Titi Robin Trio

Titi Robin Trio

 Angers, Pays de la Loire, FRA

?"I used to dream of a world in which composers, performers and producers could make music without being constrained by the bottlenecks of genre and market forces. French guitarist Titi Robin has made an album as if the fantasy were true... the result is rich and moving, a tale with the depth of a novel and the narrative drive of a folk legend." John L. Walters THE GUARDIAN 2009
The Trio is the most open of Titi Robin’s line-ups. It is based on improvisation and allows each musician to play equ


Thierry Robin, known as “Titi”, the self-taught musician born at the end of the fifties in western France, has created a musical world for himself instinctively assimilating elements in response to his need to express himself. The two worlds in which he has navigated daily and that have both directly and deeply influenced him are the gipsy and oriental cultures. Before the World Music trend was born, these communities were open and encouraging to him while French mainstream music struggled with his approach. Arab and gipsy community celebrations provided him with the opportunity to test his original musical sound against these rich traditions from which he took his inspiration while never imitating them, obstinately looking for the best way in which to express himself as a contemporary artist. The musicians accompanying him were almost all from these minority groups. The two artists of major importance to him were the flamenco cantaor Camaron de la Isla and the Iraqi master oud player Munir Bachir. At the beginning of the eighties he began to compose in an extremely personal style that has stayed with him since. In 1984 he produced himself (playing the guitar, the oud and the bouzouki) in a duet with Hameed Khan, the Indian tablas player from Jaipur, performing both on stage and in local festivities, clubs and oriental restaurants. His repertory (instrumental) grew little by little, just as the foundations of his improvisational style. An album : “Duo Luth et Tabla^”, that is no longer produced and has become a collector's piece, bears witness to this original universe.

In 1987, a strange group entered the musical scene in Angers: “Johnny Michto”, a mixture of Moroccan Berber rhythms, electric bouzouki, rock bass guitar, clarinets and bagpipes; an attempt to offer the public something other than the rock groups that proliferated, by bringing together the folk cultures of the group's members. Once again, it would be the North African community that gave the band the warmest welcome, the “born and bred” French finding it hard to take on board this novel style.

While working on the instrumental duo with Hameed Khan, mixing melodic improvisations and light-hearted rhythmical duels, Thierry Robin met the Breton singer Erik Marchand, a representative of what he considered to be the richest folk and traditional culture to be found near his region of birth. Together they would develop a repertory of compositions using quarter tone modes and the marriage of the Taqsi^m style of oriental modal improvisation and the Gwerz, the very ancient monophonic lament that the singer is one of the few to preserve alongside Yann Fanch Kemener. Ocora Radio-France sent them into the recording studio: “An Henchou Treuz” (1990) was awarded the Charles Cros Academy Grand Prize.

It was the beginning of the meeting of two duos that would turn into the “Erik Marchand Trio”, for which Thierry Robin composes and arranges the best part of its repertory. This highly original group composed of a Breton singer, Arab lute player and a specialist of the Indian tablas (as a matter of interest, a photo of the group illustrates the first article on “world music” in the Encyclopaedia Universalis), performed a great deal, from Womad festivals to stages presenting contemporary music, from the Paris The´a^tre de la Ville to the Quartz in Brest, and the jazz scene that greatly appreciates their innovative approach to improvisation. They also toured abroad, from Quebec to Houston, from Marrakech to Jerusalem. In 1991 the first “Erik Marchand Trio” work was released : “An Tri Breur” on the Silex record label.

With this group, Titi Robin had become known above all as an oud player. “Gitans”, released in January 1993, would better define the musician's world, introducing the bouzouki and guitar player. It is a homage by the artist to the gipsy community that taught him so much. A mosaic of encounters between artists dear to Titi Robin, representing the various bran