Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dan was raised on every sort of music from Bob Marley to Beethoven, Paul Simon to Prokofiev. Combined with the pervasive multiculturalism of Hawaii, this has given him a truly egalitarian outlook towards music, through which he sees that all styles and genres are somehow valid and worthwhile.

After spending high school playing electric bass in heavy metal and blues bands, he went on to receive his Bachelor's Degree in Music (with College Honors) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he studied with Richard Billingham. Returning home to Hawaii, he had an extended stint as a SCUBA instructor before returning to school to obtain a Master's Degree in Music Composition at the University of Hawaii, studying with Takeo Kudo, Donald Reid Womack, and Byron Yasui. 

Dan completed his PhD in Music Composition at Queen's University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, where he studied with Piers Hellawell and Michael Alcorn.

His compositional interests encompass both electroacoustic and instrumental music. He is particularly interested in the use of musical contexts, both created and inherited. He also has an abiding interest in cross-cultural composition, and strives for true synthesis when utilizing elements of non-western musics.

Notable achievements include: the release of Tsuki no Uta (aka Reflection), recorded by Izumi Fujikawa, on Healing Fugu Records; the broadcast of Nachtlied (written for the Ulster Youth Choir) on BBC Radio 3; the scoring of Predestination, a computer game soon to be released on Steam.