Azure Miles Records ~ The Music of Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

North Africa

Cover art is hand silkscreened paper from Japan








1. North Africa (1994) 12:18

meruvina: clavichord, harpsichord, harp and synthesizers

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2. First Instrument (1993) 12:17 (three movements)

meruvina: trumpet, strings, piano, organ, electric piano, wind bells, guitar, clarinet and percussion

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3. Rainbow Sprinkles (1994) 3:54

meruvina: harpsichord, synthesizer, vibraphone, trumpet, flute and percussion

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4. China Gem (1994) 4:06

meruvina: electric piano, violin, organ, synthesizer, timpani and percussion

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5. African Plains (1994) 4:29

Meruvina: guitar, xylophone, marimba and percussion

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6. Yucca Tree (1994) 14:08

meruvina: acoustic bass, cello, recorder, violin, celesta, marimba, electric piano, synthesizers, xylophone,
trumpet, bells, clavichord, french horn,strings, shakuhachi, electric bass, ocean waves, water bells, timpani, percussion

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All music composed and programmed by Michael Robinson for performance and recording in real time without any overdubbing or added parts.

Recorded and Mastered by Catharine Wood at the Planetwood Productions studio in Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), California.

Musicians are welcome to perform these compositions with acoustic and/or electronic instruments.


North Africa opens with an unusual cicada-like ostinato. The melodic voice, colored with an exotic tuning, moves from clavichord to harpsichord, and ends with harp.

First Instrument was named for the featured trumpet timbre, which was the first instrument I ever played, beginning at the age of nine. The trumpet is surrounded by a rich array of tone colors throughout the three contrasting movements of the piece.

Rainbow Sprinkles, inspired by a famous Brazilian melody, takes unexpected melodic and timbral turns, led by an incisive harpsichord voice.

China Gem is the last piece composed for my second version of the meruvina. (Purple Clouds, on The Forest CD, is the first piece composed for this instrument in 1989.) It was followed by Giant Leaves on my Hamoa CD in compositional sequence, featuring my third version of the meruvina. Named for a jewelry store sign I noticed while visiting San Francisco, the music incorporates some Indian tabla rhythms, making this the first of my compositions to demonstrate the influence of my studies with Harihar Rao. The music begins and ends with mysterious chords, building to a poly-rhythmic climax in-between.

African Plains combines various rhythmic ostinatos with a through-composed melodic voice.

Yucca Tree, in four movements, is a wild conflagration of diverse timbres and textures.

The music on this recording was composed in 1993 and 1994.

- Michael Robinson, December 1999, Lahaina


© 1999 Michael Robinson All rights reserved