I was born and raised
in the Republic of the Philippines until 1988 when, to give us a better life, my parents moved me and three
younger brothers to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I proudly became a Canadian citizen in 1991.
I began writing music
long before I knew what composition was, and I spent much of my spare time in the Toronto Reference Library discovering and
listening to orchestral music and opera.
In 1998, I received
my Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in Toronto. By 2001, I had earned my Master of Arts degree in composition,
also from York.
Among my composition
teachers was the late avant garde-ist James Tenney and saxophonist/martial arts instructor David Mott. Both men served
as mentors and were a major influence in my composition process. Tenney instilled my love of musical acoustics,
mathematics, musical form and perception [as demonstrated Tenney’s META/HODOS:
A Phenomenology of 20th-Century Musical Materials and an Approach to the Study of Form (1961; Frog Peak, 1988)] while
Mott ingrained the value of emotionality, musical sincerity, and the Zen approach to composition.
I firmly believe that in order to convey a thought, idea
or emotion, the use of the existing historical building blocks of music is crucial.
You can’t create a future without acknowledging the importance of the past.
My inspirations include Sir Georg Solti, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Carlos Kleiber, and Herbert von Karajan.
The year 2011 was a memorable one for me. First,
in the spring, In Memoriam, Op. 81 was recorded in the album North Winds III by the University
of Manitoba Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Fraser Linkaler. Second, in the autumn, I conducted two pieces at the
annual Canadian Band Association Ontario Chapter band weekend, one of them being my Scherzo, Op. 83.
On September 6, 2012
I was hosted and flown to Poland to attend the premiere of my Ave Maria, Op. 74a at Nowy Wisnicz
Castle by the Puellae Orantes Cathedral Girls Choir from Tarnow (www.puellaeorantes.pl) under the direction of Fr. Wladyslaw Pachota with Aleksandra Topor (soprano) and the Airis String Quartet.
It was a great honour for me to be asked to be at such an event.
Currently, I am a
member of the Canadian League of Composers of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).