Jeff Roberts
Jeff Roberts


December 2008

Jeff  Roberts  


My interest in studying, researching and performing on the Chinese guqin stems from my backgrounds in improvisation and composition as well as my aesthetic perspective rooted in New England Transcendentalist thought and the music that grew directly or indirectly from this 19th century philosophical perspective
(from Ives through the mid 20th century experimental composers, along with experimental music up through today).

Underlying these perspectives is the element of intuition. In Daoist aesthetics (which underlie all aspects of the guqin tradition) a similar emphasis exists for the intuitive mind and how it fluidly brings up new insights, impressions and creative impulse. The guqin was a instrument by which the Confucian scholar could connect to this part of himself and through this reconnect with nature and the universe, or the 'Dao' (meaning 'path' or 'way').

I not only wanted to research and study this tradition, but also to participate and integrate it as a basic foundation for my own creative music process. Thus, in both my creative and scholarly work, I hope to explore resonance between these two cultural/aesthetic perspectives and draw from both as I shape my creative work in improvisation and composition. Please read about my Research Interests and Projects in Improvisation below, and listen to some recordings of performances I have given that explore this inter-cultural resonance.  

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