Victor Haskins & SKEIN
Victor Haskins & SKEIN (pictured from L to R: Victor Haskins, Tony Martucci, Randall Pharr); photo by Keshia Eugene
A “skein" has two definitions:
1) a tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation.
2) a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation.
The members of Victor Haskins & SKEIN bring these definitions to life through the highly interactive interplay in which they engage with each other, clearly exhibiting a dynamic chemistry that concertgoers will immediately recognize and feel. The collective of musicians in the SKEIN all explore the possibilities of collective improvisation through the forum of original compositions crafted by Haskins for this specific configuration of players and personalities. Musical genre is eschewed as each successive Haskins composition unfolds to reveal detailed stories rooted in humanity and imaginative human experience, expressed through intentional vibrations. The most recent documented recording of SKEIN is on Victor’s second album--"Showing Up" (featuring longtime collaborators Randall Pharr on bass, and Tony Martucci on drums). "Showing Up" reflects Victor’s developments and experiments with a group sound that combines electronic sound design and live audio processing with close-knit interaction to evoke a unique set of vibrations. These vibrations reflect the internal and interpersonal work Haskins researched, studied, and lived, and which are the impetus for performing the album which is "Showing Up".
Victor Haskins is presently in the process of recording over 25 of his original works as a part of two separate, concurrent projects for the SKEIN. One project is a collection of compositions which are based on his interpretations of rhythms from the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, which he learned via studying atabaque drumming while visiting Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The other project draws on internal and interpersonal work and research Haskins has completed in more recent years (a continuation of the philosophical concept behind "Showing Up").
Haskins was awarded a grant from the CultureWorks Richmond Grant Program for the 2021-22 season to produce an album for SKEIN which he will record and engineer. On the way to creating this recording, Victor Haskins & SKEIN will perform a series of free concerts for the Richmond community, thus creating a dual benefit of inviting the energy of a live, appreciative audience to give life to the audio documentation, and providing unique, high-quality, innovative music in an accessible fashion in community spaces.
Victor Haskins & SKEIN has been featured at a variety of private and public events and venues. Some of these appearances include the Henrico Jazz Festival, the Richmond Jazz Festival, Jazz on the Bluff, the Kennedy Center REACH Opening Festival, the Williamsburg Regional Library Dewey Decibel Series, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, . Victor Haskins & SKEIN have also appeared at a number of schools and educational institutions to perform and give educational presentations, including Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, William & Mary, and countless grade schools to introduce children to the power of Black music.
Additionally, some of the activities of Victor Haskins & SKEIN are supported by grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Victor Haskins & SKEIN (pictured from L to R: Will Roman, Victor Haskins,
Tony Martucci, Randall Pharr); photo by Oukolov Photography