Born in California, Robert Coburn grew up in the hills behind Whittier College. His early sonic experience listening to thousands of crickets cycling minimalist calls in the night with occasional interruptions by coyotes served to focus his awareness on the powerful ambience of the natural world. His compositional activities have been shaped by a strong interest in works created and concepts espoused by a group of artists including Fred Sandback, Callum Innes, Agnes Martin, Anne Truitt, James Turrell, Robert Irwin, Lee Ufan, and Tadao Ando. Their commitment to the power of perceptual experience, simple materials, and emptiness has had a significant impact on his recent compositions.
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Compositions – Installations – Performances
Interlude: Cloud and Sky (2020) for Buchla and Hordijk analog instruments, based on music for Yellow Wallpaper

Forgotten Landscape 1 to 4
 (2020) for Buchla and Hordijk analog instruments, based on music for Yellow Wallpaper

Soundtrack for The Yellow Wallpaper (2020) a film by Kevin Pontuti

The Ordinary Dreams of Inanimate Objects (2019) clarinet, viola, piano

Distant Light… Quiet Stream
(2017) piano
 Satoko Inoue, piano
 Ryogoku Monten Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2014.
 Recital Hall, Conservatory of Music, University of the  Pacific 2018.

a soft breath of winter light
(2017) sho, piano, electronic sound
 Ko Ishikawa, sho; Satoko Inoue, piano; Robert Coburn, electronics
 Ryogoku Monten Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2017.
 Recital Hall, Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific 2018.

a depth of stillness (2017) violin, cello, piano
 Trio 180 – Ann Miller, Vicky Wang, Sonia Leong
 Recital Hall, Conservatory of Music, University of  the Pacific 2017.

Quiet Traceries [return] (2016) alto/bass flute, clarinet, bass, guitar, vibraphone, piano
 Faye Spanos Concert Hall, , University of the Pacific 2016.
 Ensemble NOMAD – Tokyo Opera City Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2018.

Tokyo/Naoshima/New York/Berkeley/Berlin (2015) analog electronics, video
 Faye Spanos Concert Hall,University of the Pacific 2015.

Three (2013) piano
 Satoko Inoue, piano
 Ryogoku Monten Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2014.
 Ryogoku Monten Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2017.
 San Francisco Center for New Music 2017.
 
Interstitial Traces (2012) alto/baritone saxophone, computer sound, animation by Celia Eid
 Biodromo, Bilbao, Spain 2013.
 ARTECHMEDIA, Tenerife, Canarias 2013.
 SIMULTAN FESTIVAL 2013 – Timisoara, Romania 2013.
 Videoholica, Varna, Bulgaria 2013.
 Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France 2013.
 Transverse Video Festival, Toulouse, France 2014.
 Bits and Bytes, Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, Leicester, UK 2017.

Kaze no Yume [Dream of the Wind] (2012/17) hichiriki, ryuteki, sho, mokusho, rin, computer, video
 Autumn Wind Trio – University of the Pacific Japanese Festival of Music and Art 2012.
 Sonorities Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK 2017.
 School of Music and Visual Arts, University of Kent, UK 2017.
 Bits and Bytes, Music, Technology, and Innovation Research Centre, Leicester, UK 2017.
 Ko Ishikawa, sho, Ryogoku Monten Hall, Tokyo, Japan 2017.

Fragile Horizon, In Stillness, TranquilTurmoil Dreaming, Seeing Through
 Western Oregon New Music Festival, Monmouth, Oregon 2009.

Fragile  Horizon (2007) viola, speaking voice, computer, video
 Brubeck Festival 2007, Faye Spanos Concert Hall, University of the Pacific. 2007
 International Saxophone Festival, Palmela, Portugal 2008.

between… beyond (2002) site-specific sound/lightbox installation
 Richard and Marjorie Reynolds Gallery 2002.

Voice [verse 1] (2000) modified field recording
 Symposium En Red O, Barcelona, Spain 2001.

39 Bells (1993 – 1996) – permanent sound installation
 The Avenue of the Arts, Public Arts Program, Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture.

Shadowbox (1994) clarinet
 Patricia Kostek, clarinet
 The Society of Contemporary Music, Stockholm and Orebro, Sweden 1994.
 Open Space Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 1994.
 Clarinetfest, Conference of the International Clarinet Association, Chicago, Illinois 1995.

Luminous Shadows [for John Cage] (1993) cello, percussion, piano
 Victoria International Music Festival, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 1993.

Turnings (1989) guitar, synthesizer
 John Tamburello, guitar
 De Ijsbreker, Amsterdam, Holland 1990.

Bell Circles II (1987 – 1990; redesign and expansion 2020) Permanent sound installation
 Public Art Program, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon.

Environs (1985) soprano saxophone, tenor voice, 3 sampling keyboards
 Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Composers Festival, Portland Oregon 1985.

Staursahng and Descend to the River (1983) string bass, electronic music, visual images
 Jon Dickinson, visuals
 Fall Festival of New Music – Roulette, New York 1982.
 Forum ’82 International Festival of New Music, Composers Forum, New York 1982. 

Glasslight Presence (1978) – Sound/Light installation
 The Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle 1978.
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Residencies
Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm, Sweden 2017.
YADDO artist’s retreat 2013.
Fulbright Scholar Award for teaching and research in Japan 2011 – 12.
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Teaching
Professor and Program Director of Composition and Music Theory 1993 – 2019.
 Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
Director: SoundImageSound International Festival of New Music and Visual Image 2004 – 2013.