My Music & Science Background:
I have had one of the most interesting and eclectic music and sound educations in history as l was driven and fascinated by the question - Why music? Why do composers string together the sounds they way they do and why do they have an impact on our psyche?
I started playing an old dusty piano when I was 5; started lessons when I was 7; At 9 I sang in the annual Cub Scouts fundraiser with my cub scout troop at the Waldorf Astoria event and we were introduced by Ed Sullivan. By my 12th birthday I passed my Brooklyn teachers in my ability to play Debussy and Bach, and suffered an extesential dilemma --- so I joined a rock band, Tar & Feather, Our big event, besides the Aladdin Hotel, was to play "Mountaindale", in 1970 --- the post-Woodstock concert in the Catskills.
I graduated Brooklyn Technical High School in 1970, and graduated at the bottom quarter of my class. I then, unknowingly, started on a path that took me to 14 institutions of higher learning. I studied music first at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Staten Island Community College (SICC). Needing 'more' I went to Berklee College of Music, and ended up with a degree in music composition, from Brandeis in 1976, graduating Magna Cum Laude, with honors. During that time I did 9 concerts of my own compositions, mostly songs, with the legendary James Casola, and mostly lyrics by Dan Dern.
On the sound-meets-science side, I worked as a subject --- a psycho-acoustical guinea pig --- in 1972 at MIT's famed Research Laboratory in Electronics which had anechoic chambers attached to primitive, though very expensive computers and a wall of sound making devices. Amar Bose (Bose speakers) and others used this lab to do experiments in acoustics. I started trading music lessons for computer lessons and within a year could program in different lauguages.
In 1975 I attended the joint Harvard-MIT "Linguistics and Music" seminars with Leonard Bernstein and Noam Chomsky, took audiology and speech pathology in Boston University's "Sergeant School of Nursing", as well as took graduate course in the Boston University School of Education where I explored using computers to teach music. I was a special- graduate student at Harvard and MIT in the "DSRE" Division of the Study and Research in Education, (parts turned into the MIT Media Lab) as well as Harvard's School of Psychology.
In 1977 I reached academic karma when I was simultaneously attending MIT, Harvard, teaching jazz improvisation and composition, and taking a graduate course about 'Stravinsky' at Brandeis, and was commuting to New York to attend the BMI's Master Class in Musical Theatre, run by the legendary "Lehman Engel'. Other students were Ed Kliban (Chorus Line) and Alan Menken, (Beauty and the Beast, among others).
In 1980 I played a 'retrospective' at Carnegie Recital Hall, representing some of my, then, 1,200 pieces of music, and was joined by Robert Koff, founding member of the Julliard String Quartet, (and former chairman of the Brandeis music department,) In 1982 I had a record out "Wor Shu Opp", with a band called No Laughing, on the CBS- John Hammond Music/Zoo York label, and did a comic opera with Richard Kostelanetz called Epiphanies, performed on West Deutch Rundfunk, and the Australian Broadcasting Company.
My last public performance of my original pieces was Carnegie Recital hall in 1990. (renamed Weill hall)
"Late Night With Kush" is the first of 16 planned CDs and we're expecting to play Carnegie Hall in 2015.
My Other Life and Bio: I'm currently the chairman of Teletruth, a nationwide customer alliance dedicated to broadband, internet and telecommunications issues, Executive Director for New Networks Institute, a market research firm, and a the broadband and telecom expert for Harvard Nieman Foundation for Journalism's Watchdog project.
Bruce Kushnick, 5AM, Brooklyn.