For years Red Wierenga has been working in a variety of seemingly disparate musical contexts: as a performer of various instruments across many genres, a composer of acoustic and electronic music, and a designer and builder of hardware and software instruments.
A few years ago he decided to pursue the concept of modularity as both a practical organizational method in his work and more generally as a way of connecting his otherwise apparently disparate activities. HIs exploration of modularity has led him to research the history of analog modular synthesizers (and work with one of the legends of modular synthesis, Morton Subotnick) as well as to embark on building his own analog modular synthesizer, including designing many of the circuits.
Red Wierenga is also exploring compositional modularity through the use of modular forms and algorithmic composition software, that allows him to develop small modules and connect them together to create musical material for compositional sections. He uses many of these same basic algorithms in the software patches he creates for digital signal processing.
He performs and records in a wide array of musical settings, from free improvisation, jazz, and new music to rock, pop, and world musics. Since 2011 he has been the accordionist in the Claudia Quintet. Wierenga also performs and records with David Crowell, Ensemble Signal, Salo, the Fireworks Ensemble, and many others.