Pianist Robin Spielberg to perform at South Jackson
Pianist and composer Robin Spielberg will grace the historic South Jackson Civic Center stage on Friday, Nov. 20.
An internationally recognized artist, Spielberg has performed across the globe and is bringing her love of performing to the area for the first time.
“This will be my first time in Tullahoma,” she said. “I have played in Chattanooga and outside of Memphis, but this will be my first time in Tullahoma. The last time I was in Tennessee was last season at East Tennessee State University. I’m excited to by playing in the state again.”
A prolific composer, Spielberg has 16 recordings to her credit and appears on over 40 compilations around the world. Her discography includes albums of original piano solos, arrangements of American standards, original pieces for piano/ensemble, recordings for the holidays, and a CD of American melodies and a CD of lullabies.
Spielberg has also taken on the role of author, recently publishing her first book, “Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland.” Spielburg said the book is about her life and livelihood at the piano.
“I decided to write a book. I knew that the first rule in writing is to write about what you know,” she said. “So I wrote about playing piano. It turned into something else. It turned into me telling the story of the events that led me to becoming a musician. The book kind of de-mystifies the process a bit and there are also some pretty funny stories along the way.”
Sharing stories through music
While Spielberg will be sharing stories from her book, she will also be sharing her musical stories as well.
She will be sharing her life’s journeys through music with her latest album, “Another Place, Another Time.”
Spielberg said the album is exploring the different aspects of time.
“What weaves these songs together is an exploration of time,” she said. “I feel like I am feeling time right now because our daughter is in high school and it feels like someone has hit the fast-forward button. We all feel time move at different paces at different times in our lives. So for this album, I wanted to explore the musical journey of time.”
Each piece is inspired in some way by time. Whether it’s time travel, looking back on time, or even looking into the future.
Spielburg also had the opportunity to record her latest body of work on an 1898 Steinway Grand Piano, something she said was an “honor.”
“It’s a beautiful instrument. It has a gorgeous quality to it and that is very special,” she said.
An intimate performance
“I like to take the traditional piano concert and throw it out the window,” she said. “I like to create more of what I call a piano parlor soiree. A century ago, these were common in living rooms and
piano salons where composers came in and talked about their music and performed. It was also a way for people to get together and meet. So I like the intimate aspect of that because it allows me to connect with the audience and lets them know the stories behind the pieces. It’s a great deal of fun for me and I often find out that the audience really appreciates that.”
Spielberg added that she hopes to unveil the mystery of her music.
“It’s often a mystery when you go to a concert and hear the music and you wonder why the songs were written and what inspired it. You really don’t know as you are just provided with sound. So by approaching a more intimate performance I feel it provides a richer experience and is a lot more fun and engaging.”
Spielberg added that she hopes to lead her audience on a musical journey that uncovers found memories.
“I hope I leave them with a memorable evening,” she said. “Music is our universal language. I can play anywhere in the world and while I don’t speak the language, people are able to connect with me through the music. It’s a universal connector.”
Spielberg said the music helps her to record memory and also share those fond memories with her audiences.
“For me, the role of music is somewhat of a memory device,” she said. “I think there are people out there who connect with memories in different ways. So mothers scrapbook to keep up with their children’s lives and some people journal or keep a diary. For me, if I really want to remember an experience, place, or event, the best way to do so is by writing a soundtrack to it.
“Each piece that I have written can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing at that time. The idea of the concert is that I take the best of those memories and invite the audience to come with me to enjoy revisiting those moments with me. I also hope the music takes them on their own journey of memories.”
If you go
Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. For more information, call 455-5321. For more about Robin Spielberg, visit her online site at Robin Spielberg.com.