Saturday, June 12, 2010

Interview with Robin Easterbrook, Pacifica Viols Chapter Member

Robin Easterbrook (standing in photo) was one of the viol players at the Pacifica Chapter viol concert and party. I had met her previously at a workshop. She is quite active in the Bay area viol playing scene, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions for this blog.

What made you decide to play the viol?

I decided to play the viol after one of my Suzuki moms accompanied my students on a strange looking "cello.” I was teaching her daughter violin at the time. The mother's name is Mary Prout. I also had another violin student whose parents play the viol, Richard and Cathy Taruskin (at the time the head of UC Berkeley music department). So, I was intrigued by the beautiful resonating sounds from the gut stings. The sound of the gamba is the most sublime sound in the universe!

Why do you think people in your chapter take up the viol?

I think the beautiful consort music is a big draw. We also have wonderful coaches once a month.

What do you recommend for a region that might want to have more activity like your chapter?

I would recommend them to get more people involved playing the gamba, especially the younger folks. They should do school presentations like we have done in the past.

What is the value in a gamba society chapter and in your events?

The value is that we nurture and help people who are just learning. I am in charge of helping the "newer" players, and have gotten positive feedback they had such a great time! Everyone is so friendly and we see ourselves as a big family. When I first started playing Lee McRae and John Mark helped me so much, so that is why I want to help new learners!

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