Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Robinson’

h1

In Today’s News

April 24, 2017

Aaron Robinson

In the Portland Press Herald yesterday Bob Keyes wrote an article about the work of Aaron Robinson. I am so proud of Aaron and the work he has done over the years. He is a former student of mine. The following is an excerpt from the article which you can read entirely at http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/23/numb-with-sorrow-a-maine-composer-channels-a-musical-hero.

Maine composer Aaron Robinson was reminded of Bernstein’s words while listening to media reports in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris in the fall of 2015 that killed 130 people and injured 400 more. “One of the people interviewed was quoted as saying, ‘We’ve become numb with sorrow,’ ” Robinson said. “When I heard ‘numb with sorrow,’ I was already creating in my head.”

 

h1

Another Student’s Story: Aaron Robinson

October 22, 2014

An interview with musician Aaron Robinson

Periodically individuals are featured on the Maine Arts Education blog as part of a series called “Another Student’s Story”. Their “Arts” stories are shared with you, the Arts Education community. Please share with others. If you know of anyone who should be sharing their stories, please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Aaron Robinson is an award-winning composer, conductor, musicologist and best-selling author. He has written for television, film, radio and the theatrical Choralstage. Aaron has recorded several best-selling albums including ‘They All Played Ragtime’, ‘Black Nativity – In Concert: A Gospel Celebration’ and ‘The Legend of Jim Cullen – A Dramatic Musical’, among others. He is the author of the best-selling memoir: ‘Does God Sing – A Musical Journey’.

Aaron attended Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro and graduated in 1989. He attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and studied Composition with John Adams and Thomas Lawrence Bell and Film Score at Berklee School of Music with John Williams.

Aaron was kind enough to answer the following questions for the Maine Arts Education blog readers.

What do you value most from your arts education?

The greatest gift I received from my education at the High School level was the validation, support and advocacy from teachers and administrators who realized that my talents were not academic but instinctively artistic. They could see that not all students fit a cookie-cutter assembly line form when it came to receiving a High School education and that my goals and dreams for furthering my secondary education in music did not necessarily puzzle piece perfectly within the curriculum of the standard student. Lucky for me.

Name three skills, ideas, or life-long tools that you have learned in your visual or performing arts classes/courses?

I am a huge proponent of stepping back and approaching any situation from a “Zen” standpoint: taking it all in from a larger perspective and combining all the little elements that so many only focus on one at a time without being able to see the entire picture. I learned this from watching Matisse drawing on the walls late in life with his famous extended paint-stick. The tip touched at a very small point, but his eye and view point encompassed the entire work as a whole at all times and never lost sight of the painting as a whole. In all forms of art it is the same. Even in cooking, a good chef will not prepare one dish at a time, but like a skilled plate-spinner, create the entire meal all at once and go from dish to dish, bringing it all together masterfully. Too many people focus their attention on one part, finish it, and move on, only to find that at the end they have a bunch of little pieces of a puzzle that not only do not fit together, but do not make a completed, understandable picture because they never took the time to step back, Zen the experience, and take it all in as they were creating it. When George Gershwin wrote, “Rhapsody in Blue” on a train from New York to Boston, even though it is made up of short little 16-bar musical vignettes, he heard the work as a whole, instantly … and that’s how we hear it. That’s how I compose and write: as a whole.

I am a different person due to my involvement in the arts because…

I never stop learning. I am fully against Academic exclusion. When I first entered into the musical world in the 1990’s, everyone greeted me with: “Where did you study? Who did you study with? Where did you get your degree?” If you didn’t answer correctly, you were not accepted. You were not seen to be worthy in their eyes. A degree was everything. Without it, you were nothing. It didn’t matter if you had talent, knew what you were talking about or if you could walk the walk or talk the talk. This disturbed me to no end. Four years of study from years eighteen to twenty-one does not and should not allow one to be seen as an expert or professional in any field. Not only that, talent can’t be taught. So, I never rest on my laurels or achievements or credentials. Fortunately we live in a day and time now that degrees, more so in music and the arts, do not speak as loudly as they did … and rightly so. One never stops learning.

If you could change any part of your arts education, what would it be?

I wouldn’t have spent so much time in the classroom. I would have hopped a train and spent it more in the concert halls … the jazz clubs … the musical theaters … the film studios … the street corners … making music rather than studying it. I’ve had all the time in the world to study music on my own time at home, but those experiences that come but once in a lifetime … those I miss most of all and feel that’s the education that can’t be taught, created or bought.

What’s the most creatively inspiring experience you remember?

All of them.

Why is making art or music and/or performing so important to you? Why can’t you live without it?

Absolutely 100% impossible to put into words. If I could, I’d be signing copies of the New York Times best-selling book right now …

Thank you Aaron for taking the time to answer these questions. I was fortunate to have Aaron as a student during his middle school years.

h1

In Today’s News

July 20, 2014

Aaron Robinson

So cool to see Aaron Robinson in the Maine Sunday Telegram Audience section today. Aaron is a former student of mine and one of those students who had a great deal of spirit, energy, and a smile on his face. Now many years later (Aaron is 43) he has been busy writing music. This week at the Parker B. Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle “The Legend of Jim Cullen” opens. When he started composing it,  Aaron didn’t know much about the lynching of Jim Cullen. The true story is about a “Canadian immigrant lynched in 1873 by a mob in northern Maine”.

Aaron was the music director for many shows at the Good Theater in Portland and the music director for Immanuel Baptist Church, where he created “Black Nativity – In Concert: A Gospel Celebration”. He has several CDs and was presented a regional Award nomination for his work on MPBN’s “Maine Arts!” series.

The article ends with this paragraph:

HIS TRAINING: Brian Allen, co-founder and artistic director at Good Theater, Braley and Robinson all graduated from Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro. “In the 80s, that was a wonderful place. We had a slew of teachers and an administration who were art-oriented, big time. They instilled strong values in so many kids. It was a magical place. To know how much art and theater came out of there is really amazing.”

It is great to read about Aaron and hope you will take the time to read the entire article which written by Bob Keyes and located at http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/20/work-of-art-aaron-robinson/.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: