Mommy, that music is scaring me!


Music and Movies made by Frank Koustrup

I considered Uncomfortable Music for Uncomfortable Times as a catchy tag line, but is it true? Or is Coincidence or Conspiracy better? No.

For several years, I tried to adapt baroque musical forms – such as fugue and passacaglia – to odd-metered rhythms, industrial noises, and the sounds of instruments, oscillators, machinery, creatures, and voices. I still try, although I really don't understand fugue all that well. But the cadences do resolve by the very end. Honest.

In 2020, the music turned darker, dark like it hadn't been since the 1980s when mad youth in response to a mad world determined that I become a musician. What emerged from the silences of lock-downs and a renewed fear of people were quarter-tone tone clusters, guitars bouncing against surfaces, and blue jays taking over the neighbourhood as they fought the crows.

Currently, I reconcile classical guitar - my instrument that I work to play without pain - with electronics and soundscape recordings. Music is an exploration of contrasts: loud, soft; high, low; thick, thin; dense, sparse; acoustic, electric; rich, poor; urban, rural; natural, manufactured; spontaneous, composed; all to find balance.

I dislike writing about music - it's the old "dancing about architecture" problem - and I drift from technical explanations to explorations about something that may or may not be relevant. The grade one teacher wrote in my report card, "Frank acts silly in music." This remains true some of the time; however, I take music seriously but only with the realization that so many other things have greater importance.

The most appropriate genre for this music is "Misfit".