Composer/pianist Robert Emil Pollock is an industrious composer of a unique, impressive body of work in many genres, including inumerable must-hear gems.
Here is Pollock’s Entertwined, licenced from Furious Artisans Records by Youtube:
For Pollock, composition is a vocation, not a business, not a career. As one with a vocation, a calling, he has never had to be spoon fed. He has been remarkably self sufficient, going about his work quietly, with a small circle of players and fellow composers. He has stayed off of the careerist treadmill.
He has been a champion of new music, touring the world performing piano music by the composers he feels are worthy. These travels took him to Holland, Denmark, Mexico, Moscow, Kazan, Korea, & Japan and all over the US.
Pollock founded two organizations to advocate for worthy composers. First, the Composers Guild of New Jersey, which was modelled on Jacques Monod’s New York Guild of Composers.
Later, Pollock retired to Hawaii, but he couldn’t retire. He founded Ebb & Flow Arts. Both organizations found ways to dignify the work of accomplished composers. Ebb & Flow’s productions on Maui are attracting very impressive numbers. Pollock does not pander to young emerging composers. He’s looking for estimable composers of any age. He has never pandered to his audience either, and his audience in Maui seems to respect him for that.
Pollock studied with Roger Sessions at Princeton. Over the years there have been several composers who became like older brother mentors— George Walker, Peter Schat, and Per Nøgård. Peter Schatt’s tone clock is Schatt’s own take on the 12 trichords. Some of Pollock’s work from the 1990s show a clear influence from Schatt’s tone clock. Pollock shares with Nørgård a fascination with proportions that can be found in the natural world, as well as in music. Ebb & Flow Arts commissioned Nørgård.
There are too few recordings of Pollock’s music. Here are some links:
Pollock performing George Walker’s Piano Sonata No. 5, which Pollock has played all over the world:
Duo No. 5 is on this album, it’s the “album only” track:
And lovely that this is another “album only” track, Entertwined:
Upcoming: the first all-Pollock CD.