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Robin Holcomb: Distinctive Mysteries

By Published: February 14, 2011
AAJ: One final question, which may be premature as you are still young, but you have defined an artistic career for yourself: what kind of cultural legacy do you see yourself bestowing on your times?

RH: That's a tough question.

AAJ: Well, you're not didactic but you try to teach your audience to appreciate their culture while at the same time being critical of it. Being aware of what's going on, on a microscopic level, of people suffering, and toiling...

RH: The bittersweet qualities of life that we all feel. I've been asked to play at a number of funerals, that song "Deliver Me." It's interesting to me that people have come up to me after hearing that and said, "That song helped me make peace with the fact that a significant person had died." I thought that if this song could do that, it's pretty remarkable and I'm humbled and really happy to do that... It's sort of bringing up a lot of details that are evocative, and details are what make life distinctive, but we all experience pretty much the same details so there's a universality in there somewhere.

Selected discography

Robin Holcomb/Talking Pictures/Wayne Horvitz, The Point of it All (Songlines, 2010)

Wayne Horvitz, Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voices, and Soloist (New World, 2008)

Varmint, Mr Man in the Moon (SnowGhost, 2006)

Robin Holcomb, John Brown's Body (Tzadik, 2006)

Robin Holcomb/Wayne Horvitz, Solos (Songlines, 2004)

Robin Holcomb, The Big Time (Nonesuch, 2002)

Robin Holcomb, Little Three (Nonesuch, 1996)

Robin Holcomb, Rockabye (Elektra, 1992)

Robin Holcomb, Robin Holcomb (Elektra, 1990)

Photo credits:

Page 1, 4: Daniel Sheehan/

Page 2, 3: Robin Lanaanen

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