Ken Lampl, Associate Professor of Music
Associate Professor of Music Ken Lampl recently composed the soundtracks for independent films such as Dismal, Royal Kill, Torture Chamber and Satan’s Playground. But don’t be fooled by those dark titles. This young Hofstra faculty member, who teaches music merchandising, is very high on life after recently receiving tenure and more composition and arranging work that will take him overseas for the summer of 2009. He says he loves teaching at Hofstra where he finds both “the faculty and administration very supportive.” He also enjoys seeing his former students – some of whom are now working at Atlantic Records, Carnegie Hall and MSG – find success in the music industry.
Professor Lampl received his bachelor and masters degrees in music composition at Rutgers University and his doctorate at Julliard. He started his professional career as a jazz musician, touring with drummer Chico Hamilton. While he was at Julliard, he was awarded a scholarship to the renowned Tanglewood Music Festival where he had the opportunity to meet and study under his childhood hero, John Williams, composer of the soundtracks to Star Wars, Superman, ET and Raiders of the Lost Ark, among other classic movies. While most viewers can fully immerse themselves in the plot of a movie, Professor Lampl – because of his professional interests – is also paying close attention to the score, which he calls the “unconscious of the film,” quoting his mentor, Williams.
This summer Professor Lampl will travel to Morocco to work on the French film Kandisha, based on the Arabic legend of an avenging spirit for mistreated women. He will also be in Vienna and the Czech Republic to work as an arranger for a Christmas album for vocalist Katrina Swift.
Besides John Williams, Professor Lampl also finds inspiration in the works of Tyler Bates (Watchmen, The Day the Earth Stood Still, 300) and James Newton Howard (The Sixth Sense, I Am Legend, Michael Clayton). Growing up, he was also influenced by Pink Floyd and John Coltrane.
When asked if he is able to recognize which of his students will succeed in the highly competitive music industry, Professor Lampl answers, “It’s all about passion and being in touch with what you love to do. People naturally set up barriers against experiencing what they love to protect themselves from being disappointed, but there are some who are able to conquer that. You have to have the drive to overcome that.”