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About the Artist

Forrest Larson Publicity color photo

Forrest Larson

A central motivating idea in my musical outlook is that listening is a creative act. Listening with full attention to the sounds around us wherever we are, reveals a rich vibrant sonic world that is often ignored as mere noise. Listen without expectation, and accept the sounds as they come. There is an eternal concert happening that we can experience whenever we choose to open our ears. This music can stir the soul profoundly.

Much of my music is an exploration of what happens when the sounds of our environment and composed music for classical instruments come together in the concert hall. The sound of a freight train approaching, blowing its horn, thundering by, then receding in to the distance, all the while a solo violin sings in response. A flute plays a duet with crows. A thunderstorm arises out of the dignified sound of a church pipe organ.


Forrest Larson has composed music for string orchestra, wind ensemble, string quartet, percussion, and works for unaccompanied violin, viola and cello. Other pieces combine electronic/found sounds and solo acoustic instruments such as flute, violin, cello, organ and tuba.

His music has been performed locally at various venues, MIT, Brandeis University, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Brown University, Providence Waterfire. Other performances have been at Carnegie-Mellon University, Washington and Jefferson University (PA), Mansfield University (PA), Southern Oregon University, Ithaca College, Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne Germany, and in Iceland.

Ensembles and individuals he has composed for include The Community Musicworks Chamber players, MIT Wind Ensemble, MIT Chamber Orchestra Violinist Jesse Holstein, violist Sebastian Ruth, cellists, Marei Seuthe, Rob Bethel, Sera Smolen, tuba player Philip Vanouse, and flutist Sue-Ellen Herschman-Tcherepnin. His work also includes scores for abstract films by Kate Matson and Kyna Leski.

Forrest Larson (BMI) is a member of Frog Peak Music (a composers’s collective and publisher). His scores are available in print and digital editions.

He is available for commissions from both professional musicians and ensembles, as well as from school orchestras and wind ensembles.

Electronic Musician

As an electronic musician, Forrest performs solo, with his ensemble Sonic Sandbox, and collaboratively with acoustic instrumentalists. His analog electronic instruments include modular synthesizers, shortwave radios, signal generators, filters, and processors. He has performed at MIT Media Lab, Mobius, Outpost 186, New Directions Cello Festival, Pixilrations Festival (Providence, RI), Rheinische Musikschule, and The Loft in Cologne Germany. Musicians he has performed with include didgeridoo player, David Brown, cellists, Rob Bethel, Sera Smolen and Marei Seuthe, bass clarinetists Evan Ziporyn, Todd Brunel, and pianist Dietmar Bonnen.

Music Historian

Forrest Larson received a B.M in Music history from Ohio State University. Among his teachers included the noted music historians Charles Atkinson and Laurel Fay. Topics of his research include the music of composers Luigi Boccherini, Charles Ives and John Cage, electronic music, music in 18th century London, 20th Century American music, and the intersection of music and science. Forrest has given lectures at MIT, Southern Oregon University, Bates College, Ithaca College and a pre-concert talk for the Boston Early Music Series. Since 1999, he has conducted interviews and administered the Music at MIT Oral History Project. In addition he has book reviews published in Notes (Music Library Association), Oral History Association Journal, and Music Reference Services Journal.

Music Teacher

For many years he has taught violin and viola privately.. Currently, his teaching activities are giving workshops on improvisation and coaching chamber music.


Forrest began violin lessons in 4th grade with Daniel Parmelee (student of noted violinist Leapold Auer) in Wooster Ohio. Studies contined with Michael D. Davis. at Ohio State University . In 1986, he made the switch to the viola. As a violist he has played in the New England Philharmonic, Boston Chamber Ensemble, and other chamber groups. He has extensive chamber music experience, covering the standard repertoire, as well as modern and lesser known music. Currently he is not performing in public

Recording Engineer

Over 20 years of audio engineering experience experience. Audio recording clients include the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Fensgate Chamber Players and composer Charles Shadle. He is available for live concert recording.


black strings with glowing heads. suitable for technology, internet and computer themes. 3d illustration

Chamber Music

  1. String Quartet Movement I 7:04
  2. String Quartet Movement II 8:07
  3. String Quartet Movement III 14:11
  4. Trio for bass clarinet and two percussionists 9:50
Power lines on a colorful sunrise

Solo Instrument with Recorded Sound

  1. The Crows Return, for flute 3:26
  2. Nocturnal Reflections, for tuba 2:49
  3. Synchronic, for tuba 8:21
  4. As Far as the Crow can Fly, for cello 1:31
  5. Mystic Rails, for violin 5:28
  6. Eternal Thunder, for organ 10:24
Cello strings close-up

Unaccompanied Instrument

  1. Solitary Motion no.1, for solo cello 1:33
  2. Solitary Motion no.2, for solo violin 1:33
  3. Solitary Motion no. 3, for solo viola (no audio sample) 0:01

Electronic Music and Musique Concréte

  1. Urban Sanctuary 1:19
  2. Staccato Droplets 2:40
  3. Horsefly Fantasy 4:51
  4. Meditation in Metal 3:40
  5. Contemplations 10:03
  6. Motives for Listening 25:20
Abstract composition of an old cello parts, blended structure and wood texture details.

String Orchestra

  1. Octatonic Strings 2:16
  2. Prelude, for violin ensemble 3:47
  3. Creatures of the Night (with recorded sound) 2:00
wind music, abstract photography of the deserts of Africa from the air. aerial view of desert landscapes, Genre: Abstract Naturalism, from the abstract to the figurative, contemporary photo art


  1. Solo for Two (version #2) 27:56
  2. Duo for cello and metal percussion (no audio sample) 0:00
  3. Basement Music no. 1, solo analog electronics 7:16
  4. Sliding Tones, bass clarinet, digeridoo, analog electronics 12:44
Details, keys of a golden flute black background

Wind Ensemble

  1. Seabird Fantasy (for winds, percussion and recorded sound) 1:12

*Contact Forrest if you are interested in unpublished scores and parts



Storm's Eye View


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Forrest is available for Performances, Lectures, Music Lessons, Commissions, and Recording Services