Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

ArtPod goes back in time!

Steamy love letters! Scandalous confessions! ArtPod does Michigan history the fun way. (But not so fun that we actually act on our terrible idea to use Pitbull's "Back in Time" as a lyrically appropriate prelude this week. Although, maybe ArtPod has some guilty pleasure dance parties in the studio from time to time...)

Grab your muskets and hitch up your hoop skirts, because this week, ArtPod takes a trip aaaall the way back to the Civil War.

One hundred and fifty years after the war (also called a sesquicentennial, which it turns out is a very tough word to say on the radio), we go inside Michigan State University’s dusty archive of letters between Union soldiers and their Michigan families.

Why? Because these largely undiscovered letters are now part of brand new digital archive. It's easy to search and read, so track down your great-great etc. granddad, or see if it's your distantly related Aunt who kept a hatchet under the pillow.   

Plus, don’t miss the incredible debut of the Michigan Radio Ken Burns Theatrical Company. It’s the finest dramatization of Civil War letters you’ll ever hear…or at least, the only one in which an intern really takes one for the team.  

Then, composer Bill Ryan gives us insight into his new album, his first in nearly ten years. Apparently, absence makes the music critics grow even fonder, because the album is making "best" lists left and right these days. 

Wait, you've never heard of Ryan? That's ok, we won't tell. But consider this ArtPod your cheat sheet before your next cocktail party. When Ryan’s not working as a composer and music professor at Grand Valley State University (and getting that music department national praise, jam-packed audiences in NYC, and a million YouTube hits) he’s writing his own music.

And when a composer like Ryan moves across the country, has a new child, and loses both his parents, you know the musical result is going to be extraordinary. 

Finally, don’t forget, we want to hear from you. Tell us what's going on in your neck of the woods when it comes to music, art, and all things cultural.

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