Born in Devon in 1955. Robert was a chorister at Hereford Cathedral and later studied at the Royal College of Music, where his teachers included Stephen Savage and Bernard Stevens. During his student days he also joined the group Songs for Our Society which Cornelius Cardew was then running at Goldsmiths College.
After leaving the RCM he began to earn a living as a musician for dance, eventually becoming Head of Music at the Laban Centre, where he has taught and played for many years. Memorable experiences there include participation in the summer course which John Cage and Merce Cunningham gave in the summer of 1980. An interest in non-Western musics led to the completion of an MMus in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths College in 1988.
He has a longstanding interest in improvised and experimental music. He is a member of the group Edges which specialises in the performance of graphic scores and text pieces by composers such as Christian Wolff, Cornelius Cardew, John Cage as well as compositions by members of the group.
Edges performed at the Serpentine Gallery as a part of the Eye Music exhibition of 1986 and at the ICA in 1984 as part of a day of events celebrating the achievements of the Scratch Orchestra. In May 1997 they gave a concert in Copenhagen at the studios of Danish Radio.
Robert has also performed the organ solos in Cardew The Great Learning on several occasions, including the first complete performance of the work given as part of the Almeida Festival in 1983, extracts of which may be seen in Phillipe Regniez's film about the composer.
He has written several scores for dance, including music for Hilde Holger, Manoeuvres Dance Company and Nomads Dance Company as well as a collaborative project with choreographer Anna Gillespie. More recently he has concentrated on composing concert music and has written several pieces for the Redlands Consort - Cutting, Third Cutting, Peru and Robbie's Redoubt as well as Two Anthologies for piano solo.