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Dear Kay,

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.



  • Beautiful way to begin an early Saturday morning.

  • “I guess that’s how it is now…” dreamy and matter of fact, fragile and strong. I’m weeping for 10 years of this friable connection, all I have with my parents.

  • His TED talk ‘What you discover when you really listen’ features this song. So moving. Hugs Ann.

  • A beautiful song that brings solace and a reminder that the connection Between There and Here is never broken.

  • I can’t listen to Fanfare For The Common Man since The Denver Symphony played it at the end of my Father in law’s Memorial Service many years ago. The power of music to bring back memories and Yo Yo Ma is the only person that I have ever known who can play the Cello in such a way that we all understand what is being said clearly

    • Yo-Yo Ma was scheduled to play the Haydn D Major Cello concerto with the Denver Symphony Orchestra (for which we had season tickets) on September 12, 2001. In Denver the previous few days for rehearsals, Ma and the orchestra turned the program around in hours and played instead the Elgar Cello Concerto, as eloquent and evocatively somber a piece as you can imagine. After making sure there would, indeed, be a concert that night — most events were canceled, you remember — we traveled into a remarkably silent and solemn Denver and experienced musical healing magic.

  • ❤️

  • I do believe the universe shows us there are greater powers at the times of deepest need.

    In the early hours of a Memphis morning the smoke detector alarm blared from the kitchen. Later my mother called to tell me my father had died. When I asked her what time I realize I already knew.

    The Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah came on the radio as I was leaving the funeral home following the services for a dear friend. There are few songs that could answer to the sorrow of that day and the tragic circumstances of her death. Hallelujah is one. It was a gift at that moment.

  • Dear Ann,
    Sorry for your loss. It was sweet to read about your dad. May his memory always be a blessing.

  • Beautiful.

  • Oh…. Such exquisite sorrow. Peace to you, and thank you for this.

  • Who can knit? Beautiful and exquisite. Remembering my lost loves.

  • Heart-achingly beautiful.

  • I’m undone (in a good way). Thanks, Ann.

  • My dear Ann,
    Thank you for sharing this moving and beautiful moment that conjures up so very much. xo

  • Wow. I knew of his West Wing podcast (LOVE!!!!) but not the rest. Thank you!! And again – sympathy and hugs in the loss of your dad. I lost my dad last September (not Covid related but Covid meant we weren’t with him the last 10 days of his life ) and I feel your pain.

  • I am so sorry for your loss, Ann. Thank you so much for sharing this moving song. I recently lost a family member, so it is very timely for me….

  • Thank you for sharing this hauntingly beautiful song.

  • I loved Home Cooking and wish for more episodes.

  • Ann thank you for sharing this and your beautiful memories of your father. What an incredible human he was. What talent you have to bring him to our eyes and ears.

  • OMGosh, this is BEAUTIFUL!! It brought such calm and peace to my (usually anxious) heart.

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