composer, singer, songwriter

AUDIO: Steve Parker Performs “Everyone But Jones”

Steve Parker, trombone and live delay; Corey Dargel, composer and playback

In 1978, after the Jonestown mass suicide, investigators discovered a cassette tape that the cult members recorded as they were preparing to die. Much of this tape consists of Jim Jones’s preaching, but there are also other people’s testimonies, instructions, microphone noises, strange jump-cut edits, pleas on behalf of loved ones, and music that appears to have been recorded at the wrong speed setting on the tape recorder. Dargel’s playback track includes a version of the cassette recording minus all of Jim Jones’s preaching (hence the title) as well as some synthetic instruments. The solo (live) instrumental part is conceived as a reflection on—and sometimes a representation of—the wide range of feelings that a person in the cult might have experienced during the cassette recording.

This is a demo recording.  A commercially produced version will appear on Steve Parker’s debut solo album.

StevenParkerBased in Austin, Steve Parker is active as a performer, educator, and arts collaborator. He is presently Artist-In-Residence at the Blanton Museum of Art, the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, and is on faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  He previously worked as a J. William Fulbright Scholar in Germany and a Donald D. Harrington Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin.

As a soloist, Steve has performed in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America, with performances at the Spoleto Festival, futureplaces (Portugal), Santa Fe New Music, Bowerbird (Philadelphia), Roulette (NYC), BACKFABRIK (Berlin), HPR’s From the Front Row (Houston), and the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago). An advocate of new music, Steve has commissioned or premiered over 100 new works, working with composers Helmut Lachenmann, Corey Dargel, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang. He is an artist of Ensemble Signal, described as “a new music dream team” (Time Out New York), with appearances at Tanglewood, the Guggenhem Museum, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Bang on a Can Marathon.  His performances can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today, PBS Newshour, and on Bridge, Cantaloupe and Mode Records.  Steve holds degrees from UT Austin, Rice, and Oberlin in Mathematics and Music.  Winner of the 2012 Austin Critics’ Table Award, Steve is the founder and director of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art.  SoundSpace is a concert series that features simultaneous, cross-disciplinary performances throughout the museum’s galleries.