Hrishikesh Hirway is one of those people whose curiosity leads to the most interesting places. I love the guy, have spent hours and hours with him in the intimate space that a podcast creates. He’s right there, in my earbobs, having the most fascinating conversations.
His epic West Wing Weekly podcast is so good that we’ve both written about it (Kay here, Ann here). It was one of the first podcasts to take on the epic task of discussing every episode of a beloved TV series. For fans of The West Wing like me, this was total catnip, all 156 episodes lovingly revisited.
I’ve also written about his first podcast, Song Exploder—a series where he talks with musicians about how a particular song came to be. It’s such a good podcast (105 episodes) that it has morphed from podcast to full-blown Netflix series.
And there’s Home Cooking, his pandemic-inspired cooking podcast with the superstar chef Samin Nosrat of Netflix Salt Fat Acid Heat fame.
Beyond all this very fine podcasting, Hrishikesh is a musician, though one who had not put out a new song for a decade.
He lost his mother not too long ago, and it appears that his loss moved him to music for solace. His new song is about her, “Between There and Here.” That’s Yo-Yo Ma playing the cello with him. The song was released the day my father died, and when I heard it, I thought: of course Hrishikesh Hirway would put out a song like this on this very day. He has amazing superpowers.
If you want to lean in to your sadness, this really works.