Erling Wold is a composer and producer of operas and instrumental works both sacred and profane whom Kyle Gann characterized as a "fine" composer of "deceptively simple-seeming music". He recently saw the premiere of two of his large works, his Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi in St Gallen, Switzerland, and his solo opera Mordake for tenor John Duykers in the San Francisco International Arts Festival. Both have been released on CD. He completed a noise-music collaboration in the fall with fognozzle for electronics and orchestra which premiered in San Francisco. He is cofounder and executive director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, which has just completed its seventh season of new orchestral works. He is working on several new operatic works as well as a series of pieces for the Denisova-Kornienko duo in Vienna. His dance opera Blinde Liebe, on a true crime story, was recently performed in Europe and the US with Palindrome Dance of Nürnberg Germany.
His chamber works have been presented in Philadelphia by Relâche, in San Francisco and Santa Cruz by New Music Works, and by the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble. He completed a residency at ODC Theater with a presentation of his opera Sub Pontio Pilato, an historical fantasy on the death and remembrance of Pontius Pilate (also performed in Austria), a chamber opera based on William Burroughs' early autobiographical novel Queer, and his critically acclaimed work A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, based on the Max Ernst collage novel. The latter piece was given its European premiere in a German version by the Klagenfurter Ensemble in 2001 and toured to Max Ernst's hometown of Brühl.
He has written a number of solo piano works, including Albrechts Flügel, premiered by Finnish pianist Marja Mutru and more recently Veracity, which he premiered. He has worked extensively with dancers in the US and Europe. He has written a number of pieces for a dancer-controlled interactive video and music system for Palindrome dance. He has also worked with Nesting Dolls in Los Angeles and San Francisco on several theater and dance projects, including 13 Versions of Surrender and I brought my hips to the table. Most recently he has co-composed the scores for several Deborah Slater Dance Theater projects with fixed-media sound artist Thom Blum.
He is an eclectic composer whose teachers include Gérard Grisey, Robert Gross, Andrew Imbrie and John Chowning, but who has also been called "the Eric Satie of Berkeley surrealist/minimalist electro-artrock" by the Village Voice. He composed the soundtracks for four Jon Jost films. There are a number of CD and DVD releases of his music, and a DVD series is planned by MinMax over the next year. He was included in the first magazine/CD issue of the Leonardo Music Journal, and he has had a number of works published by Tellus and the Just Intonation Network. He has published technical and artistic articles in several publications, including IEEE MultiMedia, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, SIGGRAPH, the Just Intonation Journal 1/1, IEEE Transactions on Computers and several books. He has six patents in musical signal processing. He holds a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and was a researcher in signal processing and music synthesis at Yamaha Music Technologies before cofounding Muscle Fish LLC, an audio and music software company.