Division: Composition & Theory
Office: E-575 HFAC
Christian Asplund is a Canadian-American composer-performer (on viola, harmonium, piano, electronics) based in Utah, where he is associate professor at Brigham Young University. He cofounded Seattle Experimental Opera, which has produced seven of his operas. He has performed with such musicians as Christian Wolff, Eyvind Kang, Larry Polansky, Daniel Good, Francois Houle, Michael Bisio, Robert Reigle, Tom Baker, Greg Campbell, Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Gino Robair, and Phil Gelb in a variety of venues and recordings in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. His scores are published by Frog Peak Music. He appears on CDs on Tzadik, Present Sounds, Sparkling Beatnik, Maritime Fist Gleeclub, and Comprovise Records.
His book on Christian Wolff, coauthored with Michael Hicks, is forthcoming on University of Illinois Press, and he has published articles in Perspectives of New Music, American Music, and the festschrift, Joel-Francois Durand—In the Mirrorland (University of Washington Press). He is an associate editor at Perspectives of New Music.
Asplund has received commissions from many prominent performers and ensembles, and has received grants and awards from CalArts Herb Alpert Awards, Genesis Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Artist Trust, King County, Jack Straw Foundation, and ASCAP.
Of his music, Stuart Dempster has said, “Asplund, in his well-crafted compositions, delightfully teases us on those slippery slopes between composition and improvisation,” while a jazz reviewer has said Asplund’s music “walks a squiggly line that passes through jazz…, free improv, rock, funk and a whole spectrum of ‘modern classical’ styles, including minimalism, serialism and a handful of other ‘isms’…” Other words used by the press to describe his music include: passion, panoramic power, pure pointillist, plaintive, painstaking, rhythmically toothy, rocking, remarkable, rollicking, searing, subdued, soothing, submersive, splendid, unique, enjoyable, ethereal, mesmerizing, mind-blowing, otherworldly, absorbing, intelligent, idiosyncratic, distinctive, captivating, and bewitching.
DMA, Music Composition and Theory, University of Washington, 1998
MA, Music Composition, Mills College, 1993
Composition studies in New York with Thea Musgrave and Meyer Kupferman, 1988-1989
Graduate studies in ethnomusicology, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 1988-1989
BM, Composition, Brigham Young University, 1988