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Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change

This podcast is a part of the Tennessee Theatre’s Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change series, providing an opportunity for artists from marginalized and underserved communities to share their art with others. Through podcast episodes, concerts/performances, visual art displays, discussions and panels focusing on important issues, and educational opportunities, artists have the chance to engage with the community. The Tennessee Theatre is proud to provide a space for audiences and artists to better understand one another.

Sep 13, 2023

For this episode of Pass the Mic, we sat down with Nashville-based artist Robbie Lynn Hunsinger. For many years, Robbie Lynn worked as a top notch classical oboist in Atlanta, New York and Chicago. Recently she has become a sought after media and concert artist, a composer, multi-instrumentalist, creative technologist, improviser and educator. 

Robbie Lynn is a pioneer in Western and Eastern oboe, multimedia performance and responsive art installation. She has been an obbligato soloist with the Chicago Symphony and played improvised music duets with Evan Parker. Her list of credits include playing English Horn on the Chicago Symphony’s triple Grammy Winner “The Wooden Prince” with Pierre Boulez and touring France as an Oboe d’ Amore soloist with Robert Shaw’s Choral Institute. She has played with Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, Tatsu Aoki and Rob Mazurek and was a leader for the “Trio” album with the late Art Ensemble of Chicago and AACM Founder Joseph Jarman which received a 4 Star review in Downbeat. Festival credits include Marlboro Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Chicago World Music Festival and SXSW. 

Her interactive installations have been funded by Metro Arts and the NEA and exhibits include the Frist Art Museum, ISEA Chicago, Chicago's Thomas Blackman Gallery and Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. She collaborated with Montreal’s Daily Tous Les Jour on their interactive light and sound installation which just opened at Nashville’s Mill Ridge Park and she regularly gives presentations and masterclasses on creative technologies. Unlike many performers, she uses her own imagery, writes her own code and solders her own circuits.

She is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and a powerful environmental and conservation activist. She founded the now famous Chicago Bird Collision Monitors program, one of the largest and most effective hands on conservation efforts for migratory birds and recently led a successful charge to Save Ivy Drive in Nashville from cluster lots.

In this conversation, we talk about adapting to physical challenges and embracing new approaches to performing, finding community through environmental and wildlife activism, the impacts of discrimination toward the LGBTQ community in Tennessee, and the importance of self-expression and creative play.