Stephan Boudouris, aka Sub-Niche, is a person striving for balance and harmony in life; the middle ground. He’s an admitted perfectionist; an idealist; a purist some would say. He’s an artist and a hopeless romantic at heart. He often stumbles through the day with one foot in reality and the other in the clouds.
He’s performed a variety of “jobs” throughout his life. He’s found employment within a hotel, a car repair shop, as an audio/video installation tech, and a photographer (just don’t ask him who his subjects were). After a brief foray into car racing, at the age of 23 he was offered his “dream” job as a driving instructor with the Skip Barber Racing School. But it was not in the cards. For the last 16 years he’s cut his teeth as a mechanical designer, which is another way saying a non-degreed mechanical engineer. It’s a challenging job that strives to balance form and function within the tight confines of time, and occasionally budget.
Stephan’s drawn to many activities: music, photography, mountain biking, hiking, and driving (fast, preferably). If he could circumvent the physical cost, he would be an avid motorcycle rider. Hiking, mountain biking and driving fulfill his desire for purity of movement, balance, adventure and escape. Photography keeps him engaged in and connected to the beauty and complexity of the surrounding world.
Music has been an integral part of his life since he was a kid. He took piano lessons at a young age and played the trumpet in the school band from the third through the eighth grade. In middle school he also joined a small private music school and began playing and performing in a jazz/improvisational based keyboard group. He began composing instrumental music in his late teens and ultimately entered college as a music performance major. After three years of college and a brief stint in a jazz trio he closed the door on music, unable to find an adequate medium with which to express his true voice. Or, maybe his voice need time to develop and mature. But, music never completely left him.
Pain and misfortune are powerful instigators of change in life. They can also tip the balance during times of indecision or when realizations go unheeded. Common associations and chance also lead to change and opportunity. The death of his brother, coupled with general self-doubt, caused him to abandon music (amongst other things) in his early twenties, but lead to him pursing his dream of racing cars. And that ultimately got him out of the family nest. His love of motorcycle riding led to a chance meeting and his eventual employment as a mechanical designer. A severe motorcycle crash led to him dropping out of school for a second time in life. Later on, a difficult break up inspired him to fill the walls of his empty house with music. But it was not the music of his youth, veiled by the inherent limitations of its instrumental form. He was ready to share his sense of love, wonder, disappointment, fear, elation, loss, suffering, doubt, and fascination using his natural instrument. His music has been described as soothing, thought provoking, heart-felt and authentic. If he could manifest it and if he believed he were entitled, worthy, Stephan could envision himself performing for large groups of people, sharing his unique view of the world at large and his visions of the world beyond that which we can see. But prior to fulfilling that grandiose desire, recording an album and performing regularly at dedicated music venues would suffice.
All music composed on this episode by Sub-Niche
Photography by Rodney Diaz