Light installation by Anthony McCall at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Susan Alcorn
Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country music. Having first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands, she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of 20th century classical music, visionary jazz and world musics. Though best known for her solo work, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Chris Cutler, Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock & Leila Bourdreuil, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Zane Campbell, and Mary Halvorson among others. In 2017 she received the Baker Artist Award and in 2018, along with saxophonist Joe McPhee, the Instant Award in Improvised Music.