Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rick Robinson: I hope you've had a tremendous and inspiring summer. It's been an excellent one in Detroit, with live music EVERYWHERE it seems.

Rick Robinson writes:

September 21, 2016

Hello Friend,      

Happy Autumn! I hope you've had a tremendous and inspiring summer. It's been an excellent one in Detroit, with live music EVERYWHERE it seems. CutTime® perseveres after the Knight Foundation grant, contributing its unique inspirations to the broadening ecosystems of classical arts, entertainment, communities and music schools. Here are the highlights.

In June CutTime was invited to attend the League of American Orchestras conference in Baltimore to report on last year's composer residency in Houston. Since the central theme was diversity in orchestras, I was delighted to informally share some of my observations, methods, publications and ensembles for creating relevance and inclusion in classical music. I was also delighted to set the record straight about how I was famously appointed to DSO  in 1989.:

CutTime Simfonica serve a HOT LUNCH at Campus Martius!

In July CutTime Simfonica (strings) played an enthusiastic private fundraiser for Detroit Symphony, and on WDIV-TV ahead of our Campus Martius lunchtime show, which was a very hot day (above) that kept our turnout low. (Note: we were rained OUT the previous year.) And our first appearance at Steinway Piano Gallery had a large older audience participating with ZEAL on toy percussion when cued in by Mike List. We hope to return soon.

Mike List

Our CutTime Simfonica show at the Sidewalk Festival by Old Redford Theatre was much cooler this year, with about 200 passing thru our alley setup with dozens participating. A miscommunication at the Highland Park Music Festival forced us to shorten our acoustic set with about two dozen people before the amplified main stage on the next block drowned us out. Thanks to Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings for booking us.

Kids in HP participate with CTS
In August CutTime Simfonica went into the studio to record the string orchestra part of a cool concerto for electric guitar by Dallas composer Robert Gross. Our recording was so good, the soloist decided to re-record his part, inspired by our musicianship. We'll let you know when this recording becomes available.

For our 5th Lake George Music Festival, CutTime Players made its NY debut on the steamboat paddlewheel Minne-Ha-Ha. Split into two groups of hot alumni of top music schools like Curtis, Juilliard, Yale and CIM, nearly 300 people (inc. musicians) witnessed how large symphonic music need not be confined to orchestra concert stages. We had huge fun with The Gauchos of Seville, and audience participation, including a young man who volunteered to conduct the march Stars and Stripes Forever! If only everyone could imagine themselves in the MIDDLE of the music-making, more would eventually flood our concerts halls. With CutTime, they can!

Nick from Albany conducts Stars and Stripes Forever

This was my point at the inaugural 21st-Century Musician Symposium at DePauw University earlier this month. With a dozen artist and administrative presentations on teaching innovative skills for current music students, I led DePauw students in a Simfonica program in the noisy lobby, amplified, hosted, participatory and totally fun for the teachers, attendees and students. 

If I was challenged because we had to cut it short for a sound check in the main hall, TEDx Detroit will be even more challenging as I introduce CutTime, Simfonica and Classical Revolution Detroit in just 8-MINUTES! This October 6 event will be webcast at (c. 10:15am EST), archived at and their YouTube channel.

I wish I could say we have even better news, such as announcing a healthy grant, fellowship or donations to continue experimenting in bars and restaurants with Classical Revolution Detroit. But several attempts this year to find charitable support for what I consider the largest part of my mission have failed so far. With several non-profit oriented advisers between Detroit and NYC weighing in, I'm sure we'll get this series going again, and under a new name, so it can travel and even grow in other cities and small towns, hiring musicians who need the work.

Before CutTime Players casual concert in Hart, MI 2015

Your support is very important to that success; not so much for generous donations but RECOMMENDATIONS... to leaders of business, concert halls, agencies and music schools. Diversity, innovation, community engagement, music entrepreneurship, accessible new music and high musicianship... the biggest buzzwords in the industry are wrapped up in one package with CutTime® (except for millennial). 

It is TIME to cut loose with classical music!

- Rick

Rick Robinson (Mr. CutTime)

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