Ingram Marshall is often thought of as a West Coast composer, having lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1973 to 1985 and in Washington State, where he taught at Evergreen State College until 1989. In fact he was raised on the East Coast, and resides there now. He studied at Lake Forest College, Columbia University and California Institute of the Arts, where he received a Master of Fine ARts, and has been a student of Indonesian gamelan music, the influence of which may be heard in the slowed-down sense of time and use of melodic repetition found in many of his pieces. In the mid-seventies he developed a series of "live electronic" pieces such as Fragility Cycles, Gradual Requiem and Alcatraz in which he blended tape collages, extended vocal techniques, Indonesian flutes and keyboards. He performed widely in the United States with these works.
More recently he has concentrated on music combining tape and electronic processing with ensemble and soloists (such as String Quartet No. 3, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet), and music solely for acoustic ensembles (Orphic Memories, commissioned and premiered by Orpheus). Early American psalms have been an important source for vocal ensemble works (Psalmbook, commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts for premiere by Lionheart and the ACME Quartet). Psalm tunes are used as motives in his instrumental works as well, often subject to canonic elaboration.
Marshall’s music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the Theatre of Voices, Kronos Quartet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and American Composers Orchestra. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Recordings are on Nonesuch (Kingdom Come) and New Albion (Savage Altars). Among recent chamber works are Muddy Waters, which was commissioned and performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and In Deserto (Smoke Creek), commissioned by Chamber Music America for the ensemble Clogs.
He is currently working on a piano concerto for Timo Andres, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for its Green Umbrella series. He resides in Hamden, Connecticut.