Robert is a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist whose various musical pursuits include string quartets, choral works, chamber and large ensemble compositions, improvisation, sound collage, popular music/songwriting, arranging and composing scores for video, film, and modern dance.
Recently, he has done several string quartet arrangements for Jeremy Cohen's group Quartet San Francisco. He authored the arrangement of the Raymond Scott tune "Boy Scout In Switzerland" that was featured on their 2007 CD release "Whirled Chamber Music" (Grammy nominated for Best Classical Crossover Album). He also wrote the arrangement of the Dave Brubeck composition “Forty Days” that is featured on their 2009 CD release "QSF Plays Brubeck", which received two Grammy nominations; Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Engineered Classical Recording.
a group that Robert co-founded with David Godet
in the early 1970s in Sonoma County, CA. Aircastle
began as an acoustic guitar and flute duo, and grew to include violin, cello,
female vocalist, and eventually the addition of bass, drums and keyboards,
transitioning to electric music. The group was initially active from 1973-1982.
In 2007, the founding Aircastle duo reunited and played their first gig together in 25 years, opening for the Poyntlyss Sistars at the Forestville Club on the Russian River.
In April 2008, the Aircastle quartet performed at the “Be There Now” festival at Sonoma State University, with original members Karen Stokes (vocals) and Jeremy Cohen (violin). This was a 30 year re-union of the Aircastle quartet. The Aircastle duo also played the "Be There Now" festival the following day at the Cotati Plaza, the site of Aircastle’s original swan song gig back in 1982. In 2009, the Aircastle duo again opened for the Poyntlyss Sistars.
The Aircastle quartet most recently performed in July 2010 at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, CA. This performance was part of a service celebrating the music in the ministry of Reverend Karen Stokes, minister at MPC for the past 12 years.
In 2011 and 2012, the Aircastle duo and trio performed at art gallery premiers in Oakland and Windsor.
Work continues on
remixing and mastering for an Aircastle release.
Robert has composed, arranged, performed and recorded music for a number of commercial video and film soundtracks, clients include Waverly, Stroud's, Buffum's, India Ink and Bloomingdale's. His music has appeared on MTV and NBC.
In 2011, he composed the soundtrack for Fred Kaplan’s film “The River Under the City of Angels,” an award winning documentary about the Los Angeles river.
He collaborated with the late choreographer Jennifer Kilfoil, who commissioned him to compose and arrange music for her "Quiet Violence Trilogy". The Trilogy was performed by her dance troupe at several SF Bay Area venues, including Theater Artaud and Laney College.
Robert received an
MA in Composition from Mills College and a BMus from
California State University, Fullerton.
He studied with Warne Marsh, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Lloyd Rodgers, and Will Johnson.
A published songwriter affiliated with BMI, he has written over 500 songs.
"I enjoy composing music that encompasses a wide range of styles: from rock, pop, and jazz to classical, neo-romantic, post modern minimalism and lullabyes. Recording projects range from simple "live to stereo" to more complex productions involving the layering of acoustic and electric instruments using computer based multi-tracked digital audio. "
Instruments include flutes, recorders, saxes, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, synthesizer, MIDI wind controller, toy instruments, percussion.