Rob Clutton

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Upcoming Shows

1 October 2018, 9:30 pm: Rob Clutton Trio@Emmett Ray, 924 College St, Toronto

12 October 2018: Official CD release date for Leeways by The Cluttertones with special guest Lee Pui Ming.

  • About
    Rob Clutton is a Toronto-based composer/performer who works in the intersections of composition and improvisation, in long-term projects in which the relationship of the musicians has a central but incalculable role. Rob’s impetus to play the bass comes from listening, allowing inspiration to reside in a sonic imaginary, in which the sound of the bass is the same as the tree singing is the same as the human listening. Rob has two solo bass albums: Dubious Pleasures and Suchness Monster, on the Rat-Drifting label. Oct 12, 2018 is the release date of Rob’s 6th CD of compositions, Leeways, featuring the Cluttertones and Lee Pui Ming. In 2015 the Cluttertones released Ordinary Joy, a critically acclaimed recording of original compositions, on the Healing Power label. Earlier independent releases include Holstein Dream Pageant and Tender Buttons. As a creative bassist, Rob has dedicated himself to playing original music, and has toured in the USA and Europe with Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot, and the Juno-winning Neufeld Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). Other touring has included Japan, the UK, and the Cervantino Festival in Mexico with the Steve Koven Trio, as well as extensive Canadian performances with various groups including John Millard and Happy Day, Drumheller, the Nick Fraser Quartet and Fides Krucker’s In This Body. As an active participant in Toronto’s improvised and creative music community, Rob collaborates with musicians, dancers, theatre and performance artists. This year Rob is grateful to be exploring the intersections of improvisation and composition in Berlin, New York, and Toronto, under the auspices of an Ontario Arts Council “Chalmers Fellowship.”
    As a leader

    The Cluttertones - Ordinary Joy, Healing Power 30

    Rob Clutton - Suchness Monster, Rat-drifting 17

    Rob Clutton - Dubious Pleasures, Rat-drifting 08

    Rob Clutton - Band Holstein Dream Pageant, Snailbongbong 002

    2000 Rob Clutton - Band Tender Buttons, Snailbongbong 001

    As a member of a collaborative project
    See Through Two - Slow Bend, All-Set! Editions

    Ronda Rindone’s Quorum - Gestation, Independent

    Drumheller - Sometimes Machine, Barnyard Records

    Clutton/Michelli/West - Compound Eyes, SR 001
    Drumheller - Glint, Rat-drifting 18

    Drumheller - Wives, Rat-drifting 12

    Drumheller - Drumheller, Rat-drifting 09

    This Moment - Beautiful Line, Nine Winds

    1996 Handslang - Handslang, HS001

    As a side person
    Fides Krucker - In This Body, independent.

    Roscoe Mitchell and the Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra - Ride The Wind, Nessa

    Nick Fraser Quartet - Is Life Long?, Clean Feed

    Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot - Squish It!, Lumo

    Steve Koven Trio - Beyond The C, Bungalow

    Little Annie - Trace, Tin Angel

    Nick Fraser Quartet - Starer, Independent

    R. Murray Shafer - Apocalypsis, Analekta

    Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot - Kiss The Brain, Lumo

    Ryan Driver Quintet - Plays The Stephen Parkinson Songbook, Tin Angel, Barnyard

    Nick Fraser - Towns and Villages, Barnyard Records 0330
    Steve Koven Trio - 20, Independent

    Aimtoronto Orchestra - Year of the Boar, Barnyard Records 0322

    Eric Chenaux - Warm Weather With Ryan Driver, Constellation 068

    Jandek - Toronto Sunday: Duality of Self, Corwood Industries 0803

    Ryan Driver - Who’s Breathing?, Rat-drifting 20

    Steve Koven Trio - Alone Together, independent.

    Anthony Braxton, Aimtoronto Orchestra Creative Orchestra - (Guelph) 2007, Spool.

    David Mott/Chistina Petrowska Quilico - Eclipse, Centrediscs

    Ryan Driver Quintet - Glamour, independent

    Steve Koven Trio - The Sound of Songs, independent

    Steve Koven Trio - Resurgence, independent

    Sea of Song Trio - Blue Boat, independent

    Picastro - Whore Luck, Polyvinyl

    David Buchbinder - Shurum Burum Jazz Circus, independent

    Josh Thorpe - Flocklight, Rat-drifting 10

    Steve Koven Trio - All The Time In The World, independent

    David Mott Quintet - The Eleven, independent
    John Millard and Happy Day - Citizens, Awake!, Festival

    Paul Neufeld - Walk Together, True North

    Jazzstory - Jazzstory, Guildwood N.O.J.O. with Don Byron -
    Highwire, True North

    Steve Koven Trio - Lifetime, independent

    John Millard and Happy Day - Festival

    Steve Koven Trio - Not By The Elbows, independent

    Tim Posgate - An Eager Leap, Guildwood

    NOJO with Don Byron - You Are Here, True North

    Steve Koven Trio - Live At The Senator, independent

    NOJO - FireWater, independent

    NOJO - N.O.J.O., independent
  • Solo Bass
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    1. Taken Over By The Hounds Of Reason
    2. How Big Are The Dots

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    Dubious Pleasures is Rob Clutton’s solo debut on Rat-drifting.  It's a solo string bass album and also a collection of nine very distinct compositions.

    “The real challenge is to create and sustain musical interest, and that Clutton does admirably, crafting a series of pieces that are as different in mood and content as they are in techniques.” –Stuart Broomer, Musicworks

    Read more at the Rat-Drifting website.
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    1. Bundle And Bear
    2. Fenugreek

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    “The second solo recording for Toronto’s Rat-Drifting label from Rob Clutton, a phenomenal bassist and a deeply engrossing performer, offers new insights into the state of the art of double bass playing. Classically trained, a respected jazz player and world-class improviser, Clutton has an original and heartfelt take on music and performance. In a word, deep.” - Gordon Allen, The Mirror

    Read more at the Rat-Drifting website.

    Full albums available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp

  • The Cluttertones
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    1. Webbed
    2. Bison

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    The Cluttertones are Lina Allemano (trumpet), Rob Clutton (bass, composition), Ryan Driver (human voice, analogue synth, piano), and Tim Posgate (banjo, guitar). The group has been playing together for nearly a decade, and each of the members have long associations with the others in various projects. This music plays at the edges between known/unknown, concrete/abstract, solo/group, expression/process. Drawing from a broad range of experience—which includes jazz, European classical music, electronica, improvisation, folk, singer-songwriter, experimental—the Cluttertones play what some have called “otherworldly chamber music.”

    “The Cluttertones trade in a sort of weirdness and beauty you’re very unlikely to have encountered before—even if you’re familiar with its constituents’ back catalogues. Ordinary Joy feels elusive and intangible at first, leaving the listener groping for syntax. One’s second listen, however, yields an impression of warm familiarity, albeit with no shortage of tangles and kinks.” - Nick Storring, Musicworks

    Ordinary Joy is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp

    Connect with Rob and The Cluttertones on Facebook:

  • The Rob Clutton Trio
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    1. Cloak
    2. Hounds
    3. Strata

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    The Rob Clutton Trio is Karen Ng (saxophone), Rob Clutton (bass), and Nick Fraser (drums).
  • The Rob Clutton Band
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    1. Cranberry Bog
    2. Trio Series

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    “A mix of composition and improvisation, meditative moods and fractal bursts worthy of its Gertrude Stein inspiration (“Act so that  there is no use in a centre”), this is at once document, signpost and fossil.” – Carl Wilson, Globe And Mail
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    1. Andante
    2. Moderato

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    “There are no tunes explicitly about cattle here, but much of Holstein Dream Pageant is as wide-open as a country field. There's an intriguing looseness to the jazz-based music Toronto bassist Clutton and his ensemble make, with each tune evolving as it grows.” Matt Galloway, Now Magazine

    Full albums available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp

  • Watch

    Solo at Gallery 345 in Toronto
    From "The Steve Koven Trio: An Evening Of Creativity"
    Producer: Ronald L. Grimes
    Filmmaker: Bryn Sott-Grimes

    The Cluttertones - Lion and Ant
    Choreography by Dawne Carleton
    Video by Laurie Kwasnik - ChromaSonic Pictures

Rob's work has been generously supported by:

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