Details of our Red Desert Artist Residency at Westminster College 2019/2020



The Westminster College School of Music presents Artists-in-Residence the Red Desert Ensemble, clarinetist Katie Porter and composer/percussionist Devin Maxwell, with electronic and experimental music on the Chamber Music Series on October 28, 2019. The Artist Residency includes a series of workshops aimed at how music technology, music entrepreneurship and creativity can lead to a fantastic career in the arts with presentations by Ableton Live; workshops entitled You live in the now! Being an artist and musician in the 21st century, Failing Upwards: How we learn and grow when we fail, spring 2020 premiere commissions by composers Judith Berkson and Carolyn Chen, a Music Technology Pedagogy Summit featuring Dr. Linda Antas, and the 4th annual VU Symposium on experimental, electronic and improvised music.

Striving to create an open, accessible, and inclusive experience in music, Red Desert workshops and symposiums are free and open to all. All Westminster students, faculty, community members and local high school students in the arts and beyond are encouraged to attend, no music experience is required.


FREE WORKSHOPS! (11AM-1PM Music Tech Lab, 2nd floor Jewett Center of Performing Arts)

Sept 13 You Live In The Now: Being a musician and artist in the 21st century.

Oct 4 Collaboration and Competition: How to get better at what you do and work with others in inspiring ways.

Nov 1 Experimental Music Workshop: Open to all/ no experience required/ art+ music

Nov 22 Failing Upwards: How we learn and grow when we fail.

Dec 13 Practicing Difficult Music and Music Entrepreneurship: When the hard work pays off.


Sept 25 (6:30PM-8:30PM, Vieve Gore Concert Hall) Free!

Music Technology! Ableton Live presents new techniques and creative strategies centered around Live, Push and Max for Live. Featuring presenter Mat Mateus.


Oct 15, 2019 (8PM, Westminster Art School – Converse 311)

Art School Pop-up concert featuring NYC trombonist Will Lang

Oct 28, 2019 (7:30PM, Vieve Gore Concert Hall) Chamber Music Series Concert:

Red Desert – The Edge of Music – experimental music for clarinet, percussion, electronics (and the constellations!) 

Karlheinz Stockhausen TIERKREIS Melodies (arranged for clarinets and percussion by Red Desert) (1975-77)
Johannes Kreidler Fantasies of Downfall for vibraphone, audio and video playback (2015)
Lucie Vítková  Choral no. 13 for clarinet/bass clarinet and vibraphone/percussion (Commissioned by Red Desert, 2017)
Devin Maxwell Dissent 2 for clarinet and percussion (Premiere 2019)
Iannis Xenakis Rebonds A for solo percussion (1989)
James Tenney Monody for solo clarinet (1959)
(these works will be performed simultaneously)
John Cage Atlas Eclipticalis Clarinet parts I, II, III (1961)
John Cage Lecture on Nothing (1949)
John Cage 27’10.554″ for a percussionist (1956)

//SPRING 2020//

//ALL-COMMISSIONS CONCERT March 2, 2020 (Commission Premieres by Carolyn Chen, Devin Maxwell, Judith Berkson, Andre Cormier, Teodora Stepancic)//

//MUSIC TECHNOLOGY PEDAGOGY SUMMIT March 7, 2020 (Presentations and papers by academics working in music technology and electronic music- best practices in teaching in the ever-evolving landscape of music tech) KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Linda Antas (Music Technology and Composition Montana State)//

//BIG RED DESERT CONCERT April 13, 2020 (Red Desert joins forces for big experimental and minimal music!!)//

//4th Annual VU Symposium on experimental, electronic and improvised music July dates TBA! Westminster College//

RED DESERT Ensemble is the duo project of clarinetist Katie Porter and composer/percussionist Devin Maxwell. We have been performing, commissioning, creating and championing interesting music for almost 17 years. After a decade in Brooklyn, NY and now a remote cabin in the mountains of Utah, our repertoire consists primarily of living composers, especially ones that strive to challenge and enrich our understanding of what music is and can be. Together we have been part of over 200 new and experimental music premieres, and personally commissioned over 40 new works for chamber ensemble. Katie regularly performs Devin Maxwell’s thirty minute behemoth for solo bass clarinet and electronics, Cloudseeding 4, recently at the Ponta do Sol Residency for instruments and electronics in Madeira, Portugal. Red Desert programs Morton Feldman’s Bass Clarinet and Percussion and other works written specifically for us by composers Lucie Vítková, Michael Pisaro and André Cormier, our recent two evening length concerts at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, were called “one of the most imaginative concerts of the year” ,“mezmerizing”, “engrosing” and highlighted as one of the top ten performances of the Utah enlightenment in 2018 by Les Roka of the Utah Review . In addition to our work as Red Desert, we host the yearly Listen/Space Commissions and the VU Symposium for experimental, improvised and electronic music in Park City, Utah.

As artists-in-residence at Westminster College School of Music during the 2019/20 school year, Red Desert will be presenting three evening-length concerts, ten FREE workshops, an Ableton Live workshop, and a Music Technology Pedagogy Summit, and the VU Symposium utilizing our shared expertise in music entrepreneurship, digital music, experimental music, music technology, electro-acoustic composition, DIY spaces, forming ensembles, commissioning new works, contemporary techniques, and more to highlight how creative music can lead to amazing career paths in the arts and beyond.

More info?  Contact Devin Maxwell, Director of Composition and Music Technology or Katie Porter, Red Desert Ensemble,


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