Composer and bassoonist Katherine Young creates acoustic and electro-acoustic music that uses curious timbres, expressive noises, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic materiality of sound, constantly shifting ensemble energies, and the tension between the familiar and the strange. Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times described Katherine’s Inside UFO 53-32, as performed by the Flux Quartet, as a “raw, wailing, coloristic piece” with an “organic sweep.”
Recent projects include slam creak bzzz for amplified string quartet and electronics, a premiere by Talea Ensemble of The Life You Save May Be Your Own for mixed ensemble and 8-channel playback, and a commission from the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. Katherine also wrote the music for choreographer Daria Fain’s TARGET: Furnace for solo dancer and three musicians. The piece had a week-long run at the Chocolate Factory, and The New York Times described the work as “full of absorbing elements...a lushly spare aural landscape...marvelously charged.”
Katherine has documented her work on numerous recordings, including the 2012 debut of her quartet Pretty Monsters (Public Eyesore), which, according to Neil Tesser "threatens to upend any comfortable divisions between music and noise." Her 2009 solo bassoon release,Further Secret Origins garnered praise in The Wire (“Bassoon colossus”) and Downbeat(“seriously bold leaps for the bassoon”).
As an improviser, Katherine amplifies her bassoon and employs a flexible electronics set-up. She has toured with Anthony Braxton and recorded with Hans Joachim Irmler from Faust and F.M. Einheit from Einsturzende Neubauten. She is a founding member of the experimental chamber collective Till by Turning, and she performs regularly in the improvising duo Architeuthis Walks on Land, who released their second album, Natura Naturans, on Carrier Records in 2010.
Other projects past and present include: chamber-pop quartet The Fancy; British post-punks the Nightingales; Jason Ajemian’s Who Cares How Long You Sink; the trio Civil War; Jacob Wick’s A Mown Lawn; Leah Paul's Bike Lane; and collaborations with musicians such as Tim Daisy, Peter Evans, Guillermo Gregorio, Mary Halvorson, Andrew Lafkas, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Matt Marble, Jeff Parker, Jessica Pavone, Dan Peck, Mike Pride, Tomeka Reid, and Weasel Walter.
At Oberlin College and Conservatory, Katherine studied bassoon performance and comparative literature; she completed her masters in composition at Wesleyan University, where she worked with Anthony Braxton, Ron Kuivila, and Alvin Lucier. Katherine is currently a DM candidate in composition at Northwestern University, working with Lee Hyla, Hans Thomalla, and Jay Alan Yim.
[DOWNLOAD CV: KatherineYoung_CV]