Former Seattle Symphony cellist Joshua Roman and the classical station’s new-music Web channel plan to increase the channel’s presence with new repertoire and performances, as well a beefier profile on social media.
At any time, finding various online webcasts of contemporary classical-music programming is just a Google search away.
Then there’s Second Inversion, an Internet streaming service (secondinversion.org) offered by Classical KING FM 98.1 in addition to its familiar terrestrial radio broadcast.
A hub for modern, avant-garde and cross-genre experimental music from the 21st century, Second Inversion — launched in 2014 — is at the forefront of the Seattle station’s efforts to expand and diversify its audience. Right now the station is only one of two radio stations in the U.S. (the other is WQXR in New York) with a dedicated online stream for cutting-edge new music.
That mission is about to leap forward with a deepening alliance between Second Inversion and an international star who also happens to be a Seattle favorite: cellist Joshua Roman.
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At a Town Music event Wednesday night — where he conducted ensemble Deviant Septet — Roman announced that he is now the artistic adviser for Second Inversion. He’ll work with manager Maggie Stapleton on introducing new repertoire and performances and giving Second Inversion a high-profile personality and voice — on-air and through blogging and social media.
Roman, 27, a former principal cello for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and now a busy, touring soloist, remains a ubiquitous, collaborative presence on the music scene here. His eight seasons serving as director of Town Hall’s innovative Town Music concert series align his goals as a champion of new music with those of Second Inversion, which broadcasts Town Music concerts live.
“I had been talking to KING-FM for a while about being involved somehow,” says Roman. “The growth of Second Inversion and its relationship with Town Music converged into this arrangement. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring new artists to the stream, but I think this is also about the way I approach and put things together.”
“Joshua’s a visionary in the new-music world,” Stapleton says. “Working with him is going to help take Second Inversion to the next level. He’ll be curating and writing about music he’s playing and experiencing all over the world. We couldn’t think of a better person to be a guiding voice.”
Stapleton says emails and analyses of Web traffic suggest Second Inversion has already found fans elsewhere in the U.S. and overseas.
“We really do stand out,” she says. “New music is happening everywhere.”