Author Topic: Robert Rich Tour Blog  (Read 15376 times)

petekelly

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Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:19:02 AM »

I found this to be a Interesting read, particularly as a travelogue. I was struck by finding that even the 'premier league' ambient dudes can
experience disappointment and uncertainty. I found this quote to be quite inspiring about what Robert was trying to achieve:

'...Once again Im a bit concerned about low turnout here in Burlington. I dont think many people here know about my music, and I feel a whisper
from the shadow of uncertainty; trying to overcome lingering doubts about perpetual obscurity, while trying to communicate something quiet and
personal in this distracted and overmodulated world...'


http://robertrich.com/tour-blog-live-updates/

cheers
Pete

michael sandler

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 07:42:13 AM »
Well, at least he got to stay in a hotel with a jaccuzzi.  ;D

I've read Robert's blog from previous tours, and I also found it eye-opening. In this tiny niche market, he is a rock star. In the broader world, he is unknown.

MikeS

mgriffin

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 08:22:00 AM »
Having talked with Robert before, during and after several previous tours, I think he hopes for the best but realizes that any given gig might very well have a turnout of only a few people.  Often you can't know until you arrive in Des Moines, Memphis or Cleveland which show will be a success (due to a decent little pocket of fan awareness, plus a DJ or local promoter getting out the word) or a poorly-attended flop.  I also got the sense from Robert that the lion's share of the attendance and CD sales numbers come from a handful of gigs. 

It must be disappointing, though, after many years of work both in the studio and on tour, to see the number of fans dwindling rather than growing.
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Anodize DB

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 04:59:31 PM »
 It must be disappointing, though, after many years of work both in the studio and on tour, to see the number of fans dwindling rather than growing.

I'm not sure that's the case, a dwindling fan base, per se. "Shrinkage" does exist to some degree, but the very fact that Robert's out there, driving cross-country, connecting on so many levels, making considerable effort, does in fact continue to maintain, even raise, his profile. We all know that such a "fan base" doesn't number in the millions much like the average pop/rap/hiphop star, and never will - such is the name (fact) of the game.

I certainly understand Robert's concerns. That being said, pre-sales for his OTP gig here this Saturday have been strong & steady, and I expect his to be OTP's largest attendance thus far, previous respectable-sized turnouts notwithstanding.

(And, in the spirit of this thread, might I also suggest that those forumites still considering Robert's upcoming performance @ OTP show their support by attending - I expect his show to be one of this year's highlights!) :)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 05:03:11 PM by darren bergstein »
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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 05:53:55 PM »
I should clarify that I don't perceive Robert's profile as declining.  I was just responding to the excerpt from Robert's own blog in which he expressed concerns that could be read that way.
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drone on

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 06:39:18 PM »
I saw Robert back in '94 at a little church in San Francisco for the Propagation album (Noe Valley Ministry), twas a fan-frickintastic concert (with Lisa Moscow on sarod), but very low turnout, even for this little place.  I think back then before the Internet caught on it was even harder to advertise shows like this--you'd find out about it via small flyers, local freebie papers, or word of mouth.  Nowadays I'm sure the turnout is bigger with his performances, but probably still not that big, and I think this is due to the nature of the music.  EM is not popular in the US compared to Europe, where people buy more CD's and attend more EM concerts. Meanwhile, Britney Spears sells out at the HP Pavilion or Oakland Coliseum.  Sad! Just shows the majority of the population has the worst taste in music imagineable...

ffcal

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 10:42:59 PM »
I saw Robert back in '94 at a little church in San Francisco for the Propagation album (Noe Valley Ministry), twas a fan-frickintastic concert (with Lisa Moscow on sarod), but very low turnout, even for this little place.  I think back then before the Internet caught on it was even harder to advertise shows like this--you'd find out about it via small flyers, local freebie papers, or word of mouth.  Nowadays I'm sure the turnout is bigger with his performances, but probably still not that big, and I think this is due to the nature of the music.  EM is not popular in the US compared to Europe, where people buy more CD's and attend more EM concerts. Meanwhile, Britney Spears sells out at the HP Pavilion or Oakland Coliseum.  Sad! Just shows the majority of the population has the worst taste in music imagineable...

Noe Valley Ministry is where I met Robert back in 1993, when Jorge Reyes came to town.  Stephen Hill introduced me to him.

Forrest

vidnaObmana

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 03:25:05 AM »
I think it's mostly a sign of the times.  We may not forget that we're not getting younger and it seems the the next generations of music lovers are quite different from our generation.  I do see this happening to my own and other gigs throughout Europe.  Quite unpredictable as with my recent Microphonics tour throughout Europe I played before audiences of 120 people or just even 4 people.  Nevertheless on both occassions they were impressive and very respectful.  I just don't mind playing for a gathering of 100 people or 4, I can't take it for granted that I do these concerts and that I'm able to share my passion with others.  I just love the fact of playing intimate and very small-scaled concerts more and more.  It's a fact that our kind of music nowadays gets more and more 'underground' than even before in our high days of electronic music scene of the 80's and 90's.

Of course there's a huge difference between Robert and myself, I think Robert still tries to live from his music while I have a 9 to 5 dayjob, which gives me, apart from the frustration now & then, the extreme freedom to do whatever I want with my music - whether it's commercially accepted or not.
I'm sure the decreasing interest in our music scene must put a lot of pressure on Robert's shoulders.

For those who are interested in reading the blog on my Microphonics tour, about the hi and lows, the seedy venues and promoters, the respectful audiences and the satisfaction of playing your music before audiences : www.dirkserries.com
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tonefloatikon.bandcamp.com
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doombient

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 10:58:28 AM »
This type of frustration is of course something which goes to spoil the pleasure of making music, especially when your own creativity is an important source of your income. Not to lose ones artistic integrity is the hardest part, and I think Robert deserves lots of kudos for not giving up on his vision.

Personally, Im somewhere between Dirk and Robert... I work on a freelance basis to pay the bills and make music to enable me to continue making music, but sometimes Id wish there was a little more coming back from all the energy that has gone into it for the past twenty or so years. I mean, it could be a lot worse still, but...

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

Mark Mushet

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2010, 12:40:16 PM »
I am going to try make it down for the Seattle show if I'm able. I do think that as time goes on people have more immediate obligations so there is probably more intent to support artists. But unfortunately you can't take that to the bank!

dreamin4ever

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2010, 01:12:58 PM »
I think it's mostly a sign of the times.  We may not forget that we're not getting younger and it seems the the next generations of music lovers are quite different from our generation.  I do see this happening to my own and other gigs throughout Europe.  Quite unpredictable as with my recent Microphonics tour throughout Europe I played before audiences of 120 people or just even 4 people.  Nevertheless on both occassions they were impressive and very respectful.  I just don't mind playing for a gathering of 100 people or 4, I can't take it for granted that I do these concerts and that I'm able to share my passion with others.  I just love the fact of playing intimate and very small-scaled concerts more and more.  It's a fact that our kind of music nowadays gets more and more 'underground' than even before in our high days of electronic music scene of the 80's and 90's.

Of course there's a huge difference between Robert and myself, I think Robert still tries to live from his music while I have a 9 to 5 dayjob, which gives me, apart from the frustration now & then, the extreme freedom to do whatever I want with my music - whether it's commercially accepted or not.
I'm sure the decreasing interest in our music scene must put a lot of pressure on Robert's shoulders.

For those who are interested in reading the blog on my Microphonics tour, about the hi and lows, the seedy venues and promoters, the respectful audiences and the satisfaction of playing your music before audiences : www.dirkserries.com


Hello Vidna, Any plans of coming back to the USA for a concert or mini tour. I think the last time I saw you was in NYC several years back. I had to leave early becouse I had to catch a early flight out of JFK the next morning. But it was by chance that I got to see you perform. Even if it was for 30 minutes or so. I've flown across the pond three times in the last year and half to see Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream in concert. I've been trying to get hEdgar to come back to the US for anothre live gig. Like you said were all not getting any younger. Just wiser. Cheers.

doombient

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 01:57:08 AM »

Like you said were all not getting any younger. Just wiser. Cheers.

Do we?

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

vidnaObmana

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 02:26:08 PM »


Well, I surely have plans to return to the States with my Microphonics project and I can only hope to persuade a few promoters to jump on the wagon in organising a few gigs.  If it happens I'll surely let you know.  Thanx.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 02:31:41 PM by vidnaObmana »
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petekelly

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2010, 06:09:24 AM »
Interesting replies,

I found it encouraging to hear Robert's thoughts, to try to make a living from one's creative endeavours in the ambient world is quite a feat.
Good to see him keeping on creating and performing.
From what I can gather a lot of ambient artists create because thats what they do, like a lot of 'fine artists' I knew do as well.

cheers
Pete

MarkM

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 02:47:21 PM »
I saw Rich play in Asheville, NC about 6-7 years ago. You would think a hip place like that would draw some kind of a crowd. Including the three of us from Tenn. there were about 13 in attendance (including the other performers.) It was bad promotion. I had called the venue (a seedy one at that) to confirm Rich would be there. They were unsure which Robert Rich was going to be there. Asheville also had a DJ by that name. The promoter dropped the ball.

Yesterday we had a show in little Johnson City, TN, and with a little bit of promotion we had over 35 paid listeners in the audience. There was no big name like Robert Rich or Steve Roach. We had mention with pix in three newspapers, and we promoted it heavily on the internet. In the past, with more promotion and before the local college let out, we had shows with as many as 90 in attendance.

So I guess my point is, perhaps the promoters are not doing their job. Publicity, timing, and venue are critical.

doombient

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2010, 12:45:50 PM »
Proper promotion is the be-all and end-all of everything. How would people know such music exists if nobody tells them?

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2010, 01:48:41 PM »
Publicity, timing, and venue are critical.

Yep. I have been organizing a few small ambient festivals myself the last 2 years, Dirk Serries (VidnaObmana) played on both editions. I was pretty happy with the 60-70 people this year but it required a lot of effort to get where we are now. Honestly, for me it's not the number of people who attend the show, it's the overall atmosphere which counts. Some ingredients which worked well for us: a theatre like venue with seats for the public, light show, good quality PA, a sound engineer who understands the genre.

Timing is also important, we moved our small festival from end of May to early March: less competition from the weather and other events.

Publicity: internet communities like twitter, facebook and music forums seems to work well here. In addition to that, a good website and connections with the experimental music media is very important.

My two cents ;-)
premonitionfactory.com -  Ambient drone music

MarkM

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2010, 05:16:24 PM »

 a good website and connections with the experimental music media is very important.

Good point.

judd stephens

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2010, 09:37:10 PM »
Well I experienced my first ambient concert as Robert played last night here in Denver.  Jesse Sola aka Numina hosted the living room concert.   I'd say if he's coming to a town near you and you're on the fence, definitely do it.  The set he played here in particular really rocked.  Percussive heavy and plenty of live-lap steel guitar, and nice swampy interludes.  I didn't realize how much the source of his 'trademark' sound is actually coming from his guitar, you know, the siren-like, almost vocal sounding notes on many of his albums.  He even played as far back as Numena, from the 80's!  His live rendition was just that- live, not sounding like he was just playing a cd.   I imagine Robert's one of the more 'active' ambient performers in concert, juggling a few synths, flute and guitar.  He did pull out a few bells and whistles (literally) and some other ambient props during one interlude.   

 Robert's got a great sense of humor and he's about as approachable as it gets- it was less like a concert and more just like friends hanging out.  His wife was with them and they were selling quite a few of his cd's.  If you're an ambient musician and you want to come to Denver I say, please, we'd love to have you here in the mountains.  I hope I speak for the organizers when I say that  ;D-  No I think there's definitely a solid audience and potentially even bigger venues.  But definitely, Robert Rich live is not a bad gig.     

LNerell

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Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2010, 12:30:19 PM »
Anyone read John Diliberto take on Robert's and other similar concerts? Here's the link:

http://echoesblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/metheny-mecanique-and-karaoke-koncerts/

I'm not saying I agree with him, in fact I'm actually looking forward to seeing Robert when he comes to town, just an interesting take from someone who claims they are a fan of our kind of music.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell