I am a professor of physics, a renewable energy advocate, and a musician/digital artist. My wife Janice and I live in the “Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont, which is basically the northeast of the northeast of the Northeast, not counting Maine! We deeply love the charming and wild beauty of our state, and her people and many cultural attributes as well. We also live very close to Quebec, which definitely has the best croissants, and a lot of other great things besides.
I teach physics, electronics, acoustics/psychocoustics, and energy science at Vermont State University (formerly called Northern Vermont University, and Lyndon State College before that). By way of education I hold undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees in Physics, and a B.S. in Sound Recording Technology from the Tonmeister program at SUNY Fredonia. Prior to teaching at VSTU, I was a research physicist in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos Laboratory (1993-2007), where I pursued research in nonlinear physics and renewable energy technology. I also led the New Mexico Solar Energy Association and the New Mexico Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, and have been active with various other nonprofits in Vermont (Northwoods Stewardship Center, Energize Vermont!, local Unitarian churches). I presently serve on the Board of the American Solar Energy Society, and have founded a new local clean energy group called Renewable Energy Now!, and continue to advocate in general for a complete and properly implemented transition to renewable energy.
My musical background is varied, but very strongly focused on both improvisation and composition. I studied classical piano in my young years under the late Janet Henkel of Clarence New York, and played trumpet in band, I was also fortunate in the 1970s through the 1990s to have spent endless hours improvising music in several bands with friends, enabled by the fact that my father, synthesizer designer David A. Luce, ensured that we had some instruments to play. We played a variety of progressive rock, popular rock, and sometimes jazz music, sometimes to the distress of neighbors who were subjected at a distance to the thunderous sound emanating from barn we practiced in.
The bands I played in performed a great many structured pieces as well, but crucially, we constantly improvised, often in the midst of an otherwise structured song, and especially with our own compositions, as these were more open-ended, and often had evolved themselves from improvisation. Our spirit of improvisation had two important roots: The improvisational traditions in general of jazz and rock of course, the latter still be strong in the 1970s at least, especially with bands such as the Grateful Dead, and secondly, the fact that we were mainly simply interested in exploring the enjoying our music. We dreamed a little about commercial success, but all in all we spent little time pursuing the practical actions required for that, opting instead to just keep playing. Here are some photos to convey a sense: