About Robin Chilstrom

Robin is a multi-disciplinary artist, vocal improviser and arts educator living in Portland, Oregon.

TRANSLATIONS – a sound practice

This game is for the Voiceweaving meet-up group and for you too, if you like to play vocally.

Here’s a little exercise you can practice as it strikes your fancy. It’s called TRANSLATIONS. It’s a very simple practice, and one that’s quite engaging. It’s all about listening, tuning in and getting comfortable sounding out what you sense. While doing that, you’re also adding to your personal sound vocabularies. Continue reading

Voice Raising Fun!

As promised, we had a spirited evening of play at the first Voice Raising of the season tonight at Cerimon House. Camaraderie, inner reaching and attuned listening pulled us into the circle of improvisational song. Thank You All! Here are several comments and pictures to mark the evening.

“Very enlightening – a universal way to communicate in group.”

“This was fun and creative and stimulating and energizing!”

“Great. Lots of fun with just enough challenge and content to keep us focused and creative…able to be spontaneous.”


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Voiceweaving Cards…

VW YOU&ME 5x7fcpAt the beginning of the year I made a promise to myself. A promise to honor the creative exploration I have shared in circle after circle with imaginers, actors, musicians, educators, artists, activists-those who invite us to rise up inside, speak our truths and fill the world with beauty.

In 1974 Storefront Theater’s inspired director/creator/designer, Ric Young, asked me to make some atmospheric vocal sound for a scene being rehearsed. I’d never sounded like that before and I was surprised by what came out. It made me wonder, “what is this sinuously rhythmic taproot connected to? Where does it come from and where does it go?” Continue reading

Spring Voice Raising!

Over the last several years I’ve been meeting in intimate circles of friends to explore vocal improvisation. These Voiceweaving Labs have rekindled my love and desire to playfully engage with you. You know who you are. There’s some intangible part of community that seems missing. It’s something creative, collaborative and fun. It invites you to express yourself as you are. It’s in-the-moment and connects you to other people in a whole-being kind of way. It brings you closer, warms you up inside and leaves you feeling in-the-flow…

…so, that’s why I’m inviting you to join in on May 10th at Cerimon House for an evening of Voice Raising. The event is free and if you like it you can join me next Fall at Voiceweaving events and Workshops. Continue reading

Share the gifts…

IMG_0090Beginning again in this new year I am reminded to honor the gifts given. We are, each one, filled with the potential to share the most potent, honest, revealing and beautiful parts of our ourselves, our truths.  It is in our nature to share with one another and (for me) a core need to connect with you at a heart level.

I lag behind my heart, however as my mind burrows into a maze of preoccupation, a never-ending stream of alternatives to paying deeper attention. It is not hard, I whisper to myself, to listen and respond to the gifts within.  But it takes willingness and practice and respect to take the time to shape the flowing energies and share them. Continue reading

Connecting in the moment…

bowing man card mockup 3Shuttling down Ikea aisles, clutching frames to purchase, I was startled over the holidays to hear a brief melody reaching out behind me. Brief. So brief that I could have ignored it.  It wasn’t a holiday tune.  It was playfully conversational, a capricious dare. Looking back, I saw a young man walking with another as they sought Aisle 7 in the auditorium-sized self-serve area that leads to the check-outs.  I could have ignored it, but I didn’t.  I heard the call and replied. Just a brief conversational response. Continue reading

Moment to moment…

flying Woman sm2aFor half a year I’ve been singing with a group of women musicians in a Voiceweaving Lab. Currently we’re shaping structure to support one another in the creation of Chant Songs that reflect our moment-to-moment lives. Listening to the inner voice, then sharing what we hear with peers, is the foundation of this song-making where instant harmonies emerge to support the fledgling songs.

Great changes are happening all around us.  It is very tempting to hold on, to live our lives in the patterns we’ve set, regardless of their current value to our happiness or growth.  This seems to be a challenge in my own life and as I reawaken to the possibilities that every moment is ripe for inspiration, beauty, truth,connection and new direction I yearn to gather with friends and practice, “listening to the moment.” Here’s a chant-song I caught during a recent session: