Some nice projects are coming out of this time:
On May 27th, 2020 (7PM Istanbul/10AM Utah) I’ll be playing live with bassist Sebastian Gramss (Cologne), Jeremy Woodruff (Istanbul/Berlin), cellist Anil Eraslin (Istanbul) and the incredible BC Manjunath (Bangalore) for a zoom livestream through the Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, the first iteration of the International Online Orchestra. Here is the link
On June 6, 2020 (6PM PDT/7PM Utah) I’ll be performing in Daniel Corral’s Sextet for Similar Sounds as part of Culture Hub Re-Fest, a global art & technology community founded by SeoulArts & La MaMa.
RECORDINGS & COLLABORATIONS
I’ll be working with composer Teodora Stepančić to record a new work for clarinet + synth. We were supposed to record together in NYC this summer, but instead we’ll record apart, in special places. This project is supported by a NYFA grant and includes new duos written for Teodora and myself, Lucie Vítková, Rachel Mangold and Erin Rogers. She says it will be a “journey through spaces” which sounds perfect.
I spent some time recording clarinet and bass clarinet parts for composer Brian Harnetty‘s new project based on the writings of the 20th c Cistercian monk and prolific writer from Kentucky, Thomas Merton.
And I recorded around 30 minutes of bass clarinet for Andy Graydon‘s A*Array, a sound and video installation, a collaboration of musicians across far distances, much like the international astronomy project connecting observatories around the world that the piece is based on.
I’m also excited to collaborate far and wide. The projects are just starting and we will see where they go- an ongoing bass clarinet duo with Lucio Capece in Berlin, a Cardew project with cellist Juho Laitinen in Helsinki, zooms with composer Daniel Goode in NYC to learn the rest of his beautiful Clarinet Songs, the beginnings of a collaboration with the sculptor Kelsey Harrison here in Utah, a duo by André Cormier with the London-based soprano and curator Juliet Frazer. Also! Devin Maxwell is writing an OPERA based on Hector running from Achilles in the Illiad, the score is for bass clarinet, string quartet and electronics, with four voices, and it looks like we will start workshopping it virtually this month. So glad for music.
Well, I hope you are all OK. We are OK.
New release on Love Records: on the first day of 2020 we played a new year’s concert at Teodora Stepančić and Assaf Gidron’s home in Brooklyn, NY. This is a selection of solo pieces for clarinet and snare drum recorded that day, part of a larger program. Works by Lucie Vítková, Johanna Beyer, Pauline Oliveros, Susanna Gartmayer and Tim Parkinson.
We didn’t expect our residency to end this way, but I don’t think anyone anticipated this moment where the whole world has seemingly stopped, and we all wait together (but not together) for a more hopeful future. It’s a strange and scary time and we are mostly enjoying holding our kids tight and slowing down time, today is guacamole, tomorrow some more legos. Things like that.
But also, in a week, we will play a LIVE show, from our living room. I’ve thought a lot about what works I want to present- thoughtful, quiet, patient works, maybe even playful. I’ve been spending time with Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit scores (- burn this book after you read it-) and will be realizing a work or two here in isolation- Imagine a thousand suns… make a tunafish sandwich- and another – Listen to a heart beat- . These works are really speaking to me right now, because they are basically how we are spending our days. I’ll also play a bass clarinet solo by Michelle Lou called Telegrams, another piece I feel is perfect for this moment, I tap out morse code with my foot on a rattling tin can in the bell of my bass clarinet, and play these beautiful soft soft soft multiphonics, in a near-dark room, just a small colorful light to accompany me. And I’ll play Scelsi’s MAKNONGAN for any bass instrument, a slow drone on a few low notes (with some screaming)- when I learned the piece in Italy with trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini, he told us to play like we were tearing down the walls of Jehrico, so that’s what I’ll do, also appropriate for this time. Devin will play a work we love, Alvin Lucier’s Music for Snare Drum, Pure Wave Oscillator, and One or More Reflective Surfaces . He’ll also play Pauline Oliveros’ Single Stroke Roll Meditation, which is just what it says it is, a meditation on a roll, just rolling on different surfaces and objects around our house.
Then we plan to play a brand new piece that Devin is writing, Bonneville Park 4, hopefully not taxing our crappy internet too badly to get Eric KM Clark and Christine Tavolacci beamed in from Los Angeles to play a quartet together. Fingers crossed.
Finally, we will re-visit Michael Pisaro’s Averer Local a 43 minute work in five movements for clarinet & percussion, with beautiful soft electronics and white noise. Pisaro hid this piece for us in a bottle of scotch, a wedding present, and the second duo ever written for us, back in 2002. We’ve only performed this piece once before, in late 2009 in Listen/Space Brooklyn, it was lovely then and somehow even more lovely now, it’s aged well. 🙂
All of this to say: Please come hang out with us virtually, in our living room, we’ll be playing a very quiet concert for you.
RED DESERT (Katie Porter, clarinets and Devin Maxwell, percussion/composer) Artists-in-Residence at the Florence J Gillmor School of Music, Westminster College play Yoko Ono, Giacinto Scelsi, Michelle Lou, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Devin Maxwell and Michael Pisaro with guests Eric KM Clark, violin and Christine Tavolacci, flute.
April 13, 2020 7:30PM (mountain standard time) – livestream link below!
We’ve also been invited to perform live on Chicago’s EXPERIMENTAL SOUND STUDIOS The Quarantine Concerts, on April 19 at 2PM (MST) curated by Nomi Epstein, we’ll be playing a set of duos alongside other isolated artistic duos- Angharad Davies/Tim Parkinson and Cherlyn Hsing Hsin Pisaro-Liu/Michael Pisaro https://ess.org/the-quarantine-concerts
I imagine there will be more and more of these online projects. I thought it would be a difficult adjustment for me, I had tons and tons of travel planned, a summer in Europe, concerts in Iceland and Berlin, a record release show in NYC, BIG THINGS. Well, the world has different plans. We’ll do those plans later. For now, we’ll just stop being so productive and be thankful for our little family and this beautiful music. I sincerely hope you are all OK during this time and I miss you dearly.
A truly wonderful review by Connor Lockie about my playing and our whole set of new commissions for Red Desert: The Future Music. http://artistsofutah.org/15Bytes/index.php/red-desert-showcases-the-future-of-music-at-westminster-college/
“Future Music began with Teodora Stepančić’s solo clarinet piece “Clarinet No.6 (*Katie).” The piece’s stillness jarred the room into a stupor, with Porter balancing held tones and multiphonics across tightropes of sound and tense gaps of silence. Porter’s control of her tone and dynamics kickstarted the night with a breathtaking blend of technical awe and musical profundity. Each note hung in the air well after its release, outlining a single melody over the course of its runtime. This musical patience froze time, drawing listeners’ focus away from reflecting on what’s passed or anticipating what’s to come. Instead, each tone formed a moment unto itself, resonant and stately.”
November 10, 2019 6PM at The Black House, Montreal, Canada. I’ll play a solo 90 minute set of Michael Pisaro’s Within 6 with film from Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, and Soloist and Audience by Jennie Gottschalk, I’ll also premiere a new work by Kim Farris-Manning, and Kim will play new works for piano and voice, all alongside the art of Rachel Gray.
December 6, 2019 6-8PM UMOCA, SLC, Utah. I’m curating an evening of music at Kelsey Harrison’s Never An Hour For Thought sculpture intermedia at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. Red Desert will play Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room, Carolyn Chen’s In 1839 it was considered elegant to take a tortoise out walking, Lucie Vitkova’s FIVE and AOUIE by Susanna Gartmayer and new works by Devin Maxwell and I for furniture, text, electronics, clarinets and snare drums.
Jan 1, 2020 4PM Brooklyn, NY. A new year’s day show on Teodora Stepancic’s 597 Concert Series. 90 mins of Michael Pisaro’s Within 6 with film/audio from Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, a RED DESERT set with music by Johanna Beyer, Devin Maxwell, Pauline Oliveros, Tim Parkinson and Lucie Vitkova. Tea and cake, and then new quartet by Assaf Gidron with Teodora Stepancic. Happy new year!! (email for address/info)
Feb 12, 2020 7PM BETALEVEL, Los Angeles, CA. I’m playing the Sun Tunnels 90 minutes of Michael Pisaro Within 6, live and with film/audio from the site.
Feb 15, 2020 7PM Los Angeles, CA. CLARINET QUINTETS at HUMAN RESOURCES- Katie Porter with the Koan Quartet play Jurg Frey Quintet (1998) and Morton Feldman Clarinet and String Quartet (1983).
Feb 25-28, 2020 Red Desert residency at Casper College in Casper, WY. We workshop and perform new bass clarinet and percussion works with Ron Coulter and percussion students for a concert Feb 27 at Casper College, Wheeler Concert Hall.
Feb 28, 2020 Red Desert at Glitter City in Denver, CO with Ryan Seward and New Topographics.
March 2, 2020 Red Desert at Westminster College. As part of our year-long artist residency at the Florence J Gillmor School of Music at Westminster College, we have commissioned several new works for clarinet and percussion duo. This concert includes world premieres by Andre Cormier, Carolyn Chen, Teodora Stepancic, Will Lang, Devin Maxwell, Katie Porter, Judith Berkson, and James Falzone.
March 16, 2020 bass clarinet solo by Manuela Meier on the Abravanel Composer Series. SLC, UT (POSTPONED)
I’M BACK AT THE SUN TUNNELS! I finally have a little bit of a video to share! Check it out: https://youtu.be/EIlJNQBobPk
Oct 5 1-4PM Solo Clarinet at the UMFA Sun Tunnels Meet-Up in Lucin, Utah
This Saturday I’ll be out at Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, jumping from tunnel to tunnel, playing Scelsi, Stockhausen, Jennie Gottschalk and a little John Cage, most likely. And Jennie will be there! The first of many road trips for the two of us, I hope! It’s a UMFA sponsored meet-up at the land artwork day, a good excuse to drive 4 hours into the desert and listen to clarinet works about the sun and the stars and infinity. Come out!!!! https://umfa.utah.edu/node/441
Oct 15 8PM Pop-up Concert with Will Lang, trombone and Red Desert
Art Program, Converse 311, Westminster College
NYC avant-garde trombonist, Will Lang, is bringing a solo set for trombone and electronics, and Red Desert is opening with a new piece by Devin Maxwell for bass clarinet, trombone and electronics! Join us!!! FREE!!! https://www.facebook.com/events/1301235686723322/
Oct 20 2PM Katie Porter: a snippet of my experimental clarinet at the Sun Tunnels installation, a 4 channel audio/video and live performance. 12 Minutes Max Series at the Salt Lake Public Library.
I am _finally_ presenting the Sun Tunnels in a concert environment, just 12 minutes of it (because that’s the theme of the series!). This project is still very much in progress. I will be performing alongside the film from my sessions out there last summer, just one movement of Within 6 by Michael Pisaro, during the most beautiful epic sunset as seen through the tunnels. https://events.slcpl.org/event/3124103
Oct 28 7:30PM Red Desert on the Chamber Music Series, Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, Westminster College
This is a _for real_ experimental music concert, one that NEVER happens in Utah, and I really hope, if you’re local, you’ll put it on your calendar, come bask in the sounds with us, and join us for a beer afterwards. We are starting off our Red Desert Artist Residency at Westminster College in a spectacular fashion, and really, truly, please come!!!
Red Desert- The Edge of Music – experimental music for clarinet, percussion, electronics (and the constellations!)
Karlheinz Stockhausen TIERKREIS Melodies (arranged for clarinet/percussion by Red Desert) 1975-77
Johannes Kreidler Fantasies of Downfall for vibraphone, audio and video playback 2015
Lucie Vitkova 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