Listening Workshop with Gino Robair

This interdisciplinary workshop will examine a number of techniques you can use when improvising within a large group. We will focus on global awareness and listening, while exploring strategies for achieving maximum variety and avoiding stagnation. We will also discuss concepts such as foreground/background, solo/support, and intention/non-intention.

This workshop is open to anyone interested in free improvisation, whether you are a beginner or intermediate or professional. And it is not just for musicians: the workshop is also for dancers, live video art, acting, and any other artform where improvising is important.

As an example of ways in which people from different media can work together, I will use sections of “I, Norton,” an “opera” for improvisers that includes hand cues, graphic notation, and strategies. Other examples will come from the music of Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, and even Indonesian gamelan.

You do NOT need to know how to read music to take part in this. Everyone is welcome.

So please come and join me for a series of fun workshops, where it is likely you will work and collaborate with new people (and hopefully find common ground for future collaboration).

What? Improvising Strategies for Large Ensemble – headed by Gino Robair
When? 6th June, 2011, 2 – 4pm
Where? Drama Studio, Oxford Brookes University
Who can come? any/everyone
Cost? free


Gino Robair has created music for dance, theater, radio, television, silent film, and gamelan orchestra, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He was composer in residence with the California Shakespeare Festival for five seasons and served as music director for the CBS animated series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. His commercial work includes themes for the MTV and Comedy Central cable networks.

Robair is also one of the “25 innovative percussionists” included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001). He has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and Eugene Chadbourne, among many others. In addition, Robair has performed with John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, and the Club Foot Orchestra.

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