Musician Profile: Emma Munger ’14

Click here for an original audiovisual composition by Emma.

From Jazz guitarists to classical pianists, Kenyon has a varied population of talented musicians. The mission of the musician profile is to highlight some of those talented people who work so hard to do what they love. Emma Munger ’14 was nice enough to take some time out of graphing supply and demand curves in preparation for her Econ test to talk to me about her experience as a musician both at home and here at Kenyon.

Musician Profile: Emma Munger

Class: 2014

Hometown: New York City, NY

Instrument(s): Jazz/Rock Guitar

Major: Music

Read on after the jump to find out more!

Q: When did you start playing guitar?

A: I started when I was 13–my mom just stopped taking classical lessons, so I picked up her guitar and eventually started taking lessons.

Q: Where did you play before Kenyon?

A: My brother plays drums and we started playing together when he was 10 and I was 13. My high school had a pretty good “non-traditional” music program, and I got the opportunity to play at different clubs in New York City like Arlene’s Grocery, the Bitter End and Sullivan Hall.

Q: What groups have you played with at Kenyon?

A: Kenyon Jazz ensemble/jazz combo, Motown (which is dead this year, but will hopefully be making a comeback next fall), and I’ve played with various other musicians around campus.

Q: What is your favorite kind of music to play?

A: Well, when I first started playing, I would just play various Radiohead riffs over and over again. That was my favorite thing to play. I don’t know if I even have a favorite genre to play right now, but I’d say I enjoy playing with musicians who really listen to each other and play off of each others’ ideas. That makes a huge difference.

Q: What is your favorite thing about playing music at Kenyon?

A: Going to New Orleans with the [Kenyon Jazz Ensemble] (though that may not be considered “Kenyon” music) was a highlight. I have never seen so many talented, yet ordinary musicians in one place. It was worth the 16-hour bus ride.

Q:  Who are your top 3 contemporary influences?

A: There’s no way, really, to limit it to three, but I’d say Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and Nels Cline.

Q: Is there any group or artist you would never consider playing with?

A: Justin Bieber. Or Jack Johnson, I’m not a huge fan.

Q: Are you going abroad for music?

A: Yes, I’m going to Goldsmiths (part of the University of London) to study music. I’m planning on taking lots of performance-driven classes, particularly in jazz and popular music, as well as classes about studio techniques and recording, and music in conjunction with different forms of media (film scoring, etc.) Pretty exciting!

Q: Has anyone ever told you that you’re dreamy because you play guitar?

A: Not “dreamy,” but once a stranger asked me to marry him after a concert. It was a little creepy. [Ed. I think she’s dreamy, in case that means anything]

Q: And last, but not least, what’s on your iTunes right now that you would recommend to us?

A: I’ve been obsessed with this live version of Mahalia Jackson’s “The Lord’s Prayer” from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Her voice is ridiculous. Also anything by Bill Frisell.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Musician Profile: Adam Reed ’15 « The Thrill

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