Robin Rhode: The Score

The Score, a live performance with wall drawings and sound recording with audio-visual remnants marked Robin Rhode’s New York debut.

For The Score, Rhode used a broad brush and black paint to depict the instruments typical of a classical jazz ensemble in front of an audience seated on orchestra seats. A prerecorded soundtrack played each instrument solo as each was being drawn, and then in symphony as the performance came to an end. The soundtrack was Rhode’s own imitation and interpretation of instruments as varied as drums, trumpet, and saxophone.

As a maestro and master draftsman who transformed himself into a human beat-box, Robin drew from the idea of mimicry to counter the audio-visual expectations of what a jazz concert might be. Turning his back to the audience, he also revisited the controversial stage attitude that made Miles Davis famous, similarly refusing to be seen as a mere entertainer.