In Downtown Miami, our Focus On Puerto Rico residency program is in full swing. Learn more about our Residents and upcoming FOP program events. 


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In Downtown Miami, our Focus On Puerto Rico residency program is in full swing. 


Zeena Parkins

Composer, electric harpist and multi-instrumentalist Zeena Parkins speaks with AIR's David Weinstein upon the release of Phantom Orchard, a double album with Ikue Mori. Parkins has established herself as a pioneering electric harpist and improviser, working within such genres as jazz and rock as well as more avant-garde styles. She has collaborated with such musicians as Björk, Nels Cline, Christian Marclay, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Elliott Sharp and John Zorn, among a near-innumerable, impossibly venerated many more. She discusses the album, her history with the electric harp, the importance of string instruments to her--with the absolute exception of violin and guitar—and a then—unnamable, recently received award (50 minutes).


Experimental Composers


The object of this series is to invite emerging and established innovators to share their work. These programs are usually a combination of an interview with a far-reaching perspective on the artist's career, some recordings illustrating this history, and something new. Open territory. The unfortunate and unintended messages that come attached to a title like Experimental Composers are many. Still it is one of the few labels to come out of the world of music that has not been co-opted by promoters, corporations, journalists, or lawyers. This one just seems to have anti-market goo on it. Hooray. It's also just bad English (as if to imply that these poor souls are themselves, in their flesh and blood, some kind of experiment and, perhaps, even expendable). And then there is the spectre of defying the wisdom of the great Edgar Varèse who said something like, "I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I make the music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment."