Guitar hero

Guitar hero
Mark Fowler is professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Mark Fowler ’84, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has three degrees, scores of published papers, six patents and nine guitars. But there was one thing missing that he had long dreamed of: his name in liner notes. This year, Fowler’s 17-year-old daughter, Emilie, released Burning, a CD of original songs. Fowler was the guitarist and, Emilie writes, “the superhero of this whole thing.”

What’s your musical background?

Answer: A high school buddy and I wrote about 150 songs despite the fact that he was in the Air Force in Alabama and I was in Binghamton. He wrote the words and I wrote the music, and then I’d record them on the primitive equipment of the time. We dreamed of being rock stars, but we had no intention of dropping out of school.

What’s your style of music?

A: I’ve played rock, punk rock, blues, Celtic, jazz and even Renaissance.

Q: Which is your favorite guitar?

A: I have two: a Martin HD-28 acoustic — I longed for this guitar for years and finally got it — and a 1986 Yamaha SA2000 electric that I had to have the minute I saw it.

Q: Will Emilie record any of your songs?

A: There’s only one she’s interested in; it’s called Turn to Silence.

I wrote it when I was trying to decide about grad school. Everyone was giving me conflicting advice and I just wanted them to stop. One day I was standing at the urinal in the Engineering Building and on top of it there was a knob and some instructions on how to shut off the swooshing sound. The phrase was “turn to silence.” And I thought, that’s what I want all these people to do.



Sample the CD at or search for it on iTunes.

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