Jim Lange

Host - Classical Music with Jim Lange and Eclectopia

Jim has a Master's Degree in Guitar Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. His BA is in Music Education from West Liberty University.

He joined West Virginia Public Radio in 1998, working part-time on Sunday nights. This developed into original programming called Sunday Nights with Jim Lange. Around 2002, this became Eclectopia- a program that has been on the air for over a decade and has a fiercely loyal following.

Recently, a kind listener, called Jim "the mad scientist of cool music."

In 2007, he became host/producer of Classical Music with Jim Lange. He is also host/producer of Symphony of Ideas- a co-production with maestro Grant Cooper and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He is responsible for both Classically Speaking and EclecTopia blogs.

He has interviewed classical greats such as John Eliot Gardiner. Joshua Bell, Hans Zimmer, George Crumb, Simone Dinnerstein, Erich Kunzel and many others.

In contemporary music, he has interviewed and produced shows about David Sylvian, Bill Bruford, Ralph Towner (2014) and jazz author Joe Goldberg.

In 2013, Jim helped form the Terra Firma Ensemble, a group interested in contemporary music of an eclectic nature. Local musical luminaries such as David Porter, Ryan Kennedy, Lisa Peery, John Ingrahm and Scott Milam are the current lineup.

Terra Firma premiered  his sextet, "Brambles and Briers," as part of Kanawha United Presbyterian Church's Kanawha Forum in April of 2014.  It received a standing ovation.

Realizing that music and mind-body connectivity are a lifelong study,  Jim started Skype guitar lessons with Tony Geballe- a longtime student of Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft. He also studies Alexander Technique with Sandra Bain Cushman.

His greatest accomplishment and that which gives his life real meaning is his loving wife, Beverly, who tolerates his discursive lifestyle. They have been married for 21 glorious years.


4:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Eclectopia: Why Not the Mambo?

Eclectopia, baby.

This week's show is all over the musical map.

So, how's that any different from any other show?

Good point. This week we embrace funk, rock, alt folk and the once king of dances- the mambo.

Perez Prado was called the Mambo King. He is easily identifed by his famous grunts (Huh!) that you hear throughout the nearly-off-the-rails brass arrangements of his band.

Lest you think me being ironic with all this mambo business, thus embracing hipsterdom, I am not. This is fiery, vivacious, Latino music that gets me moving.

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1:14 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

The Classical King Crimson

KC 2014 lineup. Who's the new guy with the horns?
Credit Tony Levin. Used by permission.

I know I'm a bit obsessed about this band. I get that.

To be perfectly honest, my tireless enthusiasm is founded on one basic idea: by comparison, every other band seems lame. When friends or family talk wildly about some country singer (yawn) or some muso drones on endlessly about a new hot band, I sigh internally. About 40% of the time, the music is engaging and I might even download it and roll it through the Eclectopian wheels. It's clever and catchy, but it pales by any comparison. It's not fair to do that, but music people are like that.

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9:00 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Mind-Body Connection - Merely Present

Guitarist/composer/writer/teacher Robert Fripp exemplifies not only virtuosity and musical innovation, but has taught, by example, how to survive the crazy life of the professional musician.

I am a dreamer.

Far worse when I was young when just about everything jolted me or made me fearful. To counterbalance, I developed a strong imagination. My mother told me that I never needed entertaining; that hours spent with clay, comics, TV or outside activities largely kept me engaged.

But my dreaming nature created a mind that easily left the room. In short, being truly present, controlling or crawling out of that dream state, was an issue that followed me through adolescence and well into my adult years.

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9:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

King Crimson 2014: Joy?

KC 2014.
Credit dgmlive.com

"Everything you've heard about King Crimson is true. It's an absolutely terrifying place." ~Bill Bruford

King Crimson - a place where the music might resemble a tsunami, a typhoon, a hurricane and that's just the nice bits. King Crimson - where musical ideas such as acerbic Bartokian Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs, wicked bass lines and polyrhythmic drumming are commonplace. King Crimson - where the 21st century schizoid man roams in all his fractured red nightmares.

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9:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

K Flay - Mixing It Up

K Flay.
Credit K Flay

Channel surfing one night, I stumbled upon a video of a young woman performing on Carson Daley's Last Call.  She was rapping and singing what appeared to be original material. It was infectious.

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9:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Teacher, Teach Thyself?

My trusty, rustic Takemine classical, purchased in 1987, has been my faithful companion through many a circumstance and bad student. (Metronome and pick not included.)
Credit Jim Lange

We are binge watching In Treatment, starring the marvelous Gabriel Byrne, and there is a relationship, in the most respectful terms, between certain elements of private counseling sessions and private music lessons.

Byrne's character, Dr. Paul Weston, is having all sorts of fits with his patients, his private life is fractured, and his detached therapeutic persona is shattered by the revelations of his own therapist, the bright and insightful Gina.

My life is nowhere near that level of upheaval, but there's no doubt I've had some strange encounters with students.

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9:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Dowland or O'Dolan?

John Dowland - international man of mystery.
Credit WikiCommons

The man of mystery, the enigmatic composer and lutenist, John Dowland (1563 –  1626) has been on my mind lately.

Periodically, I go through these heavy Dowlandesque periods where I immerse myself in his profound songs, finger-tangling lute music or his soft and sorrowful music for viols.

You see, there are more than a few of us who believe that Dowland, among a myriad of other Renaissance composers, never get a fair shake in the world of classical music. They are largely ignored and it is duly noted.

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1:12 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

The Power of Silence

Quiet is just the absence of sound. Silence has a distinct presence. Silence often visits Guitar Craft seminars.
Credit Jim Lange

Consistently, the concept of music coming from another time or another place, far different from our own, is an idea you will encounter again and again in artistic circles. It's as if music is imported, allows itself into or gently descends upon the practitioners of this noble art. 

Then there's silence. What's so special about that? How does it relate to music?

Silence of the nature that Robert Fripp and Sandra Bain Cushman talk about occurring on Guitar Craft or now as it is known, Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists courses, is a keenly felt presence.

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9:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Eric Douglas: Author and Explorer

Author/explorer, Eric Douglas in a rare moment when he isn't traveling or under 70 feet of ocean water.
Credit Jim Lange

I am pretty much a home body and by Eric Douglas' world traveling life, I could be called a house slug.

Eric is a renaissance man: writing, photography, many aspects of scuba diving, teaching and he takes on special projects like telling the stories of our vets. Despite the diversity of activities, he is no dilettante. He dives in (Oh, a pun!) with an iron determination to learn and master what interests him.

A writer tells his story through words. Listen to Eric tell his story.

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11:25 am
Tue July 1, 2014

The Boys Are Back

King Crimson, 2014.
Credit Tony Levin. Used by permission.

Never say never, especially in the world of King Crimson.  

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10:08 am
Mon June 30, 2014

My Lithium Sunset

There is a notion that sunsets emit calming lithium. Perhaps this is why they are a universal pleasure?
Credit Jim Lange

Whatever our homes say about us, mine is one that is filled with sound.

We reside in an area two blocks from the bridge and a stone's throw from the busiest avenue in the city.

CAMC, our neighbors, is building a new cancer center across the street. All the while demolishing buildings, one row over from us, to "put up a parking lot."

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11:47 am
Mon June 23, 2014

A (Not-so) Brief Misery of the Eagles

Eagles' co-founder and Generalissimo Glenn Frey.
Credit WikiCommons

VH1's Behind the Music is always fun to watch. You can revel in the personal struggles of the band and cheer on the comebacks, but the real reason we watch is simple. We love when the narrator begins the segment with, "and then it all went horribly wrong." That's the point when the featured band begins to implode, explode and generally go sideways into an oak tree. A pure case of schadenfreude.

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11:37 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Don't Meet Your Heroes

Eliot couldn't have liked bawdy verse, could he?
Credit WikiCommons

"Expectation is a prison." ~ Robert Fripp

Literary giant T.S. Eliot was a fan of comedic genius Groucho Marx and vice versa.

It is thought that expectations of one another thawed what could have been a spectacular meeting of the minds.

This BBC special is part history and part speculation about their friendship. King Crimson's Jakko Jakszyk created this work as well as the music.

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1:50 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Roger Morillo: "My work is my passion."

Roger Morillo and one of many bass magazines to feature his instruments.
Jim lange

Walking into Roger Morillo's shop in St. Albans, you cannot help but feel a tinge of excitement. 

Here is a place where not only valuable instrument repair is done, but it's also where Roger makes his own basses and guitars. This is the proverbial "kid in a candy store" for a guy like me.

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2:25 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

The Roots/Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blazing!

Flea, aka Michael Peter Balzary, plays like a man posessed.
Credit WikiCommons

Special moments-performances which transcend the medium in which they are presented. Perhaps this is what we seek: those consummate performances that makes everyone smile and feel good.

Last night, on Jimmy Fallon, the Roots and the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined together to perform a Funkadelic cover. It was, to be sure, a display of tightness, fury, exuberance and energy that I have not seen on TV in a long, long time. Forget the Hammies, this was for real. A burning, blazing performance. Unreal.

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2:30 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Eleanor Daley: Choirs of Angels

Composer Eleanor Daley.
Credit Used by permission.

This Sunday, May 18th, you are in for a treat.

Do you sing in a choir? Like choral music? Do you like heavenly music set to exquisite poetry?

Eleanor Daley, one the most prolific and best-known choral composers, is coming to Charleston as part of the Charleston Civic Chorus' Spring Concert. She has an international reputation as her music is performed and sold all over the world.

I could just say her music is heavenly, blissful, subtle and profound, but that might not translate to readers.

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1:21 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Violinist Tim Fain

Tim Fain.
Credit Used by permission.

Violinist Tim Fain has all the musicianship necessary to play the major works in the classical repertoire, but there is not even a hint of self-importance or standoffishness that can come with that. His thoughtful, down-to-earth conversation make you feel like old friends.

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9:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Cherese Weaver: Modern Antiquity

Cherese Weaver

The sculptures of West Virginia artist, Cherese Weaver, are quite stunning. You don't just look at them as much as you feel that they are looking at you. And when they look at you, it's like that person you meet who sees you for who you really are. That's how powerful these pieces are.

She has captured something primal, like lost civilizations, with a gallery of faces that may be the gods and goddesses of the mythic imagination of antiquity.

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12:44 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Sharon Lynn Stackpole: Follow the Flow

Sharon Lynn Stackpole

“I am always doing what I cannot yet do, in order to learn how to do it.”
― van Gogh

Soft, watery, Impressionistic, veiled, implied, nuanced: these might be descriptions of the art of Sharon Lynn Stackpole.

She describes her style as "being all over the map" and indeed the pieces have a broad palate of styles. Still, there is a unity and a recognizable style to her work.

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2:55 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Go to These Concerts

Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (vocalist)

Feeling cabin fever? Post winter blues?

Then get out of the house to see these concerts:

Be a cross-cultural traveler when you go hear Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Indian Classical Vocalist.

Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (vocalist)

Sanjay Deshpande (Tabla)

Tanmay Deochake (Harmonium)

India Center – Charleston, WV

Admission: $ 15 advance or $ 20 at the door

(Children under 16 = Free)

Supporter’s Dinner Before the Event

6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.          $ 50.00 Per Person (includes the program)

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