With each series we do we have theme music, a sonic signature, that ushers in the stories on NPR and our podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…
For our Peabody Award-winning series, Lost & Found Sound — we created a mix of a Tony Schwartz recording, Music in Marble Halls made in the early 1960s with Jimmy Giuffre playing clarinet and his wife walking on high heels in a Manhattan office building that we layered with sounds of the century, including the voices of legendary Memphis DJ, Dewey Smith, the Watergate hearings, The Edison Phonograph, and Edward R. Murrow. We produced it in collaboration with the astounding Academy Award-winning sound designer, Randy Thom at Skywalker Sound.
The theme music for our first Hidden Kitchens series was a scrap from a recording on Arhoolie Records, by Csókolom a modern Gypsy-ish band we heard with legendary record producer, Chris Strachwitz at a Folk Arts Festival in Memphis in 1998. Chris was so taken with the band he got them to meet him at Sun Studios two days later and recorded the album, May I Kiss Your Hand. In the second season of the series we merged it with a recording Polish violist Wieslaw Pogorzelski made with our sound designer extraordinaire Jim McKee.
The music that opened all the stories in our Hidden World of Girls series on Morning Edition and All Things Considered was Asha Bhosle with Kronos Quartet, from their album collaboration, You Stole My Heart. The cut you hear is Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Lover, Come to Me Now). It was a riveting curtain opener for those stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, women who crossed a line, broke a trail, changed the tide.
Le Tigre and their song, Sixteen, was the theme music for our series, The Making Of… what people make in the Bay Area and why…, a collaboration with KQED and AIR’s Localore. We were scoring our story, The Making of the Homobile: A Story of Transportation, Civil Rights & Glitter and the Homobile founder, Lynne Breedlove was telling us about driving with Le Tigre blasting out of the car. We took a listen and a theme was born. Here it is with the trailer we did for the series.
The most recent season of Hidden Kitchens — War & Peace & Food on Morning Edition had it’s own theme music — the opening of Paul Simon’s lyrical, Can’t Run But.
And now, with the launch of The Keepers a new theme comes to herald these new stories — Moondog’s Stamping Ground. Thank you, Moondog for holding down your corner and endlessly blowing our minds with the music in your head.