Andrea Parkins is a composer and improviser who plays accordion, piano and sampler. Parkins sonically expands the accordion with analog electronics and by fragmenting traditional accordion syntax with noise and other disruptive allusions. She also plays the piano, and combines these instruments in live performance (often simultaneously) with digital sampling that is inspired by analog synthesizer and musique-concrete.
Parkins is an active participant in New York's New Music scene, as an ensemble leader, side-person and collaborator. She leads a trio with alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss and drummer Kenny Wollesen with a new CD release, Slippage, on Knitting Factory Works (Parkins' first release with this band, Cast Iron Fact, is also on the Knitting Factory label).
Other ongoing projects include performing, touring and recording with tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin s band, and with guitarist Joe Morris' Many Rings quartet; and composing scores to be performed live with experimental and silent films. (In 1998, Parkins performed her new scores at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for an electronic quartet, featuring illbiant guitarist/samplist Danny Blume, accompanying experimental silent films by women.) In addition, Parkins has also performed and/or recorded with artists such as keyboardist Anthony Coleman, turntable artist Otomo Yoshihide and electronic percussionist Ikue Mod. Parkins has written solo pieces for accordion, piano and sampler; and works for ensemble, as well as music for dance, theater and film. She has also composed music and designed sound for her own sculptural installations and multi-media works.
Parkins tours in Europe and North America as a solo performer, with her own ensembles, and as a side-person. She has performed at the Copenhagen '96 Festival with her trio and at the Wie es ihr Gefalft Women's Festival in Berlin in a special collaborative project with Zeena Parkins. She performs frequently at the Knitting Factory in New York, and has appeared there both in the Panasonic and the New York Jazz Festivals.
Currently, Parkins is completing a recording project featuring drummer Jim Black, and guitarist/bagpipes player David Watson at Harvestworks in NYC, where she has been awarded a 1998 Artist-in-Residence production grant. Parkins is also the recipient of 1998 and 1999 Meet the Composer grants.