Born and raised in South Dakota, Robyn Schulkowsky has been an innovator and collaborator throughout her life. She has dedicated herself to revealing the wonders of percussion to people around the world. Her continuous exploration of new sound dimensions has led to the development of new and unusual musical instruments.
An active musician on five continents, Robyn moved to Germany during a heyday of experimental and adventurous classical composition. She has premiered and recorded some of the most important solo percussion works of the 20th and 21st centuries, working with composers Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and Morton Feldman, presenting their works on tours in Africa, India, Asia, the USA, South America and Mexico. Her solo and concerto performances with music by John Cage, Helmuth Lachenmann, and Olga Neuwirth have been presented at festivals like The Proms, Salzburger Festspiel, Musikfest Berlin, Holland Festival, to name a few.
In her Online Masterclass series for Sounds Unheard, ‘Musical Integrity’, Robyn takes a close look at the roles space, location, time and truth play in musical interpretation. We’ll be focusing on two particularly renowned twentieth-century artists who Robyn has worked closely with over the course of her astounding career: the American composers and musical innovators John Cage and Christian Wolff.
In the second episode, ‘Time and Sound’, Robyn looks at how John Cage expanded ideas of how music can be. This episode particularly focuses on Cage’s performance of his piece ‘Water Walk’ on the US television show ‘I’ve Got a Secret’, and how a union disagreement forced Cage to make unusual decisions to maintain the integrity of his work. Robyn also looks at how the concept of time affects our performances, with reference to our relationship to clocks and metronomes, external versus internal time, and how sound duration affects the interpretation of time in Christian Wolff’s works.
Join next Wednesday for part three of this masterclass series, where Robyn discusses how we create musical marks, both in performance and in our broader communities. To learn more about Robyn, please visit the website for her duo with drummer Joey Baron.
With thanks to our Online Masterclass partners Pughouse Studios.