Peter Garland was born in 1952 in Maine. He studied with Harold Budd and James Tenney at Cal Arts and has had long student-mentor friendships with Lou Harrison, Conlon Nancarrow, Paul Bowles and the late Dane Rudhyar. He edited and published Soundings Press for twenty years, and has written two books of essays on American music and culture. He has been a lifelong student of Native American musics, and has lived in New Mexico, California, Maine, Michoacan, Oaxaca and Puebla.
Garland's musical works after 1971 were marked by a return to a radical consonance and a simplification of formal structure influenced by Cage, Harrison, early minimalism and an interest in world musics. He has written pieces for pianists Aki Takahashi and Herbert Henck, percussionists William Winant and Chris Shultis, accordionist Guy Klucesvek, the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio and the Kronos Quartet.
Garland has also worked as a musician in shadow puppet theater, especially in his The Conquest of Mexico (1977-80), performed at the 1985 New Music America Festival in Los Angeles. In 1991, Essential Music in New York City presented a twenty year retrospective of Garland's work. Garland has worked with William Winant since 1972, and has had a long and close musical association with Aki Takahashi. Both were involved in performing his work at Other Minds Festival VI.
Many of Peter Garlands' scores are available from Frog Peak Music, Box A36, Hanover, NH 03755 USA.