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Courses Taught

  • Mock-ups and Sound Design

Awards and Distinctions

  • Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, The Lord of the Rings
  • Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music
  • GANG, Best Interactive Score

What is your hometown?

Bozeman, MT

What is your favorite recording?

Man with a Harmonica, Once Upon a Time in the West - Ennio Morricone

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Film, games, and action sports.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“As a film composer, you are not really a composer at all. You are a filmmaker who specializes in music.”
—Adrian Ellis

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

Something I don't know so we can start learning together.

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

It wasn't ever really about a career. It still isn't, really. I do remember seeing Tchaikovsky's Fifth as a child, though, and being completely changed by it. Also, witnessing a local bar band playing “Johnny B. Goode" around the same time. Both ignited something in me.

What was a turning point in your career?

Switching from music to animation and back gave me the perspective to pursue my current path in media composition.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Film director or fine artist.

What is your daily practice routine?

Thirty minutes of piano exploration as daily as possible.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Tchaikovsky, Duke Ellington, and Ennio Morricone.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Paris, 1913.

What are your most important collaborations?

Valve, Weta, and my experimental studio group Milk Cult.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Portal and Portal 2: Game, Soundtrack, and Media Pieces
Team Fortress 2: Game, Soundtrack, and Animated Shorts
Left 4 Dead 1 & 2: Game, Soundtrack, and media pieces.
CS:GO: Game
Dota 2: Game

What is your unrealized project?

Amplified pedal steel quartet.