Kevin Schwenkler

Performer, composer, and scholar

Queerness and mixed racial identities are the source of my movement through the world. My artistic practice is an instance of this movement. By collaboratively composing performance scores I attempt to showcase this. Such compositions make manifest my belief that embodied collective action is the source and goal of all aesthetic experience. My recent piece Concerto for Voice, composed for the Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble, represents this. The piece consists of a network of musical tasks expressed primarily via text, each in addition to the shared task of interpreting vocalizations adjacent to speech that “comment without addressing anything.” All tasks, all sounds, and all actions in this piece are meaningless outside of the group atmosphere. So, the overall effect is one of collective sense-making of the musical unknown.

I am a recent graduate of Mills College, with an M.A. in Music Composition. I hold B.A. from Hampshire College in Mathematics, Physics, and Music.

See more of my work at

At the Saari Residence, Lindsay Parnell and I will focus on research into the development of scores and the peculiarities of their language. Since this is tied with group listening practices and group dynamics, our project benefits from developing connections with fellow residents and with the area as a social space. This research, combined with methods for the collaborative generation of scores based on listening and scribing practices, will lead over time to specific set material for a performance.