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Every day over the course of a year starting in June, 2020, in something she refers to as a "domestic ritual," Zeena Parkins recorded solo electric harp performances in her home studio. The brilliant improvisor and composer had, like most of her peers, been sidelined by the pandemic; unable to tour, she spent the end of each day at the harp, playing until sunlight waned, inventing and discovering new soundscapes, keeping her musical self together while the world seemed poised to crumble. Parkins' audience consisted of her boyfriend, filmmaker Jeff Preis (who filmed and recorded all the music) and their dog. Invited to participate in the Black Cross Solo Sessions, she returned to this deep well of recordings and selected ten tracks, augmenting the harp with pedals and resonant and resonating objects including bells and other percussion. To Dusk is a uniquely vibrating set of auditory investigations, a buzzing, ringing, hammering, plunging suite of instant compositions snatched from the maw of a malicious moment in the world's collective history. Liner notes by Zeena Parkins. Cover artwork and design by Christopher Wool.
1. Concave-convexed 1 [7:25]
2. Concave-convexed 2 [6:07]
3. Concave-convexed 3 [5:09]
4. Concave-convexed 4 [5:25]
5. Concave-convexed 5 [3:50]
6. Kura Skymning 1 [4:59]
7. Kura Skymning 2 [5:24]
8. Kura Skymning 3 [5:43]
9. Kura Skymning 4 [7:53]
10. Clinging hard to the earth with my toes1 [8:11]
Zeena Parkins – electric harp, pedals, objects, and percussion
Recorded at home in Manhattan, June, 2020-June, 2021. Mixed by John Thayer in Greenpoint, September, 2021. Mastererd by Alex Inglizian at ESS in Chicago, October, 2021.
Zeena Parkins copyright 2021, eyeofnight/ASCAP.
Cover design and artwork Christopher Wool. CD design by David Khan-Giordano.
Produced by Jeff Preiss. Executive Producers John Corbett and Christopher Wool.
Thanks to John Corbett, Jim Dempsey, Christopher Wool, and to Jeff Preiss.
1 Jane Collum Brakhage Wodening in a letter to Carolee Schneemann, 14 October, 1986.