Zeena Parkins (Harpist) and Janene Higgins (video artist) present an excerpt from their enthralling piece, "Arch."
Parkins improvises, elegantly and at times wildly, on an electric harp of her own design and on her accordion. Her sound palette ranges from ethereal to earthy timbres. Higgins simultaneously creates spellbinding video synthesis in real time, contrasting lyrical physical forms (bodies and architecture) with mysterious abstract colorizations and non-narrative movements projected on several screens. Following the performance, Parkins and Higgins discuss how they coordinate their parts and exchange ideas to develop a performance (for example, tape their rehearsal "jams" and review them). Higgins describes her early commercial video work for clients and her gradual transition to performance, while Parkins details her efforts to re-define the uses of the harp.
Harpist Zeena Parkins has played in many contemporary groups such as the Butch Morris's Conduction, Skeleton Crew, John Zorn's Cobra, quintet No Safety (which she co-founded), and Gangster Band. Parkins and Higgins have been presenting their unique multimedia duo performances since the mid-1990's, beginning with a series they dubbed "Eyewash."
Aired on rTV: 2000
Performance: May 12, 2000
Produced by Jim Staley
Directed by Matt Mehlan