A composer of instinct whose roots are in classical composition, Kenneth Lampl’s powerful and provocative music reflects a wide range of musical influences, from ambient sound to cutting edge electronic. “I find inspiration everywhere so it’s thrilling to be able to write a big Hollywood orchestral cue combined with blistering guitars one day, and be programming ethereal synth textures over a Pucciniesque operatic voice the next.” It is this versatility of talent that has attracted the attention of a growing number of filmmakers.
Music has long been a passion for Ken Lampl. A child with no formal musical training, he taught himself to play the the saxophone and piano at a very young age and began improvising music when he was 8 years old: “I was fascinated by the mystery of where music came from and loved improvising. I was never interested in joining the school band because I knew that what I was improvising was better than what they were playing”, he says, laughing at his youthful immodesty. However, it wasn’t until he was 17, and studying saxophone with Lionel Hampton’s arranger and saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, that Ken decided to make music his life’s work. For the next several years he practiced at least 7 hours a day, traveled, and honed his skills performing with the legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton at Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater and the JVC jazz festival. While touring and finishing his degree in music. he began studying classical composition with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen. Under Wuorinen’s guidance Ken composed his first award winning orchestral piece Parallax, and while still a student, saw his work performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
“After that performance, I put down my saxophone forever, despite the fact that the critical reception was substantially less than positive.”" Ken recalls. He continued to study composition in the doctoral program at the Juilliard School of Music and was then awarded a scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival where he had the opportunity to study with his childhood musical hero, John Williams. “What I was most impressed by was not only the impeccable musicianship of Williams,” Ken notes, ” but his understanding of film. For him, film scoring was the unification of literature, psychology, philosophy and music, and that was immediately appealing to me. The door was opened, and I suddenly knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do with my music.”
For Kenneth Lampl, there is no greater joy than composing music. “I always wanted to create music because it is an opportunity to bring something of beauty into the world – something that has not existed before – and enable people to experience that which lies beyond the immediate senses.”