Wrapping up the week here at the Log, we have the extreme privilege of announcing and previewing a new album by three of the finest artists working in the creative-music realm: Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, and Myra Melford. MZM is a new fully improvised collaboration by these prodigious innovators. From the liner notes by Nicola L. Hein, here’s a succinct description of the forces in motion:
Miya Masaoka has found international recognition as a koto player, composer, performance- and sound artist. Zeena Parkins is an internationally known multi-instrumentalist, harp player, composer, and improviser. Myra Melford has been internationally successful as a piano player and composer as well. All three have received diverse awards and prizes for their work and have been/are serving as teachers at different highly recognized universities.
MZM is set for release on the Infrequent Seams label on August 11, and the three performers will herald its arrival on August 1 at The Stone, John Zorn’s Lower East Side arts laboratory, to start a weeklong series curated by Parkins. We’re proud to offer an exclusive preview of two tracks from the album — right here, right now.
Asked to detail the genesis of MZM, Melford offered the following synopsis via email:
Some of us had played together before, though the three of us had not played together as a trio. But we knew of each other, and we all admired each others’ work, and were so excited when the “forces of the universe” brought us together and Myra invited us to perform at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for our first “outing” a few years ago.
We were especially excited to play together, as we were fellow travelers: We had shared common experiences as women in this field, and we had all had a kind of pioneering role in our respective areas. We hope to achieve a new group/sound that can breakthrough the noise, while at the same time, provide musical growth, stimulation and camaraderie with each other.
That these disparate creators were able to find a common language is proved conclusively in the two tracks offered here: “Red Spider,” which opens the album with a show of jittery, animated interplay, and “Saturn,” a spacious, contemplative meditation. Those tracks and eight more on MZM demonstrate the signature sounds and instantaneous reflexes of three superb artists, working at the highest levels of individual accomplishment and sympathetic insight.
You can preorder MZM using the link in the Bandcamp player, or make yourself a note to pick it up at your favorite retailer on Aug. 11.
Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, and Myra Melford celebrate the release of MZM on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 8:30pm at The Stone, on Avenue C at 2nd Street in New York City; thestonenyc.com
On June 12, National Sawdust hosted the culminating event of its inaugural Hildegard Competition, which seeks to encourage inclusivity in the arts through the mentorship of women and non-binary composers.