Trio MZM: Miya Masaoka Zeena Parkins Myra Melford Trio MZM is Miya Masaoka on koto and electronics, Zeena Parkins on electric harp and Myra Melford on piano/inside piano. Please join us to experience some of the jazz/improvising world’s fiercest female experimentalists. Miya Masaoka is a classically trained American composer, musician and sound artist. She is a 2016 Fulbright Japan fellow. Since the early 1990’s she has used the computer and speaker spatialization. In her work with traditional Japanese instruments, she has designed and built midi gestural interfaces and data from insect movement, plant and human brain response. She studied gagaku with Togi Suenobu, and directed the San Francisco Gagaku Society for seven years. She is considered a pioneer using new techniques and improvisation on the 21 string koto. She has been commissioned by and collaborated with the La Jolla Symphony, Bang on a Can, So Percussion, Alonzo King, Volti, The San Francisco Choral Society, Ensemble Either/Or, Joan Jeanrenaud (formerly of Kronos Quartet), Piedmont Choirs, ROVA, Del Sol, Kathleen Supove, as well as such figures as Pauline Oliveros, Ornette Coleman, Christian Wolff, Henry Brant, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Robert Dick, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, Pharoah Sanders, William Parker, Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser and Larry Ochs. She has taught in the Bard MFA program in Music/Sound since 2003, has taught music composition at New York University, and in the Sound Arts Dept. at Columbia University in 2015. Multi-instrumentalist/composer/improviser, Zeena Parkins, is a pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance. She reimagines the instrument as a “sound machine of limitless capacity,” and has built three versions of her one-of-a-kind electric harp. She has also extended the language of the acoustic harp with the inventive use of unusual playing techniques, preparations, and layers of electronic processing.Inspired and connected to visual arts, dance, film, and history, Zeena follows a unique path in creating her compositional works. Through blending and morphing of both real and imagined instruments, crafting, recombining, and layering mangled, sliced, massaged or possibly disengaged sounds, drawing from extra-musical sources for unusual scoring and formal constructions as well as utilizing multi-speaker environments, Zeena remains in process with sound as material and music, engaged in translations of sonic states in the concert hall, the black box theater, the dance studio, the recording studio, the classroom, the cinema, the skyscraper, the ocean and the gallery. Parkins’s compositions have been commissioned by NeXtWorks Ensemble, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Roulette Intermedium, The Eclipse Quartet, William Winant, Bang on a Can, The Whitney Museum, The Tate Modern, Montalvo Arts Center, The Donaueschinger Musiktage and Sudwestrundfunk/SWR. Originally from Chicago and classically trained, Myra Melford is a composer with a singular, kinetic, and lyrical voice in piano improvisation. Chicago blues, architecture, jazz and experimental music inspire her work. She has released over 40 recordings, including 20 as a leader or co-leader, and maintains three bands: the celebrated quintet Snowy Egret, the collective Trio M, and the duo Dialogue with clarinetist Ben Goldberg. She is a Guggenheim Fellow for “Language of Dreams,” (2013), a Doris Duke Performing Artist (2013) an Alpert Award in the Arts recipient (2012), and has been honored numerous times in Down Beat Critic’s polls and by the Jazz Journalist Association. She was the Artistic Director and Co-curator for the 2015 New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA in San Francisco. Recent projects include Snowy Egret (Enja/Yellowbird), her latest quintet recording released in spring 2015 and Life Carries Me This Way (Firehouse 12, 2013), a solo piano recording featuring original compositions based on the drawings of Don Reich. She presented a 25-year retrospective of her work at The Stone, in New York City, in March 2015. Upcoming recordings include a duet with Ben Goldberg (to be released in January 2016), a duet with drummer Allison Miller, a trio with koto player Miya Masaoka and harpist Zeena Parkins, and a trio with flutist Nicole Mitchell and bassist Joelle Leandre. In March 2016, she will present Snowy Egret for a week at the Village Vanguard in New York City. In May/June 2016, she will be in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, developing “Dissonant Futures,” a piece for piano, prepared piano, electronics and video with Ian Winters and Evelyn Ficarra.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016, 8:00pm to 10:00pm
1750 Arch St.
Berkeley, CA