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Zeena Parkins

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Zeena Parkins April 2008 Zeena Parkins (born 1956) is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist active in experimental, free improvised, contemporary classical, and avant-jazz music; she is known for having "reinvented the harp". Parkins performs on standard harps, several custom electric harps, piano, and accordion. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow and professor in the Music Department at Mills College.

Table of contents
  1. Life and career
  2. Discography

Life and career

Born in 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, Parkins studied at Bard College and moved to New York City in 1984.

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 recorded six solo harp records and recorded and performed with Björk, Matmos, Ikue Mori, Fred Frith, Tom Cora, Christian Marclay, Yoko Ono, John Zorn (including in Cobra performances), Chris Cutler, Pauline Oliveros, Nels Cline, Elliott Sharp, Lee Ranaldo, Butch Morris, Tin Hat Trio, William Winant, Anthony Braxton, Bobby Previte, Courtney Love's band Hole, and others. She has also been a member of a number of experimental rock bands, including No Safety, News from Babel, and Skeleton Crew.

Parkins has often worked with dance companies and choreographers, including the John Jasperse Company, Jennifer Monson, Neil Greenberg, Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh, BodyCartography Project, and Jennifer Lacey, and has won three Bessie Awards for her achievement in composition for dance. She has also provided scores for filmmakers including Abigail Child, Isabella Rossellini, Cynthia Madansky, Mandy MacIntosh, and Daria Martin. Parkins received a 1997 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.


with News from Babel
with Ikue Mori
with No Safety
with Elliott Sharp
with Skeleton Crew
Other collaborations
As instrumentalist

With Björk With Alex Cline With Nels Cline With Fred Frith With Maybe Monday With Yoko Ono With Marc Ribot With John Zorn With Tin Hat Trio With Bobby Previte

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