Zeena Parkins: The Harp at Mills — Mills Music Now

Music Event

Saturday, February 10, 2024, 8 – 10:30pm PST
Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Concert Hall, Music Building

Zeena Parkins: The Harp at Mills — Mills Music Now

Presented by the Center for Contemporary Music, and Mills College at Northeastern University

This concert is open to the public. 
Registration requested.

Program will feature new works by John Bischoff, James Fei, Laetitia Sonami, Fred Frith, and Zeena Parkins.

Zeena Parkins 
New York based electro-acoustic composer / improviser Zeena Parkins is a pioneer of contemporary harp practices. Using expanded techniques, object preparations, and electronic processing she has re-defined the instrument’s capacities. Concurrently, Parkins self-designed a series of one-of-a kind electric instruments. She leans into the harp’s physical limitations pushing its boundaries and impossibilities. In her compositions, Parkins utilizes collections, recombination, historic proximities, geography, tactility, spatial configurations and movement. Sonic presence and personality is revealed in explorations of subtle frequency shifts, feedback, over and under tones, melodic fragments, timbral and gestural intervals, perception, and residues.

Over a 30-year career Parkins has worked with an unlikely range of collaborators. She has recorded and toured with Björk. A series of concerts with Yoko Ono led to the live album Blueprint for a Sunrise. Early collaborations with John Zorn include performances of his game piece Darts at the MOMA Sculpture Garden and touring the groundbreaking work Cobra as well as performing in its first studio recording for Swiss label, Hat Art. Parkins was selected by Pauline Oliveros to play bass accordion for a performance of the composer’s concerto for multiple accordions with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and premiered a piece written for her by Yasunao Tone, The Origin of Geometry: an Introduction, at Phil Niblock’s loft Experimental Intermedia. In the 2010 Whitney Museum exhibition, Christian Marclay: Festival, Parkins directed and performed a week-long program of concerts that activated his graphic scores. Long-time collaborator, Fred Frith, invited her into Skeleton Crew when the band expanded from a duo with Tom Cora into a trio. She performed in many of Frith’s projects and they frequently shared the stage as improvisers. 

Parkins served as professor in the Sound Arts Department at SMFA in Boston for two years and has taught in the undergraduate program at Bard College. She has been invited to give talks at the Ruskin School/Oxford, Princeton University, Pomona College, Columbia University and has lead improvisation workshops in several festivals including Counterpulse in Glasgow, Météo in Mulhouse, and will be improvisor in residence at the Klangspuren Festiva/Austrial in 2019. Parkins held the Darius Milhaud Chair in Composition at Mills College. 



More information about Mills Music Now.