Born in 1950 at Stavanger, Norway, although I had a mother’s aunt who was a piano teacher, I never received any youthful music training before leaving Norway with my mother in May 1958, to settle in the U.S.
Having had polio made playing some instruments difficult, but I acquired a love for classical music early on — especially J.S. Bach’s. My musical activity blossomed in 1968 when I heard Ligeti’s music in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, and Ruggles’ Sun Treader (thanks to the trombonist Joe Earl).
Soon after joining the LDS Church, feeling a desire to use music to uplift people toward being receptive to the Divine, I decided to change from seeking to become an astrophysicist, to a composer. I studied composition with Merrill Bradshaw, Robert Manookin, and David Sargent at BYU, and won one of the BMI Student Composer’s Awards in ’73/’74, for Anamorphosis, an enormous orchestral work along the lines of Ligeti’s Atmosphéres and Penderecki’s Fluorescences. It has thus far not been performed.
My compositional style has always incorporated a strong proclivity for polyphony, and a tendency to seek for the sublime and mystical, often using larger numbers of parts with complex structure fluctuating between polyphony and heterophony in a pantonal context, seeking to achieve a synthesis of the best of the past and present. Melodic lines are often plastic and asymmetrical. Harmony can fluctuate from conventional triadism through serialism, to microtones — whatever seems to work best to achieve the desired result.
Getting deeply embroiled in the PC (personal computer) field, and eventually its application in musical recording and performance, I received high praise for my work therewith.
But I began noticing hearing loss in the higher registers in the middle ’80s. On the pipe organ I could at first no longer hear the 1' pipes, then the 2' disappeared. Medical attempts to deal with that situation have been resultless, and I’m now deaf above A3.
I’ve been heavily engaged in MIDI realizations of works by Renaissance and Baroque composers, as well as some of my own works, using adaptive techniques with computers to compensate for the encroaching deafness.