Phase to Phase: Lucio Capece / Katie Porter on Ftarri Records (Japan)

http://www.ftarri.com
Katie Porter and Lucio Capece in Berlin, Germany. Sept 2021

It took Lucio and I over a year to write and record these pieces for bass clarinets and Eb contrabass clarinet. We worked slowly over the internet, became good friends, found our favorite sounds, talked about our lives and the instability of this time in this pandemic, and said, “see you next week”. On and on. Until we were finished. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever made. So excited to share, soon, on the amazing label Ftarri in Japan. And the artwork! Whales! Yes, whales

Phase to Phase : Lucio Capece / Katie Porter

Ftarri-969 Ftarri Records, April 2022

TEMPO reviews Red Desert Chorochronos

TEMPO The Quarterly Review of New Music Vol. 75 No.297 Review by Roger Heaton

This issue of TEMPO, July 2021, spends a -good- two pages on our Red Desert album, who we are, and what this music might be about. I’m so pleased. Thank you Roger Heaton and Heather Roche.#andrecormier @thedevinmaxwell @lucie__vitkova @mpisaroliu #reddesertensemble @infrequent_seams

“One begins to see that the Wandelweiser aesthetic (wide-ranging as it is), with it’s Cagean/Wolffian roots, the importance of silence, space and sounds in space, seems, on the evidence of this disc and the pair’s extraordinarily devoted work in the performance and promotion of experimental music, to be particularly important to Red Desert, not least in the way they have presented new work in small-scale, informal and unusual spaces.”

“It is a striking and dramatic piece [Andre Cormier], played with great control and intensity by both players, which would benefit greatly from the drama of live performance.”

This is not superficial ambient music: [Lucie Vitkova] these are carefully heard sounds that are really well controlled, particularly in the clarinet playing.”

More! https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/tempo/article/abs/red-desert-red-desert-chorochronos-porter-maxwell-infrequent-seams-24/551C603E1218089B8777D3F0FFDC752A

DUETI by Teodora Stepančić out today on LOVE Records (NYC)- “clarinet sounds all over the place” and duets for & with friends Erin Rogers, Lucie Vítková and Rachel Mangold

So happy to hear the results of this collaboration with composer Teodora Stepančić. We worked remotely while I was in Utah, and Teodora in NYC, late summer nights recording multiphonics and long, long ostinatos. It’s a beautiful THIRTY TWO minute piece with shapes and colors that I just love. For me! All of the pieces are so beautiful. Please consider listening.

four duets
for & with friends: Lucie, Erin, Katie, Rachel
pieces about sharing, learning & being together
dedicated to Anji, my sister
composed in 2018 & 2020

credits

released April 25, 2021

Composed by Teodora Stepančić

Performed by Katie Porter, Erin Rogers, Rachel Mangold, Lucie Vítková, Teodora

Recorded by Assaf Gidron at St.Paul’s Episcopal church, Brooklyn

Produced by Douglas Farrand & Teodora

Edited, mixed, mastered by Assaf Gidron & Teodora at Big Family Audio Co.

Photo by Gordana Reljin Stepančić

Supported by NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre
by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
in association with NYFA

Beautiful, thoughtful review in Slug Magazine

https://www.slugmag.com/music/reviews-music/local-music-reviews/red-desert-ensemble-chorochronos/

RED DESERT ENSEMBLE – CHOROCHRONOS

By Audrey Lockie
February 24, 2021

CHOROCHRONOS lives in the crevices in between sounds; in the space between an incidental grumble and an actualized statement. But rather than drift toward ambience or sonic wallpaper, the duo of Katie Porter (clarinet and bass clarinet) and Devin Maxwell (percussion and electronics) favor a balanced determinism and provide each sound here with the force of intention—even if such a sound barely rises into audibility. Whether through auditory illusions such as pitch and timbre matching or an expert approach to contrast, Porter and Maxwell take the admittedly strange instrumentation of their duo and the even more obviously strange content of these four compositions and approach a unity full of naturalism and stoicism.

The apex of this synchronicity arrives through Maxwell’s own “Bonneville Park 3,” a piece for clarinet and electronics. A majority of the piece’s 11-minute runtime finds Porter’s clarinet tones in  harmony with the sparkling electronics of Maxwell’s synths. Its most stunning moments blend the competing sounds into a vibrant mass, forming a choir of coalescing tones without obvious source or reference point. As the piece drives toward its final minutes, though, Porter’s long tones morph into a cyclical melodic pattern while Maxwell’s swirl of synthesizers grows in intensity. The entrance of a thunderous bass tone grounds the previously airy piece, and “Bonneville Park 3” reaches a moment of climactic reward unlike any other on the album.

The unexpected fervor found in the conclusion of “Bonneville Park 3” points toward Red Desert’s underlying mischievousness—a willingness to subvert expectations. André Cormier’s “Sommeil” begins with a stumbling barrage of percussion sounds and a jester-like clarinet melody, a passage of thuds and flits that stands apart from the whispered nature of the rest of the record. This bombast almost immediately dissolves into steady timpani rolls and low-volume clarinet moans for most of the piece’s runtime, only for the duo to hard cut the drones off with what sounds like an elevator-door chime and close out with an unexpected return to the sonic carnival of its opening.

If these two opening pieces provide a wealth of structural experimentation, their counterparts on CHOROCHRONOS’ second side embrace repetition and austerity. Both Lucie Vitková’s “Choral No. 13” and Michael Pisaro’s “Turning” follow a similar structure: single bursts of sound interspersed between bouts of silence. “Choral No. 13” works with more overt variety, differentiating each sonic stopgap with a grab-bag of warbling percussion sounds and some delightfully eyebrow-raising harmonies. “Turning” burrows further toward an idiosyncratic limit point, stretching out the silent interludes while each instance of feather-light clarinet notes and percussion rustlings speak only through whispered rasps. Without the structural surprises of the preceding tracks, “Choral No. 13” and, especially, “Turning”  lay bare the beauty of sound for the sake of the beauty of sound.

If the surface of CHOROCHRONOS presents a record full of placid sounds and an almost self-flagellating embrace of repetition and near-silence, the deeper layers reveal a novel approach to subtlety and musical care that makes minute changes in decibel or pitch feel like exercises in long-distance running. In their performance of these four works, Porter and Maxwell showcase an empathetic approach to the art of the avant-garde duo—never does either musician envelop the other, and never does anyone attempt to wrangle these beguiling, glass-fragile compositions out of their always-disappearing outlines. –Audrey Lockie

Red Desert review in the WIRE, Issue 443, Jan 2021

Modern Composition By Julian Cowley, The Wire, Issue 443, January 2021 https://www.thewire.co.uk/issues/443

Red Desert Ensemble, Chorochronos, Infrequent Seams, CD/DL/LP

Splitting their time between New York Brooklyn and a mountain cabin in Utah, percussionist Devin Maxwell and clarinettist Katie Porter have been honing their finely poised musical partnership for the best part of two decades. They came together as a duo when Michael Pisaro wrote Turning for them in 2002. It is revived here, sparse and tense, a prolonged, palpably gradual and finely balanced rotation around the threshold of audibility. Three other pieces fill out the picture. In Andre Cormier’s Sommeil, trills and chimes are interspersed with muted tones and rumblings. Lucie Vitkova’s Choral No. 13 is luminous and graceful. Maxwell’s own Bonneville Park 3 is a spectral tour de force pitching acoustic instruments against textured electronics. Performances that testify to the deep affinity and meshed horizons that unite and energise Red Desert Ensemble.

Red Desert debut album CHOROCHRONOS pre-order on Infrequent Seams

CHOROCHRONOS is a collection of four gorgeous experimental works for clarinet, percussion and electronics. Red Desert Ensemble (Katie Porter and Devin Maxwell) lovingly recorded duos they’ve performed for almost two decades in small spaces, for even smaller audiences all over the US (and Canada) by composers André Cormier, Lucie Vítková and Michael Pisaro alongside a huge new spectral work for clarinet and electronics by Maxwell. The result is exceptional, a document of music trapped in ether or volcanic rock, both unearthed stillness and totally jarring, a perfect music-as-art for our time.  With cover artwork by Christine Heindl, liner notes by Adam Tinkle, design by Phillip Niemeyer and video art by Svavar Jónatansson and Dev Harlan, the album is released on vinyl, CD and digital download by the label Infrequent Seams.  CHOROCHRONOS follows Red Desert Ensemble’s tradition of inviting audiences into the sound world of avant-garde music with practiced interpretations, attentive curation, and insightful performances.

Katie Porter, clarinet, bass clarinet
Devin Maxwell, percussion, electronics

1. ANDRÉ CORMIER – Sommeil (11:17)
for clarinet and percussion (2002)

2. DEVIN MAXWELL – Bonneville Park 3 (11:20)
for solo clarinet and electronics (2020)

3. LUCIE VÍTKOVÁ – Choral No. 13 (5:07)
for clarinet/bass clarinet and vibraphone/percussion (2016)

4. MICHAEL PISARO – Turning (15:43)
for bass clarinet and percussion (2001)

RELEASE DATE December 18, 2020 on Infrequent Seams, pre-order now

https://reddesertensemble.bandcamp.com/

Projects in the Quarantine

Some nice projects are coming out of this time:

LIVE(STREAMS)

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. (POSTPONED)

LIVE (OUTSIDE!)

9/10/2020 Red Desert Ensemble at the Summit Community Gardens, a benefit for the garden’s COVID 19 effort.  We’ll perform works from the avant-garde outdoors, including multiple percussion with audience participation encouraged!  BYO Dinner/Drinks, grab veggies from the garden!  TICKETS

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.

screenshot_20200614-171006

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.

Videos + New Release on Love Records

92752783_10160020071585620_5286077488278011904_oNew 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.

VIDEO- Red Desert Artist Residency LIVESTREAM CONCERT 4/13/20

VIDEO- Red Desert on EXPERIMENTAL SOUND STUDIO 4/19/20

VIDEO- Jurg Frey Quintet 1.  KOAN Quartet & Katie Porter live at Human Resources, LA 2/15/2020

VIDEO- Morton Feldman Clarinet and String Quartet.  KOAN Quartet & Katie Porter live at Human Resources, LA 2/15/2020