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Zeena Parkins: LACE 

CKR 014; Released June 30th, 2023

LACE, by pioneering composer and improvisor Zeena Parkins, is a collection of works based on the stitches, patterns and threading of handcrafted lace. This textile's unique geometric complexity and delicate materiality is conveyed compositionally through carefully constructed graphic scores. Parkins first began the LACE series in 2008 as a commission for the Merge Cunningham Dance Company.  

LACE (CKR 014) is both an album and a box set.

 

The box set contains:

  • LP of the album with compositions "LACE 1" and "LACE 2". These pieces are performed by renowned instrumentalists of the avant-garde: William Winant, TILT Brass Sextet, James Fei and Maggie Parkins. "Lace 1" is conducted by Zeena Parkins

  • Beautifully printed graphic scores to the first three LACE composition 

  • Performance notes to the graphic scores

  • Extensive interview by Parkins with arts critic Jenn Joy

  • Poem by much beloved Downtown NYC poet Steve Dalachinsky written at the performance of "LACE 1"

  • Full credits for the album

  • A lace bobbin

The box set comes in two versions, black and white. Contents are identical in both versions. Both are very limited edition!

From the interview booklet included in the box set, Parkins says:

 

“In paying close attention to lace’s details: its twists and knots, interconnecting threads, variety of stitches, and the patterns that surface, I’m imagining a conspiracy with the lace maker, usually a woman. My immersion into these embedded details evidences the unseen process of fabricating lace, and it’s my hope that this underscores the power and persistence of the lace maker’s labor.”

Electro-acoustic composer/performer, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and pioneer of contemporary harp performance, Zeena Parkins re-imagines both the acoustic harp and an evolution of her original electric ones, through the use of expanded playing techniques, preparations, and custom designed processing. Within a shifting constellation of improvised/composed/gesture/touch/space-sound ruptures/noise/music, Parkins is engaged in translations of sonicity within environments: architectural/emotional/topographical/social. 

 

Zeena Parkins by Jeff Preiss

Parkins has received commissions from SFMOMA, DAAD, MaertzMusik Berlin, Whitney Museum, Tate Modern, Sharjah Art Foundation, NeXtWorks Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble/Ensemble Son, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Sudwestrundfunk, Bang on a Can, and  numerous choreographers including Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Neil Greenberg Dance, and DD Dorvillier/Human Future Dance Corps. Awards include: Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Artist Award, Berliner Kunstlerprogramm/DAAD Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund grants NYFA Fellowship, Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence, Shifting Foundation Fellowship, Prix Ars Eletroncia/Honorary Mention, Herb Alpert/Ucross Prize, and three Bessies: New York  Dance and Performance Award for her groundbreaking work with dance. Zeena recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Bard College. 

Parkins has performed and/or recorded with: William Winant, Laetitia Sonami, Brian Chase, Brandon Lopez, Mette Rassmussen, Ryan Sawyer, Bjork, Ikue Mori, Yoko Ono, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Christian Marclay, James Fei, Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, Butch Morris, Elliott Sharp, Nate Wooley, Nels Cline, Yuka C. Honda, Tony Buck, Craig Taborn, Magda Mayas, Steve Beresford, Barry Guy, Cyro Baptista, Okkyung Lee, Matmos, Yasunao Tone, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Myra Melford, Miya Masaoka, George Lewis, Joan La Barbara, David Behrman, John Bishoff, Jeff Kolar,. 

Parkins is currently the Darius Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. She has been teaching at Mills for thirteen years and will end her tenure there with the demise of the College this spring/2023.

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