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HBS Rocks

The Acoustic Lounge includes five members of the HBS Class of 2004: Paul Boruta (OA – rhythm guitar, bass, vocals), Dan Edwards (OG – piano, vocals), Ranwa Sarkis (OJ – vocals), Omer Tore (OD – percussion, bass, guitar) and Jordan Burton (OJ – lead guitar). The band recently played a CD release party in Burden Auditorium to showcase original material from their album “Northeast”.

Harbus: How did the Acoustic Lounge come together?

AL: The band started two years ago when Paul, Dan and Ranwa got together soon after arriving at HBS with a shared passion for music and a dream of forming a band on campus. Our first gig took place in McCullough lounge where we played music to over a hundred friends. With Enrico d’Angelo spinning pre-concert tunes and people flaunting their talents at the open-mic afterwards, the event was a hit and people urged us to do this more regularly. Omer joined the band later that year and Jordan completed the family last January. Over the last two years, we’ve played gigs in McCullough Lounge, Hamilton Lounge, the HBS Chapel, Spangler lawn and, recently in Burden Auditorium.

Harbus: How would you describe your musical style?

AL: Acoustic rock (as the same suggests), with an occasional blend of Middle Eastern and Latin sounds. Our music tends to be smooth, great for chill-out and lounge-y settings. We also do a lot of vocal harmonies, as Paul, Dan and Ranwa take turns singing lead and back-up on each of the different songs. At any given gig, we typically play various cover songs by famous artists in addition to our own original tracks.

Harbus: What musicians inspire you? Who would you most like to emulate?

AL: We like to listen to a wide range of artists. Our favorite covers include tracks by Sting, Coldplay, Simon & Garfunkel, Dave Matthews, Storyhill, Jackopierce, and other acoustic rock artists.

Harbus: Tell me about your recent release – what is this CD about?

AL: The idea for a CD came about as we wanted to have a lasting souvenir of our concerts and the HBS experience to share with friends and family. We did our own recording of the songs one beautiful weekend at a band retreat in Maine. The CD includes eight original songs by The Acoustic Lounge and is entitled “Northeast”. Most HBS students (RCs as well as ECs) would identify with the songs as they speak of friendship, love (of course), good times and the HBS experience.

Harbus: Who wrote the music and the lyrics for the album?

Acoustic Rock: We can say it was a collaborative effort. Paul, especially, and Dan generally took the lead for writing the lyrics and coming up with the melody. Ranwa and Jordan have also written a song each with their lyrics and music. The great thing is that once someone brings an idea with lyrics and a melody, everybody contributes something into the song and the idea evolves into a complete piece of music!

Harbus: What have been the highlights of the last two years for Acoustic Lounge?

AL: Our highlights would have to be playing to a great group of friends in Hamilton or McCullough lounge, with everyone seated on the floor, leaning back and enjoying the music. We also rented a house in Maine on a cliff overlooking the ocean which was a fantastic place and a great source of inspiration!

Harbus: Will Acoustic Lounge stay together or disband after HBS?

AL: We would love to stay together, but unfortunately we’re all heading in different directions after graduation. We will definitely try to do band reunions, maybe in London, the best meeting point considering Dan and Omer will be there, Paul and Jordan will be in the US and Ranwa will be in Lebanon.

Harbus: Are any of you pursuing careers in the music industry?

AL: We’re always keeping our options open and would jump at any good opportunity. Unfortunately, the economics of the business today are not favorable to graduates with $100K in debt to service.

Harbus: Can members of the Class of 2004 look forward to a five-year reunion concert?

AL: We certainly hope so!

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the band or to purchase tracks from their recently released CD “Northeast”, please apprehend a member of the band or visit www.acoustic-lounge.com.

May 10, 2004
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