RTV: Robert Black

Release Date: Friday, April 23, 2010

In this RTV episode, Robert Black presents three acoustic pieces: “Poucha Dass,” “Flatlands,” and “Tunnels.”

“Poucha Dass” by Francois Rabbath is a tuneful and an earthy work, which gains in energy to a grand fiery climax. “Flatlands” by Colin Bright is a plaintive and moving work with occasional declarative outbursts. “Tunnels” by Stuart Smith is an energetic and non-linear collage of aphoristic, characterful, and often humorous (e.g., the two-note shark motif from the movie “Jaws”) vocal interjections interpreted as instrumental gestures. Black recalls his musical epiphany upon picking up the bass for the first time in high school and his early circle of composing friends, meeting John Cage in particular. He speaks about his concert experience in suburban living rooms, noting the positive reactions that most people have toward new music.

Performance date: 11/20/2003
Episode release date: 04/23/2010
Host: Phoebe Legere


Double bass and electric bass virtuoso, Robert Black combines classical acoustic traditions with computer, MIDI, and video technologies in his work. He has also commissioned pieces from over 50 composers including John Cage, Paul Dresher, James Sellars, Christian Wolff and Michael Gordon. He has given solo concerts throughout North and South America, Japan, and Europe, and performs regularly with the electronically-assisted duo BASSO bongo, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and Hartford Symphony.