Artists-in-Residence Bring Experimental Music to Westminster Students

Red Desert

Oct 15, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College’s Gillmor School of Music announces 2019-20 Artists-in-Residence as Red Desert: the duo of clarinetist Katie Porter and composer/percussionist Devin Maxwell. Red Desert brings expertise in contemporary techniques and music entrepreneurship to Westminster music students.  

As artists-in-residence at Westminster, Red Desert will conduct workshops for students, perform concerts and host a music pedagogy symposium and a music symposium focused on experimental, electronic and improvised music (full schedule below).  

“Westminster College music students have a unique opportunity to benefit from the decades of experience Porter and Maxwell have amassed as creators and performers of cutting-edge music,” said Brandon Derfler, chair of the Florence J. Gillmor School of Music. “With their focus on the latest music technology and effective music entrepreneurship, the Red Desert duo can provide insights into the current state of music business that students simply cannot obtain elsewhere in the state of Utah.” 

Red Desert’s residency will stretch students’ ideas of music by performing pieces that challenge traditional musical boundaries. Compositions during their first concert include shoes falling on heads, cellphones, sonification of speeches, musical projections of mathematic thinking, star charts, improvisation, silence, singing into clarinets and other wild and beautiful ideas. Throughout the year, Porter and Maxwell will demonstrate how creative music has career opportunities in the arts and beyond. 

“Our goal is to inspire students to be amazing musicians, effective interdisciplinary collaborators, open-minded musical thinkers and fluent in media and technology,” said Porter. “Our approach to entrepreneurship within the arts encourages music students to develop skills that will not only enable them to seek opportunities but to create their own opportunities by fostering community.”   

The residency offers students insight into music entrepreneurship, digital music, experimental music, music technology, electro-acoustic composition, performance in non-traditional venues, forming and running ensembles, commissioning new works, rehearsing new compositions and contemporary instrumental performance techniques. 

Contact Devin Maxwell at dmaxwell@westminstercollege.edu or Katie Porter at kporter@westminstercollege.edu for more information on the artist-in-residence events. 
 

Workshops  

Workshops are free and open to the public. All Westminster students, faculty, staff and community members, along with local high school students, are encouraged to attend. No music experience is required. 

September 13, 2019  
You Live in The Now: Being a Musician and Artist in the 21st Century

11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the music technology lab, 2nd floor of the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 

September 25, 2019  
Music Technology: Ableton Live Presents New Techniques and Creative Strategies Centered around Live, Push and Max for Live. Featuring presenter Mat Mateus. 
6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 

October 4, 2019  
Collaboration and Competition: How to Get Better at What You Do and Work with Others in Inspiring Ways. 
11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the music technology lab, 2nd floor of the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 

November 1, 2019  
Experimental Music Workshop 
11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the music technology lab, 2nd floor of the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 
 
November 22, 2019  
Failing Upwards: How We Learn and Grow When We Fail. 
11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the music technology lab, 2nd floor Jewett Center for the Performing Arts  

December 13, 2019  
Practicing Difficult Music and Music Entrepreneurship: When the Hard Work Pays Off. 
11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the music technology lab, 2nd floor of the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 

Concerts  


October 15, 2019 
Pop-up concert in the painting studio featuring New York City trombonist Will Lang. 
8 p.m. in Converse Hall 311
Free and open to the public  

October 28, 2019 
Westminster Concert Series presents Red Desert – The Edge of Music. Experimental music for clarinet, percussion, electronics and the constellations. 
7:30 p.m. in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 non-Westminster students 
Free for Westminster students, faculty and staff (with ID at the Jewett Box Office) 

March 2, 2020
All-commissions Concert
Commission premieres by Carolyn Chen, Devin Maxwell, Judith Berkson, Will Lang, Edgars Rubenis, André Cormier and Teodora Stepancic.
7:30 p.m. in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 non-Westminster students 
Free for Westminster students, faculty and staff (with ID at the Jewett Box Office) 

April 13, 2020
Big Red Desert Concert
Red Desert joins forces for big experimental and minimalist music by Arthur Russell, Steve Reich and “Credo in US” by John Cage.  
7:30 p.m. in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 non-Westminster students 
Free for Westminster students, faculty and staff (with ID at the Jewett Box Office) 

Symposiums  


March 7, 2020  
Music Technology Pedagogy Summit  
Presentations and papers by academics working in music technology and electronic music. The symposium will focus on best approaches to teaching and designing curriculum in the ever-evolving landscape of music tech. 
Keynote speaker: Dr. Linda Antas, Music Technology and Composition at Montana State University 
9 a.m.-6 p.m., March 7, 2020, Jewett Center for the Performing Arts 
Registration to be announced  

July 2020
VU Symposium on experimental, electronic and improvised music. The three-day VU Symposium is dedicated to Vladimir Ussachevsky, pioneering electronic composer. 
Time and location to be announced 
Registration to be announced  

Media Contacts

Arikka Von
avon@westminstercollege.edu
801.832.2682

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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