the story

I grew up in Palm Springs, California, before Prop 13 cut all the funding for the arts in public schools. I was lucky. I got to play clarinet, baritone sax, trombone and tuba, and finally, the bass, both upright and electric.

My Dad was sports coach and art teacher at Palm Springs High, my brother was the quarterback, and my best friend came from a boisterous Italian family with fourteen kids. Life was never dull.

After high school, I got fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival two years in a row; there I learnt from Stuart Sankey, watched Edgar Meyer play, and shook my head a lot trying to imagine how you get that good.

In my early twenties, I went to the now defunct Dick Grove School of Music in Studio City, CA, where I plunged into the grueling Composition and Film Scoring programs.

Dick liked to work us to the bone as a form of "training for the real world", and when we bellyached over the choice of this note or that, he would just bark out: "Just PICK one! America doesn't give a f..k!!!" Good times.

Later, I studied the classical repertoire in depth with Jack Cousin of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and more film scoring with Earle Hagen at the first BMI film scoring workshop.