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!.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
DJ Existential

Dear Blog,

Sorry to be neglecting you lately. It was a busy weekend here in Somerville MA.

The big question for the past few days has been appropriation in art and music. I was the moderator for a panel discussion on mashups and appropriation, and this has raised a lot of interesting questions. Peter Gilbert was on the panel and advocated for information to be freely used, and that this facilitates a larger cultural conversation.

Last night I was out to dinner with a few friends. This subject of appropriation came up, because I cant get it out of my stupid head, and Ken Ueno expressed what he thought may be an old fashioned way of thinking. He is concerned about this societal trend towards a lack of respect for ownership of intellectual property. He sees this in his students who use James Brown bass lines without even knowing who James Brown is. He warned against the trace of the composer’s identity being lost as a result of dj and mashup culture, especially if dj’s become less and less aware of the genealogy of the samples they are lifting.

Ken, if I am paraphrasing you wrong, please jump in and slap me around a bit. Derek did a great job at that a few weeks a go. I think this is an interesting topic and I am not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, my ego is like “dude! I did that! Don’t steal it!” on the other hand my inner Buddha says “the self is an illusion anyway. Nothing is original, so how could anything belong to something (the self) that doesn’t exist”

“But, I want to exist”, Lou’s ego screams

“Why?” asks Lou’s inner Buddha.

“Because it feels good, like a chocolate ice-cream cone”

“But can you have ice cream and still not exist?”

“huh? I just don’t want to be alone, stupid Buddha!”