Friday, August 24, 2018

Rick Robinson: Breaking News: CutTime Productions Plays Detroit Skybridge!

August 23, 2018

Rick Robinson writes:

Dear Friends,       

It's been a fruitful summer and the chocolate on the cake will certainly be a collaboration with nationally-renowned visual artist Phillip K. Smith III for the unveiling of his permanent LED light display on the unused pedestrian bridge linking The Guardian Building with One Woodward. The Detroit Skybridge was raised in the 1970s when MichCon Gas owned both buildings. Once that no longer was the case, the bridge became a curiosity... UNTIL NOW. Apparently at the request of Bedrock Detroit, Quicken Loans and Wayne County, the Skybridge will become a new landmark identifying the city and its penchant for reinvention.

For the CutTime Players performance in Spirit Plaza, we will celebrate reinvention, renewal and the breathing city, for which I composed two short, contrasting works. MODEL-T MAGIC  captures the DRIVING SPIRIT of Detroit as a hand-cranked engine that eventually takes flight. It connects the harmonic world of Schubert with techno, somewhat like the bridge that connects The Guardian with One Woodward.

The second work takes inspiration from Phillip's slow changing colors (too slow for music) mirroring changes in our surroundings. My music is a slow-breathing meditation with natural colors; somewhat like wind-chimes, but with instruments. Both of these works take my composing in interesting new directions.

I hope you'll join us for the premieres Saturday, August 25 at 8pm in Spirit Plaza. (In case of rain, we move to the next night.) CutTime Players performs a full 90-minute program and with special guest The Urban Requiem Project street poet Kevlar Afrika. Here is a Curbed Detroit article about the event.

Kevlar Afrika performs with CutTime Simfonica at Sidewalk Detroit

The collaboration with Urban Requiem Project ( has been very successful with hundreds curious to experience the value added by passionate and powerful street poets Claretha Bell (aka Peace) and Andre Johnson (aka Kevlar Afrika). Through several Highland Park re-grants from the Erb Foundation via the Art-Ops program of Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, we have performed 4 times so far, taught and engaged at the Boys and Girls Club! And we have still four more short pop-ups by the end of this month, inc. this weekend!

Kids learn as performers accompany old pictures 
of Highland Park's Model-T plant

The Urban Requiem Project celebrates the passing of Detroit's industrial century with spoken word, classical and soul music, vintage photos of the city, people and factories, plus the very people we're trying to engage. We are applying for major grants to compose a final orchestral work that can be produced by any orchestra. It was envisioned and founded by jewelry artist Virgil Taylor while teaching at Youthville. Please wish us well with this entertaining bridge into learning history and classical music.

In fact, this Saturday at 1p, CutTime Simfonica ALSO performs amplified with Kevlar at the Detroit Repertory Theatre's festival. Two great concerts on the same day with my own inventions: how many can say they have such rich opportunities?

Hope to see you at one of these!

- Rick Robinson (Mr. CutTime)

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