Debut release of my new band project and my first release on Cryptogramophone.
A collection of sound cues written for films:
Two large ensemble works commissioned by Roulette.
Table of the Elements
Solo electric and acoustic harps
My first two strings quartets, a solo acoustic harp piece and an electro-acoustic work.
One sided picture disk/vinyl LP
Table of the Elements
Special 10 year anniversary edition
CD in wooden box with pictures and booklet
Review of Nightmare Alley re-release by Dean McFarlane:
“The leading New York avant jazz harpist has appeared on hundreds of free improvisation recordings in collaboration with artists such as Fred Frith, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Lee Ranaldo, and Ikue Mori, among many others. During the '80s and '90s, she pioneered the electric harp of her own design, an instrument which thrives on the rich tonalities of the traditional harp matched with the flexibility of an electric guitar. The instrument was so unique that it shaped and influenced the music she composed and improvised for it; she thus became an in-demand performer on any number of downtown avant-garde projects. Ranging from free jazz to dance and theater music, her projects are all given the signature of her unique instrument and sharp ear for improvisation. For this solo CD on Table of the Elements she presented a series of exceptional solo improvisations and compositions, some kept within shorter-song format such as the openers “Sleep” and “Empty Bottle.” While “Model for a Colossal Moment” and “Peephole” stretch out into extended explorations in the seven-minute mark, most of the pieces are kept to short vignettes. Effortlessly switching between serrated noise and controlled feedback outbursts to delicate extended harp improvisations, Zeena Parkins' solo performance is a stunning display of her extraordinary talents in avant-garde and experimental music.”
Limited edition: 3 artist-designed packages
Recorded in Kortrijk, Belgium, on Ludlow St in Manhattan, on Varet St and Studio G in Brooklyn
Mixed by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose, in Brooklyn and mastered by David Kean at Audities Studio in Calgary, Canada.
Zeena Parkins: tone generator, ring modulator, waldorf filter, korg ms20, memory moog, asr10, casio cz101, tambura, bubble wrap, leather coat, leather clogs, leather belt, radio, metal chair, hair, clackers, marbles, styrofoam cup, rocks, plastic tarp, plastic wrappers, broken record, finger snaps, guitar cable, metal, springs, paper, twigs, latex, glass
Review of Money $hot by Soft Pink Truth:
“It begins with physical contact, the gestural immediacy of fluttering plastic, keening styrofoam, creaking leather. Intimacy amplified into threat. Hard-panned creaks and scrunches hopscotch across the stereo-field of the opening track “Cushion/Ejects Bolster” like some kind of crazed maquiladora. Sound as action.
“But just when you've settled in for a “scuttling improv” ride, you run smack into a wall of synthesis, huge low end and shivering sine waves implying contrary geometries, receding planes, recursive staircases of sound. This double exposure of utterly-controlled, crystalline synthesis juxtaposed against crinkly, abrupt improvisation with enough surrealist percussive objects to fill a gallery full of Joseph Cornell boxes (twigs, latex gloves, tissue paper, bubble wrap) determines the palette here.
“It's an inspired choice, one that teases the borders between hot and cold, nearness and distance, matter and motion. I've no idea how she achieved the sudden-ness and intricacy of “Walks”, but in its rapid transformations it's as if Zeena Parkins is making musique-concrete in real time. Yes, this music began its life as a through-composed score to accompany a dance performance. As a listener who has never seen said performance I can vouch for the absolute independent vitality of this music.
“Jumping high and free of the “you-had-to-be-there” problem which dogs so many scores, Money $hot is compelling music in its own right in the same way that Popul Vuh's, or Artemeyev's, or Takemitsu's scores are at once responses to visual media and entirely thrilling on their own. Carving canyons of tambura twang and breakcore rinseouts (see “Big Kitty”, I'm not kidding) with equal aplomb, Zeena Parkins’ Money $hot sees her legendary improvisatory skills and raises them, manifesting dazzling compositional range.”
A piece about language, translation, radiance, loss and the desire for connectivity.Gangster Band
My second solo harp release.
Examines the lives and deaths of Jewish Gangsters. Utilizing texts from the lost thieves language, Rotwelsch; a complex tapestry of voices and instrumental counterpoint.
A stunning piece based on the life of Isabelle Eberhardt, the courageous young Swiss writer/dreamer/explorer that fell in love with Northern Africa, traveled there as a journalist, dressed as a man, wrote a beautiful set of short stories, The Oblivion Seekers, married an Arab soldier and died in a flash flood at the age of 27 years.Gangster Band
Table of the Elements
My first solo harp recording and the first release on Table of the Elements.
Les Disques Victo
Based on the live score that was commissioned by choreographer Jennifer Monson and premiered at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC.