About Robin’s Compositions

22 Oct

Six compositions by Robin have been recorded by Nexus: Remembrance, Lullaby for Esmé, and four  arrangements of Toru Takemitsu songs for mixed chorus: Sakura, Will Tomorow, I Wonder, Be Cloudy or Clear?, A Song of Circles and Triangles and All That the Man Left Behind When He Died.

A marimba solo, She Dances was completed in 2003.  Robin is at present working on a solo requested by Toronto percussionist Ray Dillard. Robin completed Music for Soldiers, an arrangement for brass quintet and military field percussion of four historic songs associated with military history, The songs included are, Handel’s See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes, van Hagen’s Funeral Dirge on the Death of General Washington, the anonymous British folk song Pretty Girl Milking the Cow and Daniel Emmett’s Dixie’s Land. The Canadian Brass and Nexus premiered Music for Soldiers in the Glenn Gould Theatre. Songs for Soldiers was featured on the C.B.C. Television show Opening Night broadcast in February 2003.

A recent composition is Dance Movements for Harp and Marimba (2000) written for the Toronto duo ArpaTambora – Sanya Eng and Ryan Scott – who commissioned the work. Dance Movements was written with funds provided by the Laidlaw Foundation of Toronto and premiered at the American Harp Society International Harp Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio by ArpaTambora. ArpaTambora has recorded Dance Movements and the CD is available at their web site.

Left to live on…(1999), a twenty five minute work for percussion and large choir, was commissioned by the Amadeus Choir of Toronto, and written in collaboration with its director Lydia Adams. Left to Live on… was premiered by Nexus and the Amadeus Choir in the George Weston Recital Hall in North York, Toronto. The subject of Left to live on… is the internment of Japanese – Canadians during the 2nd World War and the texts are from Japanese journals, Haiku, and the requiem mass.

NB – the compositions listed above are available from the composer.

A rudimental snare drum solo titled Clean it up… Please! was composed for A Nexus Portfolio of Drum Solos and is available from the publisher, HoneyRock Publishing Co. Clean it up… Please! is in the “Ancient” or open rudimental style.

Military Drumming:

During the 1970’s, Robin became interested in the large rope tensioned field drums in use during the 16th and 19th centuries. He began collecting historic fife tunes and fife and drum tutors associated with armies of that period. He also began to read and collect books on the history of military duties, campaigns and tactics so as to better understand the development of the drum and the lives of drummers prior to the 20th century. He has arranged more than one hundred historical tunes for various instrumental combinations and is preparing a book that will trace in melody and song the history of the Field drum from Renaissance England to the end of the Civil War in the United States.

Robin was the artistic director of a critically acclaimed concert for the November 2002 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, Ohio called The Drummer’s Heritage. The concert was a survey of drumming styles and music from the Revolutionary War in the U.S. to the present and featured field drum artists from Scotland, Switzerland, Canada and the United States, along with university, college and elementary school marching units.

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Posted by on October 22, 2008 in Compositions


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