Kyle Rowan (b. 1985) is a composer of (mostly) acoustic chamber music. Inspired by interactive fiction, he is currently interested in adapting principles of video game design into music composition, especially in terms of approaches to narrative and player-driven experiences. This research will manifest in his upcoming hypertext opera, Not Quite a Sunset, due for a late Summer 2017 release.

His music has been performed throughout the United States, as well as internationally at festivals in Italy, Greece, and South Korea, and by such ensembles as the SDSU Wind Symphony, Momenta Quartet, Palimpsest Ensemble, Kallisti Ensemble, Dissonart Ensemble, and Los Angeles Clarinet Choir. He holds degrees from the University of Florida (BM, 2007), University of Illinois (MM, 2009), and he received his doctorate in composition from the University of California - San Diego (PhD, 2016), where he studied with Katharina Rosenberger.

Kyle is an avid fan of baseball, dogs, video games, and science fiction, especially that with a peculiar or fantastical sense of time. He currently resides just outside San Diego with his wife Brooke, daughter Amelia, and terrier Lily.


Not Quite a Sunset, a hypertext opera

Not Quite a Sunset is an online interactive opera inspired by contemporary hypertext fiction, especially the work developed using the programming environment Twine. The narrative follows Dr. Sara Reyes, a scientist leading a planetary survey mission on a space station in orbit around an extrasolar planet. Over time, she begins to experience dreams and visions that hint at a strange but undeniably strong connection between herself and a mysterious Door on the planet's surface.

The work is presented primarily as prose that the listener navigates through hyperlinks within the text. Throughout the story, the listener is presented with key decision points where she must choose between several possible paths for Sara, the protagonist. The ramifications of these decisions are played out as the story and music unfold, often with consequences that are not immediately clear. The music is composed primarily as textures and fragments in order to construct and represent a wide variety of immersive musical spaces as the listener explores and experiences the story; these shift between representations of physical spaces on the station to more personal reflections of Sara's emotional state. All of the audio tracks were created by mixing and layering the composed textures and fragments of the ensemble into different contexts. While the instrumental sextet is heard throughout, the voice is reserved solely for the dream sequences as a representation of Sara's subconscious.

While the full version will not be released until later in 2017, you can find a preview of the first two chapters here (not compatible with mobile).


June 25, 2017
Wanderings, for clarinet and computer
Yi-Wen Chen, clarinet
NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival


April 6 through May 5, 2017
Not Quite a Sunset, a hypertext opera
Preview of opening chapters
2017 Spring Thing Festival

September 17, 2016
Komorebi, for flute and light
Krisztina Der, flute
Greensboro, NC
world premiere

August 13, 2016
A floral sea; a cloudless night
The Austin Flute Project
2016 NFA Convention,
San Diego, CA

July 26, 2016
A floral sea; a cloudless night
(world premiere)
The Austin Flute Project
Austin, TX

May 3, 2016
Concerto for harp and wind ensemble
(world premiere)
Tasha Smith Godinez, harp
with the SDSU Wind Symphony,
Shannon Kitelinger, conductor.
San Diego, CA