robertalanfuturehearts at Studio Live, 2679 Beaufort Ave. in Cumberland, on June 7 at 8 p.m.

robertalanfuturehearts coming to Cumberland for one show

Presented by a group of forward-thinking jazz and traditional music players from West Toronto and East Gothenburg: The sound of human interaction snapped to the grid of music and language.

Robert Alan Mackie, Canadian double bassist and writer, is a once-and-forever student of Québecois jazz improvisers at McGill University and Hardanger fiddle players in Valdres, Norway. Mackie has toured North America, Europe, Asia and Australia for years as a double bassist across the spectrums of jazz and traditional music, and robertalanfuturehearts is a reflection of his dedication to the abstract space between genres.

Spoken word poetry, free improvisation, and the rhythmic sensibilities of traditional music are unified in a wholly immersive performance where the pieces of music, as well as the narratives between them, provoke thought and engage emotion.

Mackie performs original texts and plays the double bass at the same time. The double bass plays a carefully calculated role, mimicking the rhythm and tone of Mackie’s speech, which intensifies his voice and provides an esthetic foundation to the text.

The lead voice and the double bass are accompanied by a rotating cast of instruments and voices. Violin, electric guitar and percussion create a scaffold of thoughtful improvisation, where textures and rhythmic concepts return to reference themselves. Meticulous compositions are built up from the improvisations, where instruments and voices imitate each other to create a tightly braided timbre. A winding unison melody folds in on itself and a piece of music presents itself as a tactile listening experience.

The sounds of downtown Canada and rural Scandinavia are brought to the stage by the storytelling methods of talk therapy, sad clowns, ghost stories, radio journalism, and stand-up comedy. What is produced is music truly unique to the 21st century.

robertalanfuturehearts released their first EP, Little Reminders, in May 2018, and have been performing that material in Canada and Scandinavia ever since. In June 2019, they will be touring the west coast of Canada to prepare a new body of work for recording in the fall of 2019.

Check out this amazing performance of robertalanfuturehearts at Studio Live, 2679 Beaufort Ave. in Cumberland, on June 7 at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available, $20, from Bop City Records, Courtenay, Blue Heron Books, Comox, Fisherman’s Daughter, Cumberland, or by e-transfer to At the door $25. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

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