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SAL/on air

SAL/on air is a literary podcast featuring the best author talks from over thirty-five years of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ programming.

Richard Powers

Richard Powers’ characters are often both artists and scientists—disciplines he sees as intertwined. In a delicious moment in this March 2008 reading, he describes the commonality between art and science as a state of “bewilderment,” which happens to be the title of his new book, released thirteen years later in September 2021.

A story that draws on Powers’ knowledge of music and technology, “Modulation” centers on the global dissemination of a musical computer virus. The synchronized activation of the virus unites four strangers around the globe: a former music pirate, a journalist, an ethnomusicologist, and a DJ.

Powers’ work embodies this spirit of marveling and wondering in a most bewildering way. His writing describes in Technicolor detail our most ephemeral human experiences, yet his precision doesn’t define; instead, it expands our awe and pondering long after his tales are over.

Season Three
Air Date: January 21, 2022
Audio from lecture: Richard Powers
Recorded March 5, 2008
at Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium