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Garrett Michaelsen

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I am leaving for Lake Tahoe tomorrow and managed to update the sounds portion of this site. No new recordings have been added, but I've made some changes I'd been wanting to make for some time. On my return in a week I promise to add new sound files.


Alas, my site has yet again languished in out-of-datedness. My first year at Novato HIgh School is now complete and I have been enjoying the time off. So far, I've been reuniting with family at Costa Noa, backpacking in the Trinity Alps, relaxing beside the azure waters of Lake Tahoe, and preparing for another backpacking excursion at Yosemite in August. If I can stay on task next week, I am planning on uploading some new sound files (at Kristi's and Will's request) and revamping the existing ones. So, if you care, stay tuned.


I am very grateful for having survived last weekend. It reached its peak of busyness on Saturday when Mark Peabody and I took our two Novato High jazz ensembles to a festival in South San Francisco. Afterwards I had a chamber music concert at Sonoma State University. Both went very well: the intermediate band scored all "excellents" and the advanced all "superiors". Passage went so well that evening that Felicia (the violist) broke a string! In the middle of a particularly fiery run the rogue bit of coiled metal snapped (very dramatic). After a pause to restring, we continued.

In other news, I have begun playing with a swing band called the Starduster Orchestra. We had a gig in this swanky joint in San Francisco called the City Club, right in the heart of the financial district. I could get used to playing nice original swing arrangements and eating gourmet cuisine.


Well, it has been far too long since this web site has seen an update and I promise it shall not be left in such a state again! I have been inspired of late by the sites of some of my friends. Please check them out:,,, and The biggest news I have of late is the Marin School of the Arts: this is an incredible project I am working on with my former high school teacher Mark Peabody. Mark received a huge grant from the state of California to develop an arts high school providing students a chance to study in a number of different arts fields: creative writing, dance, instrumental and vocal music, theater, video and film, and the visual arts. It is an exciting project.

My other exciting project is a piece I will be performing soon titled Passage by David Sampson. It is written for viola and flugelhorn (a match made in heaven). The violist, Felicia McFall, is a tireless supporter of contemporary classical music. She puts on a number of new music concerts every year and performs on every single piece. See the events page for more information.


I have just finished working on a web project for a class. Check it out if you like. In fact, it is the very last assignment for a class I will do in Rochester. How about that?


Welcome to my new web site. The purpose of this site is to give anyone interested some information about who I am as a musician, improviser, composer, teacher, etc. There are still sounds to be added and scores to describe, so if you have any requests or insights, please let me know. For this, the first post to the "news" page, I will leave you with a brief passage I wrote about improvisation for my threecital:

he(a)r(e):the hear/here homonym coincides with two major features of improvised music. hear: it is music to be actively heard. its interest lies in its unique aural unfolding. here: it is music for the here and now. at its best the music exists only in one way at one exact place and time, created and destroyed simultaneously.