Artists | Zeena Parkins (US)

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Zeena Parkins (born in 1956 in Detroit, USA) is an American harpist. She plays standard harps, as well as several custom-made one-of-a kind electric harps and also piano and accordion.
She is currently a guest faculty member for composition courses at Mills College. Her work ranges from solo performance to large ensembles. Besides standard and electric harps, her work also incorporates Foley, field recordings, analog synthesizers, samplers, oscillators and homemade instruments.
She has done several solo recordings and has also recorded or performed with Björk, John Zorn (including in John Zorn’s Cobra performances), Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Tin Hat, Jim O’Rourke, Chris Cutler, Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Alex Cline, Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Braxton, William Winant, Matmos, Yoko Ono, Christian Marclay, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Maja Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Courtney Love, Yasunao Tone, So Percussion, Bobby Previte, Carla Kilhstedt, James Fei, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore.

She is or has been a member of a number of experimental rock bands, including No Safety, News from Babel, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Cosa Brava, BZ Squeezies, Owt, Gangster Band, Saw Sun Here, Psycho-Acoustic, Zeena and The Adorables, Phantom Orchard, Phantom Orchard Orchestra.
Parkins has often worked with dance companies and choreographers, including the John Jasperse Company, Jennifer Monson, Neil Greenberg, Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh, and Jennifer Lacey, and has won a Bessie Award for ”sustained achievement in composing scores for dance.” In 1997 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. She has also worked with video artist Janene Higginand visual artists Daria Martin, Cynthia Madansky and Mandy McIntosh.
In 1997 he curated the Music Unlimited Festival in Wels.
Zeena Parkins has given lectures at Oxford and Princeton Universities and has taught at the School of the Museum of fine arts in Boston, Bard and Mills college. Currently, she is a distinguished visiting professor, at Mills college graduate music department.