I've been playing music since I was six years old, when I began piano lessons, with my mother who was a concert pianist, and with Frances Danforth. I received a Bachelor's of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1982), as well as an unfinished Master's in Ethnomusicology & Folklore from UWMadison some years later.
Music is at the core of who I am. Although I've won national and regional awards for compositions in the past (mostly chamber and choral music), and have had performances of almost everything I've ever composed, at heart I'm an improvising musician. Notating music can be very hard yet rewardingwork. In these days of digital recording, on the other hand, it's very easy to record your ideas and immediately transmit them to listeners. You're free to let the music pour out of you and capture it in the moment, without having to write it down; my notated music is often notated improv, anyway.
Many of the musical ensembles I've been involved with since 1990 create spontaneous music: live improvisation, with little or no planning. Playing without a safety net. No rehearsal, just music. The secret to success in this sort of venture is to pick the right people to play with: there's no deeper musical thrill than creating in the moment with people who listen to each other, and respond from the heart as well as the head. Walking the tightrope without a safety net is only part of the thrill.
I also do graphic design, photography and illustration for musicians. Some samples of that work can be found here.
Chapman Stick Touchboard
Bass Guitar, 4 and 5 string
Piano, Keyboards, Organ, Synthesizers
Ethnic Hand Percussion
Bamboo Flutes: Shakuhachi, Suling, multicultural bamboo and wooden flutes
Instrument Design & Construction:
Circuit-bending electronic toys & toy synths
Circular sawblade metallophones
Found percussion acquired in thrift stores and kitchen supply stores
Paper instruments (contact microphone)
Dragon's Weyr Studio