THIERRY TITI ROBIN (France)
Ces vagues que l'amour souleve
Born and bred in the west of France, Thierry “Titi” Robin is a musical internationalist, brilliantly combining flamenco guitar with Arabic oud and the dance music of Rajasthan’s snake charmers. Having turned fifty this year, Robin can look back on thirty years of varied and rich music making. Indeed, 2007 has seen the release of Robin’s superb album Ces Vagues Que L’Amour Souleve and the brilliant DVD package Jivula. The largely instrumental album demonstrates Robin’s beautiful handling of guitar, oud and bouzouki; the DVD offers both a spectacular live concert and documentaries following the musician’s musical wanderings: paying tribute to the late flamenco legend Camaron de la Isla in Andalucia then travelling to India to work with Rajasthan dancer Gulabi Sapera.
In concert and in person Robin is a stoic individual, preferring to let the music do the talking. When asked about his distinctive, culture crossing music he acknowledges learning much from France’s Gypsy and North African communities. Studying and playing with both has allowed him to form strong communal bonds and so develop a musical language that he refuses to call “fusion” but certainly blends elements of Oriental and Andalucian music. "World music" is another term he refutes, stating that simply combining music from different parts of the world has no value in itself. What he attempts to do is represent his reality of communicating with these non-mainstream cultures who exist within France. More recently his interest in the music of the Gypsies has lead to him collaborating with two legendary female artists – Robin backed Macedonia’s Gypsy Queen Esma Redzepova on her fine 2007 album Mon Historie and tours widely with Gulabi Sapera and her ensemble. While Robin does not share a common language with Esma and Gulabi he believes that through music they can communicate.
Robin has been playing solo and with ensembles across his artistic life, always paying homage to those who inspire him while quietly – he is a most un-showy musician – building a unique sound and repertoire.
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