Kyle Mountain

Hi There!

I write acoustic and electronic music with plenty of time signatures and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

I teach Composition and Entrepreneurship at the Challey School of Music at North Dakota State University, and I run the composition program at Valley City State University.

I also run the musical workshop NoteForge, which publishes music, produces apps like Liszt, and generally makes sound happen.

My research interests involve composition pedagogy, the creative process, and the intersection between electronic music and cloud computing.

Learn more Find Music Works In-Progress

Recent Works


New Program Notes for Thaw, and Joyride (Finally)

08/25/2020 02:51 PM

Thaw was set to receive its premiere this summer at Clarinetfest(r) in Reno, but that’s been postponed for obvious reasons. Which has given me the opportunity to finally write its program note: I wrote Thaw during my third winter in Fargo, and it was an act of optimism, because spring hadn’t hinted its arrival when […]

New Program Notes for One Sows, Creatures

06/23/2020 03:51 PM

Program note for One Sows for the Benefit of Another Age, which is new this summer: I started writing what would become One Sows for the Benefit of Another Age in 2013, as I was sketching ideas for what became a piano trio. I liked what I had created, but two things became evident: The […]

Some assorted thoughts about working from home the last half of the semester

05/07/2020 02:43 AM

In no particular order We had like a thousand high school students in the music building at NDSU right before spring break. I had just flown in from Nashville at the beginning of March. Knowing what we know now, that’s kind of terrifying. We had a pretty good warning that classes would move online, and […]

Earmarks named finalist in The American Prize

04/06/2020 03:41 AM

Earmarks has moved from the semifinalist stage of the Chamber Music division of The American Prize to the finalist stage: Read more here:


04/02/2020 03:05 PM

I spent the beginning of the year planning to write a small blog post every day. Well, at least every weekday. I had a backlog of blog ideas, and I posted one every day. Trying to channel my inner Seth Godin. And then I got to January 29. What happened on January 29 was that […]

On booking travel to music conferences

02/05/2020 06:38 AM

This post is primarily for my students, the ones in Music Entrepreneurship who do a similar project. This evening, I finally booked my travel to SEAMUS 2020 at the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. In all honesty, I was procrastinating putting together this week’s Comp II masterclass, but regardless it needed […]

Irons in the Fire

01/30/2020 04:44 AM

As the semester started, I hoped that things would be calmer than the fall, and thankfully in most ways they are. In some ways, however, there’s more work. Here’s a list of some of the things on my radar this spring, some moving into next fall and further. At NDSU: I’m part of the College […]

On Music Entrepreneurship – 7

01/29/2020 05:34 AM

(Continued) Perhaps all of this talk about our students knowing how to do something is moot–after all, I’ve heard the argument that “our students learn what they need to despite what we teach them,” and this is largely true. Most musicians I know (myself included) haven’t had much in terms of entrepreneurship training, and yet […]

Why the Clarinet Choir piece isn’t done yet.

01/28/2020 05:45 AM

I’m writing a piece for the NDSU Clarinet Choir, which they’ll perform at ClarinetFest 2020 in Reno, Nevada. Well, I mean, I’m not actually writing it this very minute, I’m writing this blog post. But I have been writing it. Except when I haven’t been. Which has been a lot. This post isn’t so much […]

Index Cards

01/25/2020 05:19 AM

All throughout my college career and the beginning of my teaching career, I never had a good system for keeping track of research–after all, my experience was in composing instead of research. Within the past couple of years, I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me: Index cards. As I read through books, […]