Paul Robinson

The Art of Improvisation

Paul Robinson has studied composition throughout his academic career in the UK and US. While at Mills College in Oakland California, the movement now known as Minimalism was just emerging onto a world stage and key figures were active as teachers and visiting artists including Terry Riley and John Adams. He studied at York University (BA/DPhil) and Mills College (MA)

As director of HarmonieBand he has been commissioned to write numerous scores for classic silent films both in the UK and EU. The Hilliard Ensemble commissioned him to write a new score for Carl Dreyer’s silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. This was premiered in the Wroclaw Opera House and broadcast on Polish TV.

His composition prizes include works for the Hilliard Ensemble, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta and the International Contemporary Music Contest ‘Citta di Udine’.

His work as Director of HarmonieBand has included educational projects using film as a stimulus to improvisation and in his early years as a freelance composer he was employed as a dance class piano accompanist. He was also a participant in the Gulbenkian Foundations Summer School for Choreographers and Composers.

Research interests are around American minimal music and also film music with a focus on the silent era.  He has published articles in Tempo and Contact magazines on John Adams and Tom Johnson and by Musik-Texte Cologne for Robert Ashley’s ‘Music with Roots in the Ether’.