Listen to legendary pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn’s music arranged for a string ensemble


Susan Alcorn is a pedal steel guitarist and composer. As this piece demonstrates she has moved well beyond country music for which the instrument is traditionally known and developed a new language for her instrument via 20th century classical music, visionary jazz, and world musics.

A list of her some of her collaborators demonstrates this: Pauline Oliveros, Chris Cutler, the London Improvisors Orchestra, the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock and Leila Bourdreuil, George Burtm Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Zane Campbell, and Mary Halvorson among others.

This recording has been curated and arranged by cellist and composer Janel Leppin. It’s from a live performance from her residency at Issue Project Room in July 2012.

The lineup is:

Anthony Pirog : guitar
Janel Leppin : cello, modified cello
Jessika Kenney : vocals
Eyvind Kang : viola
Skúli Sverrisson : bass
Doug Wieselman : clarinet, bass clarinet

It’s just been released by Stephen O’Malley’s (Sunn O)))) Idealogic Organ label. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.