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If you’re a fan of dance or electronic music, you might enjoy listening to John Hunt’s honors thesis.

A music major from Montclair, N.J., Hunt recorded 14 songs for a full-length electronic music album entitled Stop Asking. The project was a year in the making, totaling a bit under an hour. In addition to original music, Hunt used the Internet and other CDs to borrow synthesizer loop samples for melodic lines and vocal samples.

Hunt was motivated to undertake the project by his experience last spring in Music 104: Composition Using Electronic Media. Students in the class use analog and digital synthesizers, as well as tape recorders, MIDI-interfaced sequencers, and digital processors to compose music.

“Composing a song inspired me to pursue this further and expand to see what I could do – where my passion could bring me,” Hunt recalls. “I felt a full-length album could show a broad array of different styles and experimentation. There are a few funky songs, some slow songs, a couple hard songs, and a couple fun songs. There’s something for everybody – all with a dance beat behind them.”

As he was working on the project, Hunt won an award in the music category of the Expressions of Lafayette contest for a song from the album, “Astral Projections.” The annual event challenges students to express the theme of diversity in art, music or poetry.

Hunt’s thesis advisor, Bill Melin, professor of music, was extremely helpful, he notes. “Professor Melin was always there for me,” he says. “He even advised me on things that didn’t have to do with music, like finding a job. He supported me though the entire thing and never tried to sway me from my drive to the final goal. He also offered critiques – tips on how to maintain focus on a musical piece based on the time you have.”

Hunt is making about 40 copies of the CD for distribution to friends, record companies, and others who might be interested. Just for fun, he included a recording of a friend’s voice mail message from Public Safety, which reported that his lost wallet had been run over by a lawnmower.

The album capped off a fruitful experience for Hunt as a music major at Lafayette. “I received a lot of individual attention,” he says. “That allowed me to further pursue my goals, and it just seemed as though the possibilities were endless. All the teachers in the department have appreciation for all types of music. Even professors who personally might not like electronic music are supportive and happy to help you out with what you need. They see the work you put in and have an appreciation for that.”

Hunt plans to become a music theory teacher or enter the music industry as a composer.

Categorized in: Academic News