Tor Halmrast (1951), Norwegian Composer. Music education from Oslo Conservatory of Music, University of Trondheim, and private studies. Master of Engineering in Acoustics from NTH, Trondheim. In addition to his activities as a composer he is the Head of Acoustics in Statsbygg (Norwegian State, Directorate of Public Construction and Property) and Assistant Professor at the University of Oslo, Deptartment of Musicology.
Halmrast started out his musical career in avant-garde rock bands, leading over to contemporary jazz during his studies. He led several jazzbands and performed at all major clubs and festivals in Norway. He also worked as a studio musican and arranger for radio/TV and records (e.g. for the group Ballade: "Du kan godt få sitte inté mæ Leif" and "Krøderbanen" that received the Norwegian "Grammy" award). Early on he experimented using Norwegian folk music in more contemporary settings, e.g. his arrangements of Hardanger fiddle music for two soprano-saxophones and retuned gitar.
He has written theatre music, e.g. "Othello" (Shakespeare), "Krapp" (Beckett) and "Jeux de Massacre" (Ionesco) at Trøndelag Theatre, and "Egalia" for Club 7 in Oslo. In recent years he has been primarely dedicated to composing contemporary music, both for concerts and inorthodox performance spaces.
As a Master of Science in Acoustics he has been working on researche programs in psychoacoustics and inner ear bone vibration. In recent years he has been working with acoustical design of buildings for music, theatre and musical education, together with his composing.
In 1989-90 he was composer in residence at the Northern Norway Conservatory of Music in Tromsø, and in 1991 he was Festival Composer in Harstad. In 1992 he received the FiAV prize for best music and sound installation, for the Norwegian Pavillon at the World Exhibition, Expo 92 in Sevilla. In 1990 he received a prize in the European Broadcasting Union's Rostrum for Electro-Acoustic Music for the piece "Retning". Halmrast has represented Norway several times at the Bourges Festival for Electro-Acoustic Music and at the Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm.