SLU professor hits the right notes

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Saint Louis University has it very own rock star on campus in the communication and English departments.

Richard Burgin, known in some circles for his critically-acclaimed 12 books, mostly novels and short stories, has just released an album, The Trouble With Love.

The Brookline, Mass., native has a musical linage.

“My parents were child musical prodigies,” Burgin said. “They both played the violin. My father was a conductor in the Boston Symphony and my mother was a soloist. I would hear music being played for hours.”

Burgin has several awards for his books, including five Pushcart Prizes for his fictions. The Philadelphia Inquirer named three of his books “Notable Books of the Year,” and The Times Literary Supplement named his book The Identity Club one of The Best Books of 2006.

Burgin is primarily a fiction writer who draws his inspiration from real life.

“I draw from life experiences and emotions,” Burgin said, “I also draw from the places that I have traveled. I rarely write about people I know and love.”

The album, The Trouble With Love, is not Burgin’s first musical endeavor. Burgin has written and composed music before, but this is Burgin’s first foray into pop music. His best albums were primarily jazz and classical music. Burgin collaborated with Chris Cefalu on this album, and the two worked exclusively with each other over the Internet. Burgin wrote the music and lyrics, and Cefalu performed the songs.

For Burgin, it is difficult to pick just one song as his favorite from this album.

“For me it has a lot to do with the performance,” Burgin said. “A great performance can make the song great and poor performance makes the song poor.”

When it comes to the inspiration for the songs, Burgin said they come from multiple places.

“It’s a collection of different songs at different times,” Burgin said. “The song ‘Lately’ is rooted from years and years.”

The Trouble With Love is on sale now and can be purchased at The University Bookstore and online at www.richardburgin.net. Visit the first site, his official web page, for more information about his novels and other CDs.