Professor’s Playlist: Ed Ruchalski


photo courtesy of Elizabeth Twiddy

Abigail Adams '16, Arts & Leisure Editor

This week’s Professor’s Playlist has a spotlight on Ed Ruchalski. He is the Professor of Practice in Music and teaches MUS 101 and MUS 227. He is also a composer and guitarist and has received his Masters in Music from the University of Miami, Florida. I asked Professor Ruchalski what he’s loving right now and how music is a prominent part of his life.

Do you have one artist you’ve been listening to a lot lately? and why?

“Björk. She just played a series of concerts at New York City Center to promote her new album Vulnicura. One of the concerts was recorded by NYCTaper and released to the public as a free download. So I’ve been listening to the album and the concert, both of which are amazing.”

What’s one song you can’t help but sing along to in the car?

‘Lover Killer’ by My Brightest Diamond!”

Do you make several playlists? If so, what are they? and what’s on them?

“I’m always making playlists. Some of them focus on one artist or genre, while others are eclectic mixes-say, anything from medieval dances to glitch electronica. To me, playlists can function like a journal-a record of how I was feeling, or how I wanted to feel on a day.”

I know you like to buy records, are there any recently that you’ve bought? Where do you buy them?

“I just picked up an early U.S. pressing of the Beatles Abbey Road LP for one dollar at an estate sale last week. Around town, I go to Sound Garden and Books & Melodies, with an annual trip to the Record Archive in Rochester. During the summer, I like to go to garage sales and the regional market.”

What do you think is going to be big in music this year?

“I have no idea! Unfortunately a lot of commercial music is very formulaic with all the focus on production—very glittery, all surface no substance. I’ve been impressed with contemporary bluegrass by bands like the Punch Brothers. Their music is intricate, well executed and full of surprises. So, it would be nice if the contemporary bluegrass scene received more attention.”

If there’s one musician dead or alive who you could sit down and talk with, who would it be?

“Arvo Pärt. He’s been my favorite (living) classical composer for years.”