Sound and silence are allies in the minimal yet intricate music of Lou Bunk. In both his acoustic and electro-acoustic music, timbre unfolds alongside harmony, while extended instrumental techniques, microtones, and a rejection of the virtuosic paints an alien and sometimes barren soundscape.

A native of the Connecticut suburbs, Lou’s earliest compositions were noise improvisations, and four-track collage experiments. Educated at Washington University (MA Composition) and Brandeis University (completing a PhD in Composition and Theory), he has studied music composition with such diverse composers as Eric Chasalow, Michael Tenzer, David Rakowski, Ladislav Kubik, Marty Boykan, and Yehudi Wyner. At Brandeis, he was Assistant Director of the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio (2001-2003), and Director of the New Music Brandeis concert series for the 2002-2003 concert season. This year Lou is teaching electronic music and running the studio at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. He is also teaching ear training at Boston Conservatory.

Lou’s music is the recipient of several awards (SEAMUS Student Commission Competition, finalist, Irving Fine Fellowship for Music Composition, ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Award, finalist), and has been performed in dozens of venues, in the US and Europe; CCRMA, SEAMUS, June in Buffalo, The Computer Arts Festival in Padova, Italy, an American Composers series in Trossingen, Germany, and the Zeitgeist Gallery. This fall, “Being and Becoming”, for bass clarinet, will be performed in New York and Boston. Some current projects include a new piece for solo piano, Sound design for the American Repertory Theatre, a dissertation on the music of Morton Feldman, teaching electronic music, and a rock and roll band called Shana's Mango!.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
20 weeks off a year, but no health insuranceÖ

I have to say that teaching college is quite a posh gig. I work 30 weeks a year, and when I am working it is usually between 25 and 30 hours a week, if that. And this is considered the Ďeking out a crappy part time teachingí existence. Coming from a working class family, this is not so bad. Sure I donít have health insurance, but as long as I donít graduate before I get that full time gig, then Brandeis gives me health insurance, but not for free. Sure, I am no rich man, and do have to watch my pennies, and as long as I stay in Academia, then I certainly will not get rich, but whatever. The more money you get, the more you want it seems.

Of course, there is the other part of my work called composing, which from one point of view is also my job and can certainly suck up the other 20 weeks a year I am not teaching. I donít like thinking of composing as my job. That cheapens it I think. I do it cause I want to, because I have something to express. It is not obligatory, and unless I start writing jingles or soundtracks, I doubt Iíll make any money at it. Which is fine.

Granted, I have not written anything since November. This I can only blame partly on Teaching. This past year I got heavily into Sound Design for theatre, and let me tell you, this sucks up a ton of time. And, the pay sucks. It seems like it would get better if I decided to stick with it, which I may, but I think for next year I may stay clear of theatre so I can try and finish that damn dissertation. But I donít want to finish to quick, because then there I am, stuck without health insurance and paying back ridiculous student loans. But hey, its great to have summers off. Maybe I'll take a nap.