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Gluck's Electric Brew Featured by Keyboard Magazine

June 29, 2009

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Electric Brew CD cover

The CD cover for Bob Gluck's Electric Brew.

The latest issue of Keyboard magazine includes a feature story about the University at Albany's own Bob Gluck. Keyboard has for decades been a leading trade publication in the field of jazz, popular, and electronic music.

Gluck was designated as Keyboard's "Unsigned Artist of the Month" for June 2009 for his 2007 CD, Electric Brew (EMF Media).

"This was the third of my four CDs, and the first recording that focused on the piano," said Gluck, an associate professor of music and director of UAlbany's Electronic Music Studio.  He returned to the piano in 2005, after a 25-year-long hiatus. Gluck started out playing piano as a child, trained at Julliard for several years, and continued in college, graduating from UAlbany in 1977.

"My musical life changed dramatically when I was a teenager, after hearing Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Miles Davis's electric bands," said the classically trained Gluck. "My perception of the sonic boundaries of music expanded dramatically.”

Bob Gluck at the piano.

UAlbany's Bob Gluck combines his interests in piano and electronic sound, teaching his students to think in new ways. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

He joined a rock band. In college, he discovered electronic music. His interests in piano and electronic sound have since intersected. The result is reflected in his music and teaching, where he helps students design computer interfaces to expand the potential of acoustical instruments. He teaches them how to design and program interactive musical projects, using his own performances to provide models of how students can think outside the box.

Keyboard reviewer Michael Gallant wrote, "Composer Bob Gluck combines lithe piano playing with processed shofar (ram's horn) and a wide variety of computer-sourced sonics to create an engaging tapestry of living sound…Electric Brew is a welcome reminder of what magic can happen when rules are not so much broken, but taken out of the equation completely. Highly recommended."

Gluck's fourth CD was the well-reviewed Sideways with the Bob Gluck Trio. The trio continues to perform at the Albany-based club Justin's on Lark, while he pursues a new project, The Synapse Brothers, an improvisatory band that merges electroacoustic music with jazz and funk.  Joined by electric guitarist John Myers and, from a distance, sound design pioneer Patrick Gleeson, the band appears next in Albany on July 25 at the Upstate Artists Guild on Lark Street. Ironically, it has been through his use of electronics that Gluck has recaptured his love of the acoustic piano. His next performance at the University, on Nov. 19, will feature a completely acoustic duet with noted saxophonist Joe Giardullo. What connects the diversity of these musical endeavors?

"I simply love sound," said Gluck. 


 

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