I arrived in San Francisco about 1952. It was about a year after my first composition lessons at the university. And then it took quite a while to find a composition mentor.1 I finally did meet up with Robert Erickson through San Francisco State College, where he taught for a semester, and there was a composer’s workshop that I was attending then. And so, I began to do private study with Robert Erickson. It was about 1954 I think, and I met — in my classes at San Francisco, I met Terry Riley and Lauren Rush, and we became very fast friends at that time, and we shared our music with each other, although we were very different from one another.2 But we had a camaraderie which lasted until this present day.3
I met up with Ramon Sender at — I was sitting in on classes with Robert Erickson at the San Francisco Conservatory, and then Ramon and I started to do improvisation together, and then launched a series of concerts that had tape music that we made. And eventually that — Morton Subotnick joined us, and I went to — I wrote a piece, what was called Sound Patterns for mixed chorus, and sent it off to a contest at Gaudeamus in Holland. And I was invited to come there, and won the prize for the best foreign work, 1962. So, that’s the kind of the trajectory where that — that piece was — I guess it was the second piece that won a prize. So, my career as a composer was launched by then.