Peer Classical Composer Ingram Marshall passed away on 31 May at the age of 80. Marshall described his music as “expressivist”, and his idiosyncratic style represented a crossroads of electronica, East- and West-coast US minimalism, as well as the twentieth-century avant garde.

Critic Justin Davidson suggested that Marshall created “his own musical landscapes—mists, mysterious places that afford moments of strange lucidity”, occupying “a one-man lot on the contemporary music landscape”. Composer and pianist Timo Andres saw in Marshall music that "merges sacred and secular in mysterious ways, following a train of thought into territories entirely on its own”.

In the 1970s Marshall was a graduate assistant to Morton Subotnick at Cal Arts, after studying at Lake Forest College and Columbia University, where he was affiliated with the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Marshall taught composition at the Yale School of Music until his death; there are plans for a concert celebrating his music for the 22-23 season at Yale.

Marshall’s best-known work is 1981’s Fog Tropes. It is built from sounds he recorded near San Francisco Bay, including fog horns at different pitches, ringing buoys, seagulls and wind, which where then looped and processed. This process provided a dark-hued and haunting backdrop for music for brass sextet. It received its premiere performance from John Adams and the San Francisco New Music Ensemble, which Adams later recorded. Director Martin Scorsese famously used a section of the piece for his 2010 film Shutter Island, where Marshall’s music accompanied Leonardo DiCaprio’s torturous voyage over rough seas.

In 2010 Marshall was Featured Composer at the Minimal festival in Glasgow, where Fog Tropes received a performance from the Icebreaker ensemble; the festival also saw a realisation of his multimedia installation work Alcatraz, with photographs by Jim Bengston. Fog Tropes II received its UK premiere two years later at the Southbank Centre from the London Sinfonietta.

Minimal 2010 also saw the UK premiere of Marshall’s Orphic Memories from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, an 18-minute concerto grosso first performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2007. The Orpheus myth has touchstone from composers from Monteverdi to Stravinsky and Birtwistle, and Marshall’s piece evokes both the mythic hero’s recollection of his ill-fated journey to the underworld, as well as Marshall’s own formative musical memories through quotation and reference in an affectionate homage.