Hello! My name is Warren Enström and I’m a composer, performer, and otherwise creative person. I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I was born, raised, and attended college. I recently moved to Connecticut for graduate studies in composition, which has been an exciting experience for me, having never lived anywhere other than Wisconsin until now. In terms of what instruments I play, I’m most familiar with bassoon, which I’ve been playing for more than ten years. I’m pretty willing to pick up anything that people will let me get my hands on — I’ve performed on bassoon, keyboard, laptop, accordion, melodica, as a vocalist, and as a general performance artist.
As a composer, I often assign creative constraints to my projects in order to inspire creative solutions. Pieces that have been most affected by this process include prussian blue, keen, and tin birds. Recently, I’ve been exploring graphic notation as a means of communicating texture and gesture.
In general, I love to create things. Writing poetry, composing and making music, putting on performance — I am happiest when I’m making stuff. I’d be happy to share it with you.
Warren Enström is a composer and bassoonist who finds joy in pushing unlikely materials together into unorthodox relationships: super balls into pianos, thimbles onto cymbals, and paper shredders into modulators. He is inspired by text in many ways, from text as compositional directive, or as an invitation to improvise, to text as a stand-alone, self-contained body. He likes snow, fresh art, and playing small jokes on life.
Warren’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by a variety of soloists and ensembles, including Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Mantra Percussion, oboist Joshua Guarisco, and the UWM Percussion Ensemble. His installations have been shown at SEAMUS 2016 at Georgia Southern University, N_SEME 2015 at Bowling Green State University, Kenilworth Open Studios 2014, and Kenilworth Arts and Tech Night 2013. He has collaborated with choreographers Jose A. Luis and Kelsey Stolhand, videographer Kellie Bronikowski, and poet Annie Grizzle.
An eager performer, Warren has performed in many capacities with various ensembles, such as Minneapolis-based Zeitgeist New Music, Milwaukee-based Prematurely Air-Conditioned Arts Collective, and UWM’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has realized the works of modern and contemporary composers, such as Yoko Ono (Overtone Piece), John Cage (Songbooks), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Mikrophonie I), Heather Warren-Crow (To Be Small is to be Weak…), Michelle McKenzie (Atem Tapestry), and Robert Ashley (Perfect Lives: The Church).
As an improviser, Warren explores the modularity of the bassoon, using individual parts of the instrument to explore a plethora of sounds otherwise inaccessible to the whole bassoon. He has also worked with improvisers such as Nick Weckman, Joni Clare, Steve Nelson-Raney, Paul Westfahl, Barry Clark, and Hal Rammel.
Warren received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Composition and Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2015. While at UWM, he studied composition with Christopher Burns and Amanda Schoofs, bassoon with Ted Soluri, and improvisation with Amanda Schoofs. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Composition at Wesleyan University.
Header photographs on homepage, “About”, and “Performance” by Paul Mitchell.