CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 15, 2002
Virtuoso flutist Robert Dick will 'play' masks and paintings Dec. 5
Most musicians play from printed music, but flutist Robert Dick has never
settled for what "most musicians" do. Instead, the internationally
known virtuoso performer, who is currently teaching at the University of Iowa
School of Music, will perform from paintings and other works of art at 7:30
p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 in the UI Museum of Art.
"I will be 'playing' several of the museum's paintings and African sculptures,
using them as graphic scores," Dick explained. " The underlying
structure and logic that allows for inspired visual flight can also be used
Dick describes himself as "a musician with 21st century skills and 18th
century attitudes" who continues the tradition of virtuoso composer/performers
including Chopin, Paganini and Jimi Hendrix. He has gained international renown
for both his technical accomplishment and his groundbreaking creativity.
The performance at the Museum of Art will not be the first time Dick has
based performances on works of art. "On many concerts over the years
I have used projections of some of Kandinsky's 'Improvisations' to spontaneously
create 'Improvisations on the Improvisations of Wasily Kandinsky'," he
"When I first visited the UI Museum of Art, I was immediately taken
by the 20th-century abstract collection, with Jackson Pollack's 'Mural' at
its center, and by the marvelous collection of African art. Since two of my
strongest loves in the visual and plastic art are indeed New York School Abstraction
and African art, I felt right at home.
"I'll be 'playing' about a half dozen pieces, from short works based
on masks to a very extensive exploration of the Pollack," he said "I'm
going to use a range of flutes including the contrabass flute (which stands
upright on a peg and towers over my head), the bass flute in F, openhole alto
flute, flute and one or more piccolos. Seven octaves of range will be covered
in a wide variety of sound color and gesture."
As a performer, Dick is particularly known for his mastery of extended techniques
on the flute and for the high intensity of his concerts, which have earned
a reputation as "the Hendrix of the flute." A highly versatile player,
he also performs Classical repertoire and has recorded the Telemann "Fantasies"
for flute alone.
As an improviser, Dick is a member of groups based both in New York and Europe.
Based in Europe is the A.D.D. Trio (with Steve Arguelles, drums and Christy
Doran, electric guitar); and in New York, he is a member of the ambient band
King Chubby (with Ed Bialek, keyboards and samplers and Will Ryan, percussion).
Dick's multifaceted musical life also includes work on redesigning the flute
itself. He is currently collaborating with Bickford Brannen of Brannen Brothers
Flutemakers on the development of the "Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint",
which does for the flute what the "whammy bar" does for the electric
Dick's current projects include solo recitals and residencies, duo concerts
with pianist Anthony de Mare and a performance piece, "The Psychological
Sonata," in collaboration with performance artist Rinde Eckert, an Iowa
City native and UI graduate whose works have routinely been presented at the
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission
is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north
of the museum.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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