Bio

I was born in the Boston Lying-In Hospital in 1958, but my earliest memories are of Denver, Colorado, where my family moved in 1961. I went to public and private schools there and took piano lessons, sang in choirs and played horn.

As a teenager I became interested in visual art and intended to become a painter. While reading about the pop art movement, I came across the ideas of John Cage. I obtained a copy of Cage’s “Silence” and noticed it had been published by Wesleyan University Press. I’d never heard of Wesleyan, but surmised that an institution which would publish such an unusual book was worth a closer look.

At Wesleyan I studied electronic music with Ron Kuivila and met composers like Pauline Oliveros and Takehisa Kosugi, as well as Cage. Wesleyan also had a large ethnomusicology department, which was uncommon at the time. I began attending concerts by wonderful musicians from around the world and had the good fortune to study the classical music of South India (Carnatic music) with some amazing musicians; T. Viswanathan, T. Ranganathan, and K.S. Subramanian.

After receiving a B.A. from Wesleyan in 1982, I moved to Boston and played electric bass in typically unsuccessful rock bands. But I learned a great deal about music along the way and first started to think about composing.

John McDonald was my first composition teacher. My lessons with him at the Longy School in Cambridge were like revelations. I then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where I studied with Richard Toensing, Luis Gonzalez, and Steven Bruns, receiving an M.M. in theory and composition in 1993.

In 2002, I received a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University. My principal composition teachers there were Steve Mackey and Paul Lansky. I also wrote a dissertation entitled “Western Composers and India’s Music: Concepts, History, and Recent Music” under the guidance of Scott Burnham.

I now try to balance composing, scholarly work, and teaching. I am an assistant professor at Lehman College-CUNY in The Bronx, where I teach music theory and electronic music. Recordings of my music are available on the Innova, Capstone, Bridge, and Vox Novus labels. In 1998 I received a fellowship from The American Institute of Indian Studies for further study in India, and I subsequently held residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. I’ve received commissions from The American Composers Forum, Tara Helen O’Connor, The Cygnus Ensemble, Noa Even, Christopher Creviston and Oren Fader, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, The New Millennium Ensemble, The Da Capo Chamber Players, The Zephyrus Duo, and The Cadillac Moon Ensemble. I have presented scholarly papers on topics related to my dissertation at regional and national music theory and ethnomusicology conferences, as well as at the annual South Asia conferences in Madison, Wisconsin.

Along with Matt Malsky, I co-direct the Extensible Toy Piano Project (XTP).

For more information about me and my music, go to the LINKS page.

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