Ken Pasciak is a guitarist, composer and music theorist.
Ken’s diverse musical interests have led to roles with ensembles of various styles, ranging from classical to jazz standards and fusion to progressive rock. He is currently a member of the Vermont based tango quintet, La Rebelión del Tango, specializing in the works of Astor Piazzolla, and member of an eclectic guitar-accordion duo, The Leading Tones Project, which performs a refined blend of various musical styles.
As a guitar teacher, Ken believes that students, given the proper musical tools, will not only excel to achieve their performance goals, but can flourish as musicians. Lessons focus on the acquisition and development of playing techniques, music theory as it applies to the guitar, and the application of these to students’ interests, for example, jazz improvisation, crafting solos or riffs, or accompanying vocalists and other instrumentalists.
As a composer, Ken specializes in music for solo guitar and other small ensembles, experimenting with extended and altered harmonies, utilizing open strings in novel ways, and employing keys not commonly found in the guitar repertoire. His recent composition, Eight Octatonic Studies, explores the octatonic collection as a source of pitch material outside of a traditional tonal context, leading to haunting melodies and eccentric harmonies. He is currently writing a set of blues pieces for guitar, one in each key, to demonstrate the versatility of the instrument.
Ken is a graduate of the University of Buffalo and holds degrees in engineering and music. He earned a Master’s degree in music theory from the University of Massachusetts. His thesis, “A Transformational Approach to Japanese Traditional Music of the Edo Period,” develops a novel voice-leading space that yields insights into musical intervallic structure, trichordal transposition and hexachordal voice leading.