Music into mountains, deserts, oceans

In 2019 I plan to send more music I love off mountains and into the desert and into the ocean. I spent some time in Madeira learning a Lois V Vierk piece, here’s a snip from my practice room!!! Happy New year all you inspiring people xo kp

Red Desert = Top Ten performances of the Utah Enlightenment in 2018!!

Our show at the UMFA this last September is listed as a top ten moment in the arts here in Utah.  We are thrilled!

“One of the most imaginative concerts of the year, Red Desert presented more than 80 years of experimental music in a continuous stream that ultimately comprised a one-hour composition. The Utah performance followed two recent appearances in New York City. The concert was presented in the Great Hall gallery of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts – a fitting venue.

As The Utah Review explained, “the order and the selected works were curated carefully. Experimentalism is not haphazard nor is it trivial nor a novel curiosity. Indeed, the Red Desert performance offered an enlightening perspective of how experimentalism shapes and affirms new sounds and techniques in the long game approach of reaching musicians and listeners.”

4th annual Listen/Space Residency

The Listen/Space Commissions

We held our 4th annual Listen/Space residency at the end of June 2018 in Tollgate Canyon, Utah.  We recorded new pieces by Lucie Vitkova, Stephanie Richards, Devin Maxwell, Eric KM Clark, Kevin Farrell, Jonathan Marmor and Andre Cormier with musicians Katie Porter, Kristin Olson, Christine Tavolacci, Eric KM Clark, Nathan Herrera, Phil Rodriguez, Gavin Ryan, Jake Rosenzweig and Kevin Farrell.  And baby Ramona!  And we held a house concert featuring Andre Cormier’s Piling Sand, Piling Stone 4, a US premiere of the 96 minute cumulative delay loop for solo flute performed by Christine Tavolacci, we also played pieces by James Tenney, Johannes Kreidler and Devin Maxwell.

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Here is the final program for Saturday’s 3-hour concert at Utah’s Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt.

RED DESERT AT THE SUN TUNNELS – a concert of experimental music
Sun Tunnels Meet-Up organized by the UMFA (Utah Museum of Fine Arts)
Lucin, Utah
September 30, 2017
1PM- 4PM


Katie Porter, clarinets/curator
Devin Maxwell, percussion/composer
Red Desert ensemble (Katie Porter, clarinets, Devin Maxwell, percussion) perform a 3-hour concert of experimental works at the Sun Tunnels, a land artwork in Lucin, Utah by Nancy Holt. Inspired by both the Sun Tunnel’s permanence in the desert and the gradual change experienced under the sun, the music suggests a long-form relationship with time and both subtle and sudden changes. The concert is structured loosely after James Tenney’s score: Having Never Written A Note For Percussion. We will gradually crescendo and decrescendo over the course of 3 hours of music. Included are works by Wandelweiser composers, the “composers of quiet”: Michael Pisaro, Manfred Werder, Craig Shepard and Anastassis Philippakopoulos, American avant-garde & experimental composers: John Cage, Christian Wolff, Milton Babbitt, Pauline Oliveros and James Tenney, Italy’s avant-garde Giacinto Scelsi and Giancarlo Sciaffini and a newer generation of composers who share these modern experimental roots: André Cormier, Devin Maxwell and Tim Parkinson.

RED DESERT is the duo project of clarinetist Katie Porter and composer/percussionist Devin Maxwell. We have been performing, commissioning, creating and championing interesting music for 17 years. Founded in Brooklyn, NY but now calling mountains of Utah home, our repertoire prominently features experimental composers, especially ones that strive to challenge and enrich our understanding of what music is and can be. Recordings of Red Desert can be heard on Phill Niblock’s XI label (NY), Edition Wandelweiser Records, and Infrequent Seams (NY)


Michael Pisaro
Within (6) for solo clarinet (1998) pages 1-3, Valencia, CA, 30’

Michael Pisaro
A Little Dance for percussion (2000), Valencia, CA, 5’

Craig Shephard
Sheepshead Bay May 20, 2012 for clarinet and percussion (2012), Brooklyn, NY, 10’

Tim Parkinson
Drum Piece for solo percussion (2009), London, UK, 10’

Giacinto Scelsi
Preghiera per un’ombra for solo clarinet (1954), Italy, 12’

John Cage
One 4 for solo percussion (1990), USA, 6’

Devin Maxwell
Cloudseeding 4 (excerpt) for solo bass clarinet (2017) Park City, Utah, 7’

André Cormier
Sommeil for clarinet and percussion (2002) for Katie Porter & Devin Maxwell, Moncton, Canada, 12’

James Tenney
Having Never Written A Note for Percussion (1971) USA, 10’

Milton Babbitt
My Ends Are My Beginnings for clarinet (bass clarinet) solo (1978) USA 16’

Giancarlo Schiaffini
10 AM for free instrumentation (1979) Italy, 5’

Pauline Oliveros
All Fours for Drumset (1998) USA, 4’

Christian Wolff
Microexercises for one or more players, free instrumentation (2006) Dartmouth, NH, 6’

Manfred Werder
2 ausführende: pages 556 and 557 of 4000 page score (2017) Zurich, Switzerland, 16’

Michael Pisaro
Turning for Bass Clarinet and Percussion (2001), for Katie Porter &
Devin Maxwell, Valencia, CA, 20’

Anastassis Philippakopoulos
Song 9 for Bass Clarinet solo (2013) Athens, Greece, 6’

KATIE PORTER is a clarinetist and curator who specializes in experimental chamber and solo music. She currently works to commission, record and present new chamber music through her arts non-profit, LISTEN/SPACE. Her curatorial work includes 50+ performances at her music venue, Listen/Space, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2008-2011), 25 new commissions and recordings for chamber ensemble for the Listen/Space Commissions (2015-17), 3 annual residencies for musicians and composers in Tollgate Canyon, Utah (2015-17), Co-founder of the VU Symposium for experimental, improvised, and electronic music at the Park City Library in Park City, Utah (2016-ongoing), curator of VU 2 (2017), a day-long concert of fixed media electronic music at the Park City Library, Utah, curator at ELMS (Experimental Listening and Music Sessions) in Boston (2017) and of ongoing commissions and concerts with her percussion/clarinet duo, Red Desert.
As a clarinetist, Katie’s recent performances include Morton Feldman’s Bass Clarinet & Percussion at Abrons Art Center (NYC), new commissions with Daniel Goode’s Flexible Orchestra at Roulette (NYC), Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals for the American Mavericks Festival at The Kitchen (NYC), Peter Gordon’s LOLO at Roulette (NYC), solo concerts at Dog Star Orchestra (LA), with Craig Shepard at Issue Project Room (Brooklyn), Michael Pisaro’s Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones at Experimental Intermedia (NYC) and The Stone (NYC) and Tombstones with Julia Holter at Issue Project Room (Brooklyn), Christian Wolff, Tom Johnson, and other American experimentalists with the Dedalus Ensemble (France), music of Wandelweiser composers at the Twin Cities Wandelweiser Festival (St Paul), solo clarinet works of Giacinto Scelsi at Scelsiana (Italy), Morris Rosenzweig’s 2005 and Counting: Katrina on the NOVA Chamber Music Series (SLC), Brian Harnetty’s Shawnee,OH at the Contemporary Art Center (Cincinnati) and the Wexner Art Center (Columbus), and the premier of John Luther Adam’s SILA at Lincoln Center (NYC).
She can be heard on the record labels: Editions Wandelweiser, FOOM, Infrequent Seams, Mode Records, Gravity Wave, XI Records, Moniker, La Société Expéditionnaire and Dust to Digital, among others. Her songs are published by Good Child Music NYC and have been performed with her band, Lady Lucille, at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (NYC), Triskelion Arts (Brooklyn), Pianos (NYC), Joe’s Pub (NYC), SXSW (Austin), the Cakeshop (NYC), LadyFest (Chicago) and on the BBC

Composer DEVIN MAXWELL’s chamber music has been described as “amiably strident…clusters hammered insistently” by the New York Times and orchestral works “a beautiful puzzle, … fitting between plucks and pedals that build pyramid melodies” by the American Record Guide. He has recently been commissioned by the NEXT Ensemble (Ogden, UT), MMM… (Tokyo), BENT FREQUENCY (Atlanta), ENSEMBLE DEDALUS (Paris), the Deer Valley Music Festival Emerging Quartets and Composers for the SKYROS QUARTET (Lincoln, NB) and featured at The Stone (NYC), Abron’s Art Center (NYC), the Ontological Theater (NYC), BLIM (Vancouver), ARTSaha (Omaha), the Wulf (Los Angeles), Monkeytown (NYC), Dartmouth College, Columbia University, NYU, Boston Conservatory, and Kenyon College. Two of his orchestral compositions, Six Short Places and Chester, NJ have been premiered at the Ostrava Days Festival in Czhechia. Awards include the Nief Norf Composition Prize, the Leroy Robertson Prize, “Best Experimental Film” New York Independent Film Festival, New Music USA/Commissioning Music USA, and an Honorable Mention at the American Composer’s Orchestra 2013 Underwood Readings.
His music is critically examined in the book Boring, Formless Nonsense; Experimental Music and the Aesthetics of Failure by Eldritch Priest, and the 2012 journal Postmodern Culture. Maxwell frequently collaborates with choreographer Jessica Gaynor Dance (NYC), filmmaker Rollin Hunt (Los Angeles), graphic designer Phillip Niemeyer (Austin), photographer Svavar Jonatansson (Iceland), clarinetist Katie Porter (RED DESERT) and violist/songwriter Anni Rossi (NYC). Maxwell is a graduate of The Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, California Institute of the Arts Composer/Performer and Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Utah. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Utah School of Music and Westminster College.
The first album dedicated solely to his compositions DEVIN MAXWELL WORKS 2011-14 was released on Infrequent Seams (NY) in June 2016 and features new works for orchestra, electronics, string quartet, solo and chamber ensembles and his compositions are published by Good Child Music New York and Éditions musique SISYPHE.

August 27 3PM Katie Porter plays party music at UMFA Grand Reopening


I’ll be performing some party music!!  World-premiere of Cloudseeding 4 for bass clarinet & electronics written especially for the occasion of the grand reopening party of the UMFA (Utah Museum of Fine Arts).  Also on the program Giacinto Scelsi’s Preghiera per un’ombra for solo clarinet.  FREE!

August 27, 2017
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Modern & Contemporary Gallery

Katie Porter, clarinet & bass clarinet

Giacinto Scelsi Preghiera per un’ombra for solo clarinet ’12
Devin Maxwell Cloudseeding 4 for bass clarinet & electronics ’30  * World premiere

FREE! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!   All reopening events here:

Upcoming! ELMS 2017 in Boston August 6!

I’ll be curating and performing a concert inspired by Luigi Nono’s Utopica Futura – in my mind experimental music that explores the recurring future by using sounds from the past.  ELMS (Experimental Listening and Music) will feature presentations and music by Nomi Epstein (composer/piano), Jennie Gottschalk (composer), Ian Power (composer), Colin Tucker (composer/cello), D Edward Davis (composer), Erik Carlson (composer/violin) and Katie Porter (clarinet).

UPCOMING! Sun Tunnels three hour concert September 30, 2017


Red Desert Ensemble (Devin Maxwell, percussion & Katie Porter, clarinet) will be performing three hours of music at the Sun Tunnels in the remote desert of Utah.

Hosted by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, with music curated by Katie Porter, the concert will feature the music of the constellations, nature and the infinite, with solos and duos by Michael Pisaro, Devin Maxwell, John Cage, Tim Parkinson, André Cormier, James Tenney, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Werner, Craig Shepard, Giacinto Scelsi, Anastassis Philippakopoulos and more..

Sun Tunnels Community Meet-Up

One of the most famous works of Land art in the world, Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels is located approximately 4 hours from Salt Lake City, in the desert around Lucin, Utah. This performance will take place outside during a community event celebrating and exploring this work of art. For more information on the site, visit:

–          Saturday, September 30 (between 1-4pm)

Listen/Space Commissions 2016 Pictures

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Pictures of our commissioning project in Tollgate Canyon, Utah 2016- with Robert Jedrzejewski, Robin Streb, Jonathan Marmor, Kevin Farrell, Stephanie Richards, Devin Maxwell, Kristin Olson, Katie Porter, Andrew Munsey, Nathan Herrera, André Cormier, Carlo Dean, Christine Tavolacci, Gavin Ryan, Eric KM Clark, and a bunch of drums & children.