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Saturday, February 2, 2019, 8:00 pm Littlefield Concert Hall

Zeena Parkins – Harp Benefit Concert for Mills Music Department

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Zeena Parkins
Zeena Parkins photo by Jeff-PreissElectro-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/noise/music, Parkins is engaged in translations of sonicity within environments: architectural/emotional/topographical/social. Parkins has received commissions from Whitney Museum, Tate Modern, Sharjah Art Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, NeXtWorks Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble/Ensemble Son, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Sudwestrundfunk, Bang on a Can Spit Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, iLand, Neil Greenberg Dance, Thin Man Dance, Mega-Gloss, Human Future Dance Corps, and Body Cartography Project.

Awards include Doris Duke Artist Award, DAAD Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund grants NYFA Fellowship, Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence, Herb Alpert/Ucross Prize and three New York Dance and Performance Awards, “Bessies” for her groundbreaking work with dance.

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

Fred Frith
Fred Frith photo by Heike LissMulti-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith has been making noise of one kind or another for almost 50 years, starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow, which he co-founded with Tim Hodgkinson in 1968.

Fred is best known as a pioneering electric guitarist and improviser, song-writer, and composer for film, dance and theater. Through bands like Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and Cosa Brava, he has stayed close to his roots in rock and folk music while branching out in many other directions.

His compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to ROVA and Arte Sax Quartets, from rock bands Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra.

Film music credits include the acclaimed documentaries Rivers and Tides, Touch the Sound and Leaning into the Wind, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer, The Tango Lesson, Yes and The Party by Sally Potter, Werner Penzel’s Zen for Nothing, Peter Mettler’s Gods, Gambling and LSD, and the award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Last Day of Freedom, by Nomi Talisman and Dee HibbertJones.

Composing for dance throughout his long career, Fred has worked with Rosalind Newman and Bebe Miller in New York, François Verret and Catherine Diverrès in France, and Amanda Miller and the Pretty Ugly Dance Company over the course of many years in Germany, as well as composing for two documentary films on the work of Anna Halprin.

Theater credits include the Creation Company in New York and François-Michel Pesenti’s Théâtre du Point Aveugle in Marseille, where he spent six months in 1990 working with “jeunes rockers en chômage des quartiers défavorisés” (young unemployed rock musicians from the ghettos) on the opera Helter Skelter.

Fred has performed works by and sometimes alongside composers John Luther Adams, Gavin Bryars, Sylvie Courvoisier, Alvin Curran, George Lewis, René Lussier, Jose Maceda, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and Christian Wolff; improvised with Paolo Angeli, Lotte Anker, Derek Bailey, Chris Brown, Lol Coxhill, Chris Cutler, Janet Feder, Joëlle Léandre, Miya Masaoka, Phil Minton, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Bob Ostertag, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, and Camel Zekri, to name a few; collaborated with classical virtuosi Evelyn Glennie, Katia Labèque, Viktoria Mullova, and Werner Bärtschi; and—as session musician—recorded on albums by, for example, Brian Eno, The Residents, Robert Wyatt, The Swans, Violent Femmes, Material, Negativland, John Zorn, Matthew and the Unfortunates, and Half Japanese.

He is currently performing with the Fred Frith Trio and Frelosa.

The recipient of Italy’s Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life’s work in experimental music and an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire, Fred currently teaches in the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland, California; in the improvisation master’s program at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland; and as visiting faculty in the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, where he has been collaborating on the creation of a new School of Music and Sound Art.

He is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel’s much loved Step Across the Border, cited by Cahiers du Cinéma as one of the 20th century’s hundred most influential films.

William Winant
William WinantIn 2016, Winant was awarded a large unrestricted grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in recognition for his groundbreaking work as a contemporary percussionist. In 2014 he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of John Cage’s historic solo work, 27' 10.554" for a percussionist, on Micro Fest Records.

He has collaborated with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Frank Zappa, Keith Jarrett, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Cecil Taylor, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Barry Guy, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Steve Reich and Musicians, Nexus, Charles Wuorinen, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Annea Lockwood, Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Ashely Fure, Sonic Youth, Marc Ribot, Keith Rowe, Ikue Mori, Joey Barron, Lin Culbertson, Bill Frisell, Yo-Yo Ma, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, and the Kronos String Quartet.

He has recorded and toured worldwide with his own groups including ROOM, w/Chris Brown and Larry Ochs, CHALLENGE, w/Anthony Braxton and David Rosenboom, WAKE, w/Frank Gratkowski and Chris Brown, the Abel/Steinberg/Winant Trio, and the William Winant Percussion Group.

He is principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, he has been closely associated with NYC composer John Zorn, and has made numerous recordings, and performed in many projects throughout the world with the composer. Starting in 1995 he has been the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, has made two recordings ("Disco Volante" and "California" on Warner Brothers), and has toured throughout the world with this group. For many years he had worked with composer Lou Harrison, recording and premiering many of his works, and in March of 1997 he participated in the world premiere of Lou Harrison's quintet "Rhymes with Silver" featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has toured the piece throughout the United States and Great Britain.

In the fall of 2011, he joined Mike Patton's Italian pop music project "Mondo Cane" which features a 12 piece band + string orchestra, and have recently completed tours of South America and Australia.

In the fall of 2003, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mr. Winant, along with composers Takehisa Kosugi and Christian Wolff, created music for a series of eight special "Events" staged by Merce Cunningham and Dancers at London's Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Winant continued to tour throughout Europe and the United States with the dance company until 2009

He has made over 200 recordings, covering a wide variety of genres, including music by Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, John Zorn, Butch Morris, James Newton, Frank Gratkowski, Pauline Oliveros, Joan Jeanrenaud, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Danny Elfman ("Batman Returns"), Siouxse and the Banshees, Secret Chiefs 3, ICP, Han Bennik, The Ex, White Out with Jim O’Rourke, Lou Reed, Thurston Moore, and Mike Patton.

His recording of Lou Harrison's "La Koro Sutro" (which he produced for New Albion Records) was the New York Times Critic's Choice for best contemporary recording of 1988. In 1999 he produced a recording of music by 20th-century avant-garde composers with the influential rock band Sonic Youth; "Goodbye 20th-Century" (SYR4), was hailed by both The Los Angeles Times and New York's Village Voice as one of the best compendiums of this type of music ever recorded. His recording with cellist Joan Jeanrenaud of her CD "Strange Toys" was nominated for a Grammy in 2009. Also he along with guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley, created special music for Werner Herzog's 2009 Oscar nominated documentary "Encounters at the End of the World". His latest recording with Roscoe Mitchell combining three trios and recorded over 3 days at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, is due out on the ECM label in 2017.

Mr. Winant has premiered many new works written specifically for him, by such noted composers as John Cage, Christian Wolff, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Bun-Ching Lam, Barbara Monk Feldman, Hi-Kyung Kim, Roscoe Mitchell, Wendy Reid, Ralph Shapey, Peter Garland, Michael Byron, Paul Dresher, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Chris Brown, David Rosenboom, Larry Polansky, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Wadada Leo Smith.

Mr. Winant has been featured as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (under the direction of Pierre Boulez), the San Francisco Symphony, and the Berkeley Symphony (Kent Nagano, director), as well as at Cabrillo Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Festival, Central Park Summerstage, Ravinia Festival, Salzburg Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, Victoriaville, Holland Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Ojai Festival, Sonar Festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Taklos, Other Minds Festival, Lincoln Center, Melt Down Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Library of Congress, The Barbican, The Kennedy Center, Paris Opera, Disney Hall, Miller Theater Composer Portraits Series, Merkin Hall, Guggenheim Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music.
For ten years he was principal percussionist with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Dennis Russell Davies, director), and timpanist with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 1985-1988 (Nicholas McGegan, director).

He is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and teaches at Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley. For eight years Mr. Winant was Artist-in-Residence at Mills College with the critically acclaimed Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio. Formed in 1984, the ASW Trio has premiered over 25 new works for violin, piano, and percussion at major festivals and recitals throughout the world. Their recordings can be heard on the New Albion, Tzadik, and CRI/New World labels.

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