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Ian Coss on stage as part of a live sound event at Boston’s Museum of Science
Image: Jonathan Beckley

Forever is a Long Time - a hybrid podcast and album


Award-winning producer and composer Ian Coss releases a hybrid podcast/album exploring the stories of every marriage within a single family — his own.

Seven years ago, audio producer Ian Coss proposed to his partner Kelsey. He did that despite the fact that every living member of his family who had ever been married had also gotten divorced: parents, grandparents, every aunt and uncle on both sides — some of them twice. Today Ian and Kelsey are still married, but he has questions: What is the value of a lifetime commitment? Are we doomed to recycle the patterns of behavior we get from our ancestors? Are we all just better off alone? Forever is a Long Time is a five-part series that weaves reflection and original music through Ian’s conversations with his wife and divorced family members — a look at love with people who have made mistakes.

The series arrives at a strange moment for both marriage and podcasting. As many parts of the world emerge from a year of isolation, we are rethinking our priorities, seeking new companionship, and trying to make up for lost time. There’s already talk of a post-pandemic ‘wedding boom,’ as well as a post-pandemic divorce surge. But data points aren’t enough to process what these events mean in our own lives.

Forever is a Long Time takes a unique narrative and musical approach to the subject of marriage, in which each intimate conversation is paired with a song — providing space for contemplation and connections that cannot happen with words alone. As the podcast industry becomes increasingly consolidated, this kind of deeply personal and formally adventurous work feels rare, and important. It is a story that could only be told in this medium, and only by the person who is telling it.

“Coss is a gifted lyricist, adept at weaving even the most mundane details into flights of fancy both brooding and transcendent.” – WBUR’s ARTery (An Act of Imagination)

“…it’s really the podcast’s production that does the storytelling. If you listen to it in bed, as I did, the effect borders on dreamlike; a true-life tale that becomes as beautiful and memorable as a poem.” – The Guardian (The Great God of Depression)

All five episodes of Forever is a Long Time drop August 5th on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and other major podcasting apps. The individual songs will be released simultaneously as an album on Bandcamp. Episode One will also be featured on Snap Judgement, Radiotopia Presents, Family Ghosts, and the CBC’s Podcast Playlist.

Production Team

Ian Coss (Host/Producer) is an audio producer whose work spans the worlds of music, podcasting and sound art. As a founding member of PRX Productions, he has produced and scored several limited series with the Radiotopia network — Ways of Hearing, The Great God of Depression, Over the Road, and Blind Guy Travels — and launched the acclaimed Antiques Roadshow spin-off podcast, Detours. His work has appeared on Studio 360 and 99 Percent Invisible; it has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, reviewed by the New Yorker and Guardian, and recognized with multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards as well as a nomination for ‘Podcast of the Year’ from the Podcast Academy.

As a composer, Ian created the original score for ESPN’s Heavy Medals podcast, and regularly writes music for the nationally syndicated program, The World. He has released several albums of original music via Fashion People Records, and has premiered live sound works at the Boston Museum of Science and Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. His site-based installation “Sound on Mystic,” is currently open on Medford, MA’s historic Mystic River. He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from Boston University, where he conducted research on Haitian radio broadcasting and Indonesian shadow-puppetry. He continues this work as musical director for The Brothers Čampur, an international puppetry collaborative that has performed at major festivals in Indonesia, and at universities throughout the eastern United States.

Lacy Roberts (Editor) is a podcast editor and producer based in Missoula, Montana. Most recently, she was the managing producer at Brooklyn-based and Peabody-nominated podcast production company Transmitter Media, where she developed and produced original shows for clients like TED, The New York Times, CNN, and more. Prior to Transmitter Media, she worked with Al Jazeera’s podcast arm on the award-winning podcast Closer Than They Appear (where she first met Ian Coss!) and developed an international news show called The Take. In 2017, she co-directed We Became Fragments, a short documentary film featured in the New York Times Op-Docs Season 6. Her freelance work has also been seen and heard in the New York Times, The Atlantic, PBS Newshour, and NPR affiliates around the country.

Alex Chakour (Music Production and Mixing) is a musician, composer, producer and engineer based in Western Massachusetts. He toured as the lead guitarist for Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires for six years, while also performing as a member of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Howard, The Eric Krasno Band and Antibalas among others. He has appeared on The Today Show, Conan, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and CBS Saturday Morning. Most recently Alex has toured as a guitarist for Brittany Howard, supporting her Grammy winning album Jaime. As a composer and producer, his work has appeared on NPR, Stereogum and Vice, and has cumulatively amassed over 11 million streams on Spotify.


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