Gary Noland’s music has received ecstatic praise from some of the leading musicians of the era. He has been called the “Richard Strauss of the 21st century” and the “composer to end all composers” and has been described as the “most virtuosic composer of fugue alive today.” His music has been reviewed extensively and is historically acknowledged (Nicolas Slonimsky: Music Since 1900). Born in Seattle (1957) and raised in Berkeley, he grew up on a plot of land three blocks south of U.C. Berkeley known as People’s Park, which has distinguished itself as a site of civic unrest since the 1960s. As an adolescent, Gary lived for a time in Salzburg and in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (home of Richard Strauss), where he absorbed many musical influences. He earned a B.A. in music from U.C. Berkeley in 1979, continued studies at the Boston Conservatory, and transferred to Harvard where he worked as a teaching fellow and added to his academic credits an M.A. and a Ph.D. in 1989. His teachers in composition and theory have included John C. Adams, Alan Curtis, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, William Denny, Robert Dickow, Janice Giteck, Andrew Imbrie, Earl Kim, Leon Kirchner, David Lewin, Donald Martino, Hugo Norden, Marta Ptaszynska, Chris Rozé, Goodwin Sammel, John Swackhamer, Ivan Tcherepnin, and Walter Winslow. He has attended seminars with composers David Del Tredici, Beverly Grigsby, Michael Finnissy, and Bernard Rands, and he has had private consultations with George Rochberg and Joaquin Nin-Culmell.

         Gary’s compositions have been performed and broadcast in many locations throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Australia, and Japan, and are regularly featured on the Seventh Species composers concert series in Oregon, which he founded in San Francisco in 1990. His fiction has been published in distinguished litmags. Gary has taught music at Harvard and the University of Oregon and currently teaches piano, theory, and composition as an independent instructor in Portland, Oregon. Six CDs of his compositions are available on North Pacific Music at: 


            Gary Noland’s music has been heard on several continents. He runs a new music concert series in Portland, Oregon and has won the praise of many famous and important musicians. He has received degrees in music from two distinguished braineries and done time at a conservatory.

            In spite of—or because of—having amassed a significant catalog of works and having received the censure and acclaim of numerous critics, as well as having had several hours of his music recorded on CDs, Mr. Noland has never—not once in the eighteen years following his graduation—been called to an academic job interview. Over time he has kept a watchful eye on a number of music departments at various institutions of higher earning and marveled at how little he possesses in common with the vultures that bedwell such places. Quite naturally, the questions beg:  “Is there something wrong with Mr. Noland or is there something wrong with the system per se? Is Mr. Noland out of touch? Is he clueless? Does he lack talent? Is he lazy? Is he crazy...?”

            In an attempt to elicit answers to these posers, Mr. Noland recently ascertained, thru a private alienist and snoop he’d appointed, that the personalized stationery he uses to disseminate his academic job applications is laced with a chemical compound that automatically releases noxious fart-like odors precalculated to assail the nostrils of those on the receiving ends of his queries, thereby dissuading such personages from inviting him to job interviews. Further investigations have revealed that Mr. Noland’s movements are being closely monitored by an underground bureau that knows in advance exactly when and where he will purchase his office supplies, thus allowing his enemies sufficient notice to send their emissaries to the retail outlets in question for the purpose of adulterating the very items their intelligence informs them Mr. Noland is slated to buy (as predetermined from secret DNA tests that were performed on him as a graduate student). 

            In an effort to outwit his enemies, Mr. Noland has been aerosolizing his cover letters and curricula vitae with a special odor-neutralizing solution concocted of mildewcides, bleaches, and antiviral agents. Unfortunately, not only do these nominal antidotes corrode and discolor his query letters and CVs to the point of rendering them blind and flakey to the touch but serve to accentuate rather than obliterate the stercoraceous stenches effluviating therefrom. So offensive are these smells, in fact, that anti-terrorism squads are routinely called in to perform bio-hazard checks and, if necessary, to transport said application materials to pre-designated toxic waste disposal sites with the aid of high-tech, remote-controlled robo-tweezer vans.

            Suffice it to say, therefore, that, notwithstanding Mr. Noland’s telling accomplishments and epic qualifications, it is well-nigh impossible for him to land an academic position as a composer. He has thus resigned himself to working as an independent music instructor. For all that, he composes in his spare time with mischievous abandon!