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Titi Robin

Available in TRIO or QUINTET
Line-up trio: 3 + 2 Persons (guitar-ud-buzuq, accordion, percussions)
Line-up quintet 5 + 2 (guitar-ud-buzuq, accordion, percussions, bass, vocal)
Current Album: "ANITA"(06/2007– Naive/Indigo) as well as the DVD "JIVULA"
Booking : Germany&Autria
Official Website

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News top

Thierry “Titi” Robin is a fringe artist. He is placed within a “World Music” movement that he does not acknowledge, as it seems to him to be motivated by a profound ethnocentricity, creating a barrier between Western “ethnic” music (rock, jazz…) and others! His natural virtuosity, his inborn sense of improvisation, his audacious adaptation of tradition and his ability to change music into a physical pleasure explain why Titi Tobin’s creation has been for nearly fifteen years an incredible source of beauty.

Who is this Kali Sultana? And where is one to meet her? These are the questions Titi Robin answers in his new performance. To wander around without passport nor borders for thirty years. It is the path of the poet, philosopher and mystic connecting North India with Andalusia. Kali Sultana is the female incarnation of grace, an ideal of beauty and quest of uncountable musicians whom Titi had the blessedness of working with.

Bio English top

« I don’t evolve, I travel».Thierry "Titi" Robin could use Fernado Pessoa’s famous phrase for himself. He’s been on the road for nearly thirty years. Literally first, from Rajasthan to Andalusia, from Japan to South Africa, from Québec to Morocco, this composer, improviser and string pincher (guitar, oud, bouzouq) has shown, during his world travels, the stunning silhouette of a musician in constant motion. But also figuratively, moving on to the great collective gathering of "Gitans", 1993, and "Payo Michto" to the solitary meditation of the parts for oud with "Regard Nu" (1996), then from the "fauves brossées" songs with the Indian female dancer Gulabi Sapera (Rakhî, 2002) to the polychromatic orchestrations of "Un Ciel de Cuivre (2000).", he’s never yielded to the enticement of settling. Fed by the gypsy, Arabic, Mediterranean and Middle East artistic influences, Titi Robin has invented a very lively and personal language, which knows no platitude. This language has continued to evolve and mature like himself over the course ofhis journeys and encounters.

Titi Robin comes from a humble family in the countryside near Angers (his father was a farm worker). He was raised in a very warm and nice home, although they barely listened to music. To find music, he had to climb the wall and sneak into the neighbours’ garden. It was his first jaunt from which he has never really returned. Living next to gypsy and Arabic communities, he discovered their powerful and expressive music that fulfilled his compelling need to evacuate heavy concerns", while at the time the youth were massively converting to the pop-rock religion.

From then on, he was able to express with music what he could not with words. "Whether you have been raised in a musical language or captured it in your neighbour’s home, the stakes are the same: you need to build your own identity, to speak up, to find people who can invest in this intimate adventure and still manage to find the way". Titi Robin succeeded in combining this interior quest and this desire to play with other musicians without ever compromising his ideals nor yielding to the doubtful trend of "fusion". He played with a never-ending list of musicians, from the singer Erik Marchand, the guitar player Francis-Alfred Moerman , the Yiddish accordionist Eddy Schaff to Danyel Waro, from the island of the Reunion. All these wonderful characters have also reinforced his belief that working class cultures have a certain nobility and a deep spirituality thatmake them worth being celebrated as much as possible.

The DVD « Jivula » and the live album « Anita ! » are not just regular retrospectives but underline new sides of Titi Robin’s artistic approach. The five chapters of "Jivula" are a visual proof of the depth of his spirit and greatness of his soul. "Airs de voyages", produced by Sergio G. Mondelo, is a road movie in Andalusia interrupted by musical sequences, in which Titi Robin analyses the story of his life and the motivation to invent his own singular language. This is, a humble and intelligent speech exemplified by live scenes of "Scènes" played in duets, quartets or quintets. With the documentary "La Danse du Serpent » and the concert « Jivula » this DVD also puts in the limelight the Indian Gulalbi Sapera, a wonderful gypsy dancer who descends from the Kalbeliyas cast (the snake charmers). His natural virtuosity, his inborn sense of improvisation, his audacious adaptation of tradition and his ability to change music into a physical pleasure explain why Titi Tobin’s creation has been for nearly fifteen years an incredible source of beauty. With the musical slide show that wonderfully accompanies Louis Vincent’s pictures, "Jivula" is a gate to Titi Robin’s growing world.

« Anita! », is more than just the recording of a concert. Beyond the great harmony that ties Titi Robin and his musicians, Francis Varis (accordeon), Pascal "Kalou" Stalin (bass), Zé Luis Nascimento (percussions) and flamenco singer, José Montealegre, this CD shows the strength of his musical approach that is more than a simple mix of influences or a pleasant cultural blend. As Munir Bashir the oud master or the great cantor, Camarón de la Isla (on whose gravestone he is portrayed meditating in " Airs de Voyages"), Titi Robin doesn’t hide any of his worries or feelings in his music. The gloomy reasons of his sorrows, his concerns and his angers blend with his warm and colourful joys, pleasures and amazements that occur in his artistic life and his life in general. His music is composed of darkness and light, alternating great calm as well as storms, of a move towards others and concentrating on his self. His music is the expression of a sensitive man that doesn’t calculate or hold in his feelings, who chooses to face the violence of the world. He tries to "feel everything in every different possible way", as Pessoa used to write. "I’m not bored with beauty, pleasures and the nice things that our lives are made up with" as he puts it in "Air de Voyages." I’m as greedy as when I was a kid. When I feel desire, I feel alive."

Whole others dream of making a career or having success in the music industry, Titi Robin preferred to let himself flow with his wandering inspiration. Much more than a career his musical journey is also a life experience because he followed this never-ending flow of emotions and desires that give infinite value to a life of freedom. "To succeed in life, to move on, you always need to be able to leave something or somebody, or even yourself. Life is a never ending exile." It would be useless to stress that this analysis, which is reflected in many different ways in "Jivula" and "Anita", is not pessimistic. It is on the contrary a reason to celebrate, bewitching our hearts and souls.

Bio German top

Thierry "Titi" Robin gehört zu den Künstlern, die schwer einzuordnen sind. Er selber beschreibt seine Musik als eine Mischform verschiedener Musikstile, die einfach nur eine Realität, seine Realität darstellen. Sein Werk der "Weltmusik" zuzuschreiben, lehnt er ab, denn der Versuch einer solchen Begrifflichkeit schaffe Barrieren zwischen westlicher und "anderer" Musik. Titi Robins Weg führt durch alle Musikwelten, wobei Zigeunermusik und die orientalischen Klänge eine besondere Rolle spielen. Auf zahlreichen Feiern dieser beiden Gemeinschaften konnte er seine eigene musikalische Indentität völlig frei entwickeln, ohne diese Traditionen jedoch nachzuahmen.

In den 80ern geht Titi Robin seinen eigenen Weg. Im Duo mit Hameed Khan, einem indischen Tablaspieler aus Jaipur, spielt er Gitarre, Oud und Bouzouki. Seine Bühne sind kleine Gaststätten, orientalische Restaurants sowie lokale Veranstaltungen und Feste. Während dieser Auftritte perfektioniert er seine Improvisationsmethode und lernt es, sich mit größtmöglicher Präzision auszudrücken, was seiner Vorstellung eines zeitgenössischen Künstlers entspricht. Die CD "Duo Lutz et Tablâ", heute ein Sammlerstück, zeugt erstmals von Titi Robins einzigartiger Welt.

Diesem Werk werden zahlreiche Alben folgen und ein stetig wachsendes Publikum ansprechen: "An Henchou Treuz" (1990), "Gitans" (1993), "Payo Michto" (1997), "Kali Gadji", "Un ciel de Cuivre" (2000), "Rakhî" (2002) "Alezane" (2004) sind seine bis jetzt veröffentlichten CDs.

Auf seinem aktuellen Album "Ces vagues que l’amour soulève", mit dem er auf Platz 10 der World Music Charts Europe eingestiegen ist, beherrscht Titi Robin seine Gitarre, den Oud und die Bouzouki perfekt.

" Ich habe meine Alben als Bücher betrachtet, die man in allen Sprachen und Lebenslagen lesen könnte: nachts, tagsüber, im Auto, am Strand, auf der Arbeit, allein in der Stadt, im Berufsverkehr, im Café, Sonntags vormittags, auf dem Marktplatz oder neben dem Brunnen eines Dorfes in Rajasthan. Es würde mir gefallen, wenn man sie gleich nach ihrer Veröffentlichung, aber auch 50 Jahre später gleichermaßen genießen könnte.

Zu meinen vorherigen Aufnahmen habe ich immer zahlreiche Musiker eingeladen. An "Les vagues que l’amour soulève" beteiligten sich hauptsächlich diejenigen, die mich auf Tournee begleiten. Allen voran dieses wunderbare Trio (Francis Varis am Akkordeon, Kalou Stalin am Bass und Ze Luis Nascimento an den Perkussionen), das bei allen Live-Projekten dabei ist und deshalb auch die musikalische Grundlage des Album bilden sollten. Die Stimme des Flamenco-Sängers José Montealegre schmückt hier die musikalische Suite, die ich für den Oud komponiert habe. Die Brüder Saadna (Los Rumberos Catalans), mit denen ich seit vielen Jahren auftrete, haben sich zum Schluss des Albums für eine dieser Gypsy-Feten, die wir so lieben, zu uns gesellt. Für die Komposition des Soundtracks vom "La Mentale" (Manuel Boursinhac) habe ich mit einem Streicherorchester gearbeitet, diese Linie habe ich mit den feinfühligen Arrangements von Francis Varis auf drei Themen weitergeführt. Silio Soave, der alle meine Alben seit GITANS im Jahre 1992 produziert hat, ist selbstverständlich wieder dabei. Und in diesem Jahr ist auf der Bühne eine neue Formation unterwegs, die neben Gulabi Sapera und mir eine neue Generation versammelt: Maria (Gesang) und La Coque (Perkussionen) sind ebenfalls mit uns ins Studio gekommen, um dieses Album mit ihrer Frische und Magie zu bereichern.

Tour 2006 top

16/06 Weltnacht Festival, Bielefeld (Trio) 08/07 Tanz&Folkfest, Rudolstadt (Trio) 09/07 Tanz&Folkfest, Rudolstadt (Trio)

26/10 Tollhaus, Karlsruhe (Trio) 27/10 Laboratorium, Stuttgart (Trio) 28/10 Villa Leon, Nürnberg (Trio) 29/10 Jazzit, Salzburg (Trio) 30/10 Kulturzentrum Monami, Weimar (Trio) 01/11 [TBC] Bremen (Trio) 02/11 Riders Café, Lübeck (Trio) 04/11 Schloss Borbeck, Essen (Trio) 05/11 [TBC] Pantheon, Bonn (Trio) 06/11 Zakk, Düsseldorf (Trio) 07/11 Mierscher Kulturhaus (Luxembourg) (Trio)

On Tour top

Date Ort
Di. 25.08.09D-Frankfurt/Main (Musik im Palmengarten)
So. 06.07.08D-Duisburg (Traumzeit Festival)
© Malagueta Music Ltd. 2006