see old photographs
robbert robbert on drums, electronics, santoor * photo by thorsten hennig
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robbert - elephant songs kit robbert on his elephant songs kit * photo by golboo fiuze
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robbert on bike robbert on bike
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robbert on drums robbert on drums * photo by sanderien verstappen
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robbert on drums robbert on drums * photo by aida mussach
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robbert on drums (black & white) * photo by aida mussach
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robbert on cone robbert on other things * photo by ruth van andel
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upcoming shows

Date artist City Venue
12 December 2018 8:00pm cacialano & van hulzen ot 301, cacialano & van hulzen in amsterdam
Address: overtoom 301
part of a three day festival of improvised music & dance

see all shows and past shows

Drummer & composer Robbert van Hulzen enjoys playing in the full-colour twilight between improvisation, rock, and new music, with echoes from India and Indonesia. He enjoys playing meticulously prepared percussion parts as much as exploring the sound possibilities of a relatively standard drum kit and working with dance and theatre.

Currently he is working with hutspot, a branch of his Elephant Songs project, intercultural collaboration in improvised music. Besides, he is an active member of the Amsterdam (free) jazz scene, plays with contemporary gamelan ensemble Gending, and regularly works with dancers, choreographers, and other theatre makers including Irina Sentjabowa, Katie Duck, and Theater Babel Rotterdam. He enjoys creating scores for their stories – ranging between improvised, produced, acoustic, electronic, or a mixture of all those. In the past, collaborators have included the Phillip Project, theatre group De Maan, and film maker Dave Zijlstra.
Elephant Songs started in 2012 with a journey from South India to the Netherlands – on a classic Enfield motorcycle with a drum kit on the back. Robbert played with local musicians en route, the bandmembers-of-the-moment enjoying their combined musical ideas, tastes, backgrounds, preferences. The band Om Viloma, with Greek and Indian musicians, preceded Elephant Songs.

Other collaborations include or included gallery jazz trio oto.3, indie-folk band Horse In Me, a duo with storyteller Martin Voorbij, mathpunk band Lola Montez, abstract folk duo Rara Avis (with recorder player Terri Hron), composer / producer Nitin Sawhney, and composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven. He played all over Europe, in the US, Canada, Palestine, India, and Indonesia, in venues varying from the Royal Albert Hall to Iranian underground galleries. With Rara Avis he released the album One Fell Swoop in 2008; other releases include albums and/or tracks with Gending, Most Unpleasant Men, Slaughterdijk, and Axel Lukkien.

Robbert studied drums and performance with Steve Clover, MT Rajakesari, BC Manjunath, and Rafael Reina (at the Amsterdam Conservatory), He studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam and SOAS, London (MA, cum laude, 2002) and contemporary improvised & composed music at the Amsterdam Conservatory (MA, 2004) and published several articles. Robbert received various grants and scholarships, for recordings, residencies, and his Indian study trips.




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more recordings on robbert’s bandcamp page
more projects on bands & projects