby
Phil Circle speaks with fellow Chicago songwriter, studio owner, session musician, and music coach, Lem Roby. They discuss the complex question of "What is music?" and look into how curiosity and courage are keys to creativity. They also discuss country music, tribute bands, Elvis Impersonators, and we learn of their longtime friendship and hear a few reflections on their experiences. Lem Roby fronts the band Jack Salamander, considered by many inside Chicago's music scene to be one of the city's best kept secrets. The son of an educator and a writer/editor for Encyclopedia Brittanica, Lem is not lacking in knowledge and shares it in a very accessible and laid back manner.  This was recorded on the evening of May 20th, 2019 at Lem Roby's recording studio in a Chicago suburb, known by many as "The Possum House."
May 21, 2019
What's Your Story? How Stories are Culture.
Phil Circle shares an article he wrote called "What's Your Story?" and then reflects on his own on-going story and how he found comfort in telling it. This was recorded on April 22, 2019 at Phil Circle Music in Chicago.
April 23, 2019
Chicago Culture, World Change, and the Future of the CSO with Chris Bell
Phil Circle talks with Chris Bell, former union pipe fitter, now owner of Flatts and Sharpe Music, Chicago proper's second biggest music lesson provider. Sitting in the lobby of her Rogers Park store, they reflect on Chicago's past and present, how it relates to other cities and the massive changes in the world today. Chris shares her experiences growing up in the neighborhood and reflects on what's changed and why.  Also in this conversation is a discussion about the future of one of the world's greatest orchestras, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As of this podcast, the CSO musicians were on strike for a number of reasons. Chris Bell gives her balanced appraisal of the situation and talks about her efforts to support local musicians by presenting free shows at her music store. This show was recorded at Flatts and Sharpe Music, Rogers Park, Chicago, on April 18th, 2019.
April 18, 2019
Phil Circle's Students Speak Up About Music
Phil Circle puts together two or three student showcases every year to get his students up in a proper Chicago venue to perform. It was at the end of the March 31st, 2019 showcase, at Chicago's Uncommon Ground Edgewater, that Phil gathered this show's participants on stage afterwards and asked them to speak up. Here's what each of them had to say about music and what it means to them.  Phil's students are adult professionals in various fields, semi-professional and aspiring professional musicians, and/or working pros like himself. Phil Circle has been teaching since 1993 and holds a degree from Columbia College Chicago in Music Composition and Performance (Summa Cum Laude). You can visit his YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest pages for some coaching videos in the playlist (board) Hey Coach. The intro to this special short episode was recorded April 14th, 2019 from Phil's teaching studio in Rogers Park, Chicago.
April 15, 2019
Jerry Springer, Cruise Line Gigs, Why Quitting is Not an Option and Boredom is Good, with Ian Leith.
Phil Circle and Singer-songwriter-guitarist and videographer Ian Leith meet for lunch in Chicago's South Loop to discuss their experiences in Chicago music. Ian also talks about working in Los Angeles, moving to Chicago to work for The Jerry Springer Show, and what it was like playing music on the cruise lines. Phil and Ian spend a little time digging deeply into the despair of wanting to quit what you love, and how to climb out by gaining a perspective. This was recorded at Flo and Santos on South Wabash Avenue in Chicago on March 26th, 2019.
April 3, 2019
What Am I Nostradamus? Phil Circle Reflects on 2019 Predictions
In this episode, Phil Circle looks back at an article he wrote for LinkedIn called "What Am I Nostradamus?" in which he made predictions for 2019. Phil expands on these predictions, tying them into his overall theme of this podcast; Seeking positive answers to modern day problems with open dialogue. Questions about many of the mainstream issues happening in the world are posed and pondered. This was recorded from Phil Circle Music on Friday, March 29th, 2019.
March 29, 2019
Nelson Algren, Del Close, Acting as Life Coaching, and Life as Acting Coaching, with Mary Reynard
Mary Reynard is a longtime actor and acting coach living in Los Angeles. Phil Circle and Mary met through the Chicago Actors Studio, where she was teaching for some time and whose founder is a student of Mary's late husband, the great Ted Liss.  After Mary gives a little run down of her fascinating history surrounded by icons, she and Phil move into a discussion about music and acting, coaching in these professional, and ultimately how the techniques learned to master these performing arts can be beneficial to performing well in life as a human being. This was recorded over dinner at Corky's Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California, after Mary spent the afternoon observing Phil's recording session for a new album. This was recorded on March 6th, 2019.
March 22, 2019
The Power of Music and Creative Collaboration with Ted Wulfers
Ted Wulfers is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, multi instrumentalist, and more. Phil and Ted are longtime friends, going back to Ted's time in Chicago. At the time of this interview, they had just completed a new album by Phil Circle at Ted's Sherman Oaks studio. Although they had shared many stages and social activities, this was their first collaboration on an album.  Not prone to profound discussions with each other in the past, in this podcast you are privy to the effect creative collaboration has on people. After five days of soulful creation, heartfelt performances, and conceptual production, it was only natural that music be discussed at its deepest level. Here are Phil and Ted at their most authentic. This was recorded at 663 Sound and in Ted's van, in Sherman Oaks, California, on March 7th, 2019. Ted added the intro and segue way you'll hear.
March 19, 2019
25 Things I Love About Music (How Music Changes Our Lives)
Phil Circle runs through a list of things that excite him about music. As a lifelong musician with 25 years as a recording artist and music coach, he's able to share many insights about the process of creating and learning music, its benefits for education and health, and its attachment to history and culture. To see his list in its entirety, visit his Twitter page or his blog. He also shares some videos on the subject on his YouTube and Pinterest pages. Recorded on March 17th, 2019 in Chicago at Phil Circle Music.
March 18, 2019
Health and the Human Spirit (How Your Energy Changes Everything) with Jorge Patrono
Phil Circle discusses health and the human spirit with Jorge Patrono. Jorge Patrono is a two time Grammy nominated Composer/Producer/Sound Designer/Drummer with an experience of over 30 years in the entertainment industry. Some of the artists that Jorge has worked with are: Gino Vanelli, Chick Corea, Mark Isham, Randy Crawford, Selena, Bebu Silvetti, Jorge Calandrelli, Eduardo Del Barrio, Daniela Romo, Rocio Jurado, Forever Tango and many others. Among his clients we can mention: Warner Bros, BMG, HBO, Novell, HipTV, SpikeTV, Discovery Channel, The Weather Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Deutch Advertising, Casanova Pendrill Advertising, McCann Erickson, Coca Cola, Univision, Telemundo, Galavision, etc. Jorge is originally a drummer that has developed african libraries as well as ethnic grooves and loops for Ensoniq, Korg, Yamaha and Sonic Foundry. He is one of the four percussionist featured in the highly acclaimed groove library for film and TV "Percussive Adventures" from EastWest. His company is a site dedicated to discover new talent in Latinamerica including composers, singers and writers, helping them to access the international market.  Phil met Jorge when he rented his guest house for a trip to Los Angeles to record his album Baritone 61.7 at Ted Wulfers' studio in Sherman Oaks. After a couple of brief, but profound discussions, Phil felt compelled to spend this time with Jorge before heading off to the studio one morning.
March 10, 2019
An Introduction to Life, Music, and the Pursuit of Answers
Phil Circle shares his reasoning for this podcast and declares your involvement crucial to its success. He gives a sense of who he is and why he's interested in more than just playing music, how he chooses guests if he does, and where he sees this all going. Join in the dialogue. Visit Phil Circle's blog at Visit Phil's main page at Follow Phil Circle on Twitter. Follow Phil Circle on Facebook. Follow Phil Circle on Instagram. Watch Phil Circle on YouTube. Join Phil's Mailing List. Become a Patron of Phil Circle and GBA Records.
March 10, 2019
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