Willful Devices is an electroacoustic improv duo, born of the collaboration between composer/computer musician Scott Miller and clarinetist/bass clarinetist Pat O’Keefe. Their name refers to the willful nature of the tools they manipulate to produce sound, because despite their best efforts, these devices are never fully under their control. Willful Devices celebrates this, since within this unpredictability lies the potential for unimagined sonic discovery. Willful Devices develops most of their music during that unique time we all know as play, and the results are a vital, dynamic product of the connection between Scott and Pat and their unique musical identities.
Scott Miller is a composer of electroacoustic, orchestral, chamber, choral and multimedia works described as ‘inspir[ing] real hope & optimism for the future of electroacoustic music.’ (5against4.com). Known for his interactive electroacoustic chamber music and experimental performance pieces, Miller has twice been named a McKnight Composer Fellow, he is a Fulbright Scholar, and his work has been recognized by numerous international arts organizations. Recordings are available on New Focus Recordings, Innova, Eroica, CRS, rarescale and SEAMUS, and his music is published by ACA (American Composers Alliance), Tetractys, and Jeanné.
Miller is a Professor of Music at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, where he teaches composition, electroacoustic music and theory. He is currently President of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS). He holds degrees from The University of Minnesota, The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and the State University of New York at Oneonta, and has studied composition at the Czech-American Summer Music Institute and the Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis.
Pat O’Keefe is a multifaceted performer who is endlessly active and in high demand in a wide variety of musical styles and genres. He has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras and wind ensembles, played for belly dancers, and rocked samba in the streets. He draws upon this multiplicity of experiences and interests in his performances, which employ a “superb control of extended techniques,” and have been described as “passionate,” “explosive,” and “breath-stoppingly exquisite.” He is currently the co-artistic director and woodwind player for new music ensemble Zeitgeist, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has also performed and recorded with such groups as ETHEL, California E.A.R. Unit, and Cleveland New Music Associates. Pat is also drawn to the music of other cultures, and performs regularly on both woodwinds and percussion with the groups Batucada do Norte, Choro Borealis, and Music Mundial in the Twin Cities.
Pat holds a BM (with Performer’s Certificate) from Indiana University, an MM (with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance) from the New England Conservatory, and a DMA from the University of California, San Diego. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.