Known for his experimental orchestrations and his use of spatialization techniques. He was the orchestrator for 'Cleopatra' from 1963 in collaboration with Alex North and also assisted on '2001' after North developed some physical problems.
He was included in Henry Cowell's landmark book "American Composers on American Music" when he was still a teenager and was thus the youngest composer profiled in the book.
His composition "Ice Field" won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2002.
He was the son of American parents who were residing in Montreal, Quebec, when he was born. He was married to Kathy Wilkowski.
He orchestrated for many composers, including Gordon Parks.