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Peter Manning Robinson chats with 90.1WUSB - Captain Phil's Planet

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Interview with WUSB: Stoney Brook NY

WUSB's Captain Phil filling in for Jim Dexter features the Peter Manning Robinson interview recorded for Captain Phil's Planet. Phil writes...Peter Manning Robinson (http://www.petermanningrobinson.com/) is a pianist, an Emmy and multiple BMI award-winning composer, inventor of The Refractor Piano™ and vegan chef. Performing live with his newly created Refractor Piano™, Peter plays a new style of music called "Refracted Music". Without prerecorded tracks, triggered samples, external sounds or MIDI instruments, he creates a unique new music using only an acoustic piano that is "refracted" during his live performances. Peter's foundations in classical structure and jazz improvisation induce a transcendent musical experience.

Peter Manning Robinson was born in Chicago and grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and Los Angeles,

California. Peter started playing the piano at age 3 and began performing with bands by the time he was 12. Though touring and playing in clubs at a young age, he still managed to receive formal music training at USC and Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Ernie Watts, Phil Woods, and Freddie Hubbard. Peter's film and television scores have won him many awards including an Emmy Award for KABC's Above and Below and five BMI Music Awards for Without a Trace.

His orchestral works have been recorded by members of The London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber

Orchestra, and Musica Nova. In his early 20s, Peter developed severe tendonitis and was told by numerous doctors he would never be able to perform live again. Still able to play for short periods of time, he immersed himself in session work and film scores but was determined to resume live concertizing. Through a mutual friend, Peter met Phil Cohen, Founder/Artistic Director of the Leonardo Project at Concordia University in Montreal. After evaluating Peter, Phil told him he could retrain him but he would have to, in Phil's words: "unlearn everything you know about playing the piano." Peter agreed and through Phil's techniques, he developed a completely new way of playing within a year. During this time Peter continued to evolve his already healthy lifestyle to encompass vegan food, meditation, yoga, kick­boxing and growing his own herbs and produce. An accomplished vegan chef, he uses a unique nutritional regimen to keep his mind, body, and spirit optimally fit. Peter views both his refractor Piano™ and his kitchen as "laboratories" where his complex cooking recipes inspire new music compositions and vice­versa.

He met the director and filmmaker Klaus Hoch while scoring Klaus's film Flypaper and reconnected in 2010 to collaborate on the creation of The Refractor Piano™. The Refractor Piano™ is the culmination of Peter's life­long work and experimentation with alternative forms of musical instruments (acoustic, Asian and electronic). In April 2016, Peter presented his acclaimed debut concert with The Refractor Piano™ at Bergamot Station, Santa Monica incorporating both his Refractor and acoustic piano compositions with unique visual elements.

The Refractor Piano™ is an acoustic piano (usually a Steinway), fitted with transducers and microphones, whose live sound is "refracted" through a unique, proprietary system of hardware and software created by pianist­composer Peter Manning Robinson and co­developed by filmmaker Klaus Hoch.

Mimicking visual refraction or quantum refraction, the instrument, when played by Peter, is capable of generating a remarkable array of never­heard­before sounds. The music incorporates both

composition and improvisation and while each piece is always recognizable, the "refraction" process makes each performance unique and never an exact reproduction. One can think of the "refraction" process as layers of sound that are uniquely manipulated, morphed, and layered. These sounds create chambers that open and flow, in numerous ways, to other chambers that can exist individually or intersect and "refract" each other. This creates an ever­changing, evolving sound.

Peter decides which elements to "refract" in real-time and "rides the refractions" as he and The Refractor™ bend and morph the sound. These new textures form the distinct instruments and voices of each composition. Using the entire piano­­­inside and out­­­with his fingers, mallets, and other implements, Peter conjures never­heard­before sounds in this new type of music. Thus Peter is functioning as a composer, pianist, and conductor in real-time. With compositional foundations in classical structure and jazz improvisation, the new "Refractor Music" played by Peter creates a truly unique, transcendent live music experience. "Refractor Music" needs to be heard live!