bio & pics


see old photographs

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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Drummer & composer Robbert van Hulzen enjoys playing anywhere 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.

more biographical information below

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

Current collaborations include the psychedelic klezmer band Švejk, indie-folk band Horse In Me, the ongoing project Elephant Songs, contemporary gamelan ensemble Gending, for which he finds musicians between his native Low Countries and the Indian Subcontinent, and a duo with storyteller Martin Voorbij.
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, 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. 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 also writes, performs, and produces music (acoustic and/or electronic) for artists from other disciplines — including the Phillip Project, dancer Katie Duck, theatre group De Maan, and film maker Dave Zijlstra.

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, and played in venues varying from the Royal Albert Hall to Iranian underground galleries.