Profile:Mark A. Galang

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Sterilium (a.k.a. Mark A. Galang, born 1980) is an unknown Filipino composer/multi-instrumentalist. Works under the name of Sterilium range from progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion to modern/postmodern classical music.

Unlike typical academically bred composers of art music, Mark is approximately 90% self-taught in instrumental facility and 100% self-taught in composition. Apart from grade school music class, 2 years of private piano, and 3 years of private guitar lessons, a huge body of Mark's musical knowledge was derived from exploration and experimentation with musical theory, listening to a huge variety of musical works, the practice of improvisation, exploration of every musical literature available, and experiences performing with various musical ensembles such as progressive rock and metal bands, RnB singers, and previous membership with a church choir.

Despite having no formal or tertiary level musical training, Mark (under the name of Sterilium) has composed works that span various genres and have reasonable technical demands both for individual performers and groups alike. As Mark believes in the concept of a gift economy, most of his work has been published and made available for free.

Musical Interests and Influences

Sterilium is an avenue to explore various ideas and promote experimentation thus Mark is heavily influenced by progressive rock, jazz, and classical music. From a technical point of view, his compositional approach can be described as a combination of spontaneous improvisation and traditional written composition methods that serve as a "slate" for improvisations. As his works span various genres, Mark composes music ranging from that with definite tonality to pantonal/atonal music. Mark also has interests in avant-garde approaches such as serialism, stochastic processes, and indigenous Filipino musical traditions. A work currently in progress (intended for two 7-string electric violins, 6-string electric viola, 6-string electric cello, 5-string electric upright bass, 6-string bass guitar, keyboard instruments, and drums) makes heavy use of a combination of partial serialism, algorithmic composition, common practice period methods, and improvisation. Various musical instruments are also of interest to Mark; this interest makes Mark a very competent improviser on keyboard instruments (piano and synthesizers), electric and acoustic guitars, and electric bass. Mark also plays drums, melodica, and the soprano recorder along with pots and pans, kitchen utensils, stainless steel bowls, and a homemade kazoo.

Mark has been influenced by various types of music and various composers. As a self-taught composer and musician himself, he idealizes the approach of similarly self-taught or informally educated composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Toru Takemitsu, Georg Philip Telemann, and Edward Elgar. Other favorite and influential composers are Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, and Frederic Chopin among few. Mark is also largely influenced by progressive rock and metal bands such as Dream Theater, Yes, Rush, Deus Ex Machina, Univers Zero, The Flower Kings, and King Crimson. Mark also has an interest in Indian classical music and jazz, which in turn have strengthened his high value for musical improvisation.

As Mark is seen to have a wide variety of musical influences, his music has a wide span that crosses various genres, methods, and styles.


Sterilium's works are all recorded as albums available for free on his website. Some of the compositions have written scores, electronic copies of which could be requested from the composer himself. (Unless instrumentation is indicated in the list, most of the works will be for a progressive rock ensemble).

Opus No. 1

1. Victory Fanfare (For Brass, Strings, Organ, and Drums) [1]

2. The Philosopher

3. Every Time You Smile (The Dad Song)

4. A Wonderful Sight

5. Family Portrait

6. Answers (Movements: I. Overture [2], II. A Grand Design, III. Meaning, IV. Faith, V. Comfort To My Soul, VI. The Truth Does Stand, VII. You Are True)


1. Trial and Error

2. 24-Hour Blues

3. Another Family Portrait

4. David's First Steps (For 2 to 4 pianos and synthesizer) [3]

5. David's Lullaby (for 2 electric guitars)

6. The Science of Truth

7. Psalm 23

8. Alone (For piano and alto saxophone)

9. A Night In The City

10. Inside the Mind of a Paranoid Schizophrenic (for strings, trombones, harpsichord, alto saxophone, and drums) [4]

11. Suspended in Water (piano, synthesizer)

12. David's Lullaby 2 (for plucked string synthesizer)

13. Storm Signals 1-2-3

14. Cosmic Tapestry

Toying on Hammered Strings (Opus No. 3)

1. Ang May-Akda ng Sangkalawakan (Concerto for Piano, String and Percussion Ensemble) [5] [6]

2. The Depths of Sleep (Solo Piano)

3. Niña's Theme (Solo Piano)

4. The Garden of Life (Solo Piano)

5. Rain Forest

Miscellaneous Works From Incomplete Collections:

- Upon The Hilltops (For Harpsichord and Clarinet in A) [7]

- The Virgin's Jewel

Finished But Unreleased Projects

- 2 anthems and a hymn for choir and progressive rock ensemble (Opus No. 2)

- Sceneries (Sonata Suite For Solo Piano):

  I.  Morning Showers
  II.  Across The Spectrum
  III.  At Ease
  IV.  Thunderstorm
  V.  Walking on Water

- Synthestra Symphony No. 1 and No. 2, Opus No. 4

- "Particles" for Percussion and String Ensemble, Opus No. 6

- Percussion Ensemble Sonata No. 1, Opus No. 6

Works In Progress

- Music for Octet with pitch shifters (two 7-string electric violins, 6-string electric viola, 6-string electric cello, 5-string electric upright bass, 6-string electric bass, keyboard instruments, and drums)

- Music for Octet with pitch shifters (two 7-string electric violins, 6-string electric viola, 6-string electric cello, 5-string electric upright bass, 6-string electric bass, keyboard instruments, and drums)

- A piece for chamber ensemble

- A violin concerto (on hold)

- "Exit" for orchestra (working title)

- Jazzy Blues Concerto No. 1

- Opus No. 2 (For Choir and Progressive Rock Ensemble)

- Percussion Ensemble Sonata No. 2

- ...others yet to be disclosed...

Contact Information

Sterilium may be contacted via his website [8] or email at