Werren, Phillip. Composer, b Vallego, Cal, 6 Apr 1942; BA (Yale) 1964, MFA (Princeton) 1966. His teachers were Quincy Porter, Donald Martino, Gunther Bialas, Milton Babbitt, Roger Sessions and Earl Kim. He took additional studies in Darmstadt and Warsaw. Werren moved to Canada where he taught 1968-71 at the Centre for Communications and the Arts, Simon Fraser University. In 1977 he began to teach electronic music, composition and theory at York University.
Most of Werren's creative output has been in the area of electronic music; he has also begun to explore the possibilities of computer sampling. His earlier works include the three part Phases (1970), based on the poetic imagery of W.B. Yeats; Vortex (1970), which explores the intermodulation of 12 oscillators and high rates of left-right panning; and, Music for Phyllis (1971), a four-channel piece choreographed by Phyllis Lamhut for New York Dance. He feels that the movement and energy in dance combine well with electronic music and much of his work in the 1980s explored this relationship. An example is Tellurian (1981), commissioned by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, with choreography by Linda Rabin. The 'sonic play' Hurricaneum, for 7 performers and tape, (1984; commissioned by NMC), together with Stillness (1984) and Survivor (1985; commissioned for York University's 25th anniversary), both for electronic bassoon and tape, represent a related series of pieces that investigate the effects of non-human forces on humans. Stone Witness (1987; for Les Grands Ballets) skilfully combines electronic sounds with the sounds of nature. In 1984 Werren began researching the possibility of expanding the Sound Chaser Music System, which led to his twenty studies for sampler titled Absolute Musik (1987).