UTAS Lunchtime Concerts

Thomas Robb Third Year PhD Recital

Approaches to Improvisation in Solo Drumset Performance
Fri 1 Mar 2024 1:00 pm
Ian Potter Recital Hall at The Hedberg

Improvisation is practiced within many fields of music. Scales, song forms, and rhythmical patterns are used in numerous musical traditions as structures to be explored by improvising musicians. These musical elements filter out certain sounds, providing performers with a more focused palette of musical possibilities with which to express themselves. In freely improvised music, there are no rules governing musical expression, allowing performers of this music absolute creative freedom. When considering free improvisation, the negative connotations of chaos or disorder can easily spring to mind, however, freely improvised music often contains many qualities of composed music such as form and thematic development. The notion that improvisation is a form of spontaneous composition is an idea that has pervaded musical circles for many years.

Thomas Robb's research explores the implementation of compositional concepts in improvisational practice by analysing the work of Tyshawn Sorey. Sorey (b.1980) is a prolific composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, who has performed with Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Vijay Iyer, and Muhal Richard Abrams among many others. His work as a composer has earned him a MacArthur Fellowship (2017), as well as a nomination as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (2023). Through analysis of Sorey’s musical output, Robb observed the use of numerous improvisational frameworks which allow Sorey to organise and structure his improvisations.

This recital will showcase and document the implementation of these concepts in Robb's own improvisational solo drumset practice.



Tickets are free but registration is essential as seating is limited.



60 mins (no interval)

Patrons' Advice

Arriving at the Hedberg
Please arrive between 12:30pm - 12:45pm via the University of Tasmania entrance to the building on 19 Collins Street Hobart. Please note there is a strict lockout for the concert and no latecomers will be admitted at the request of the musicians.

Accessible Facilities
The Ian Potter Recital Hall is located on the ground floor with level access from the street. Should you require mobility assistance of any kind, please advise us via email or phone 03 6226 7314. One of our staff will be organised to assist you.

Mask requirements
Mask wearing is an individual choice, however UTAS strongly recommends that masks be worn in indoor settings, particularly where physical distancing cannot be maintained.