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!.

Friday, July 01, 2005
PART 1, Why I Love Derek. Part 2, Obviousness

PART 1, Why I Love Derek

Gosh, there are many reasons why Derek is one of my closest friends. If you go and read the thread on the composers forum called “Are Blogs Self-indulgent, and why care” there is a good example of his feisty sense of humor, as well as his tenaciousness in deconstructing my stupid prose to make sure he wasn’t misrepresented.

HAHA! Great job dude. I guess my paraphrasing was a bit off. Though, I am sure you think I am a poopy head.

Derek, you should start a blog too. All the cool kids are doing it, and I bet it would make you cool too, and possibly be good for your career.

So I was going to tell you (the blogging audience, not just Derek) about how I finished up the piano vocal score for my children’s opera, but there was so much response from the “Are Blogs Self-indulgent, and why care” question, that it seems silly to talk about anything else. But there is one lofty conversation I had last night that I would like to now reminisce about.

Part 2, Obviousness

I wrote another song yesterday called “Plaid Pants and Some Fear”. It is about the first day of school in kindergarten. I played it for Emily late last night and she thought it sounded like Elliot Smith. I was thinking more about the White Stripes.

Anyway there was a part that she thought was too obvious and we ended up having a talk about the function and level of clarity in music, or how it works into any art for that matter. I realized that when I write songs, I like to have a very clear focus, which becomes the anchor, and then from there, I can work in more mysterious references, and double meanings. But when does a clear focus become too obvious and spoil the fun? Or is it more of a personal artistic call?

And then after about 5 minutes of this abstractifying, and silly questioning, we had enough.