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, this doesn't make much sense.

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 quite a bit darker, dark like it hadn't been since the 1980s when mad youth determined that I become a musician. What emerged from the silences of lock-downs and a new 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 struggle to learn to play without pain - with electronics and soundscapes. Fundamentally, music is an exploration of contrasts: loud, soft; high, low; thick, thin; dense, sparse; acoustic, electric; rich, poor; 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. My grade one teacher wrote in my report card, "Frank acts silly in music." This is true perhaps because I have yet to find any musicians in my family. I take music seriously, but my efforts are trivial in comparison to so many other endeavours.

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