Writings about Music

Allowing My Thoughts

Michael Robinson in his Manhattan apartment in 1987. He began composing music for the Meruvina there in 1985.

Soon after I became involved with using computers to make music, I learned it was forbidden by prevailing conventions to use the sounds of acoustic instruments performed by a computer because it was believed that method was owned exclusively by traditional musicians. However, it seemed natural for me to disregard such artificial restrictions because of the unique expressive and technical vistas that beckoned beyond anything such reactionary views might imagine. I even found using the Meruvina was more relevant in the present time for using such timbres in the context of Western classical composition.

An approach to life imparted by my Jewish parents, complimented by my Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish teachers in New York and Los Angeles, encouraged instinctual creative and intellectual exploration uninhibited by irrelevant conformities while allowing my thoughts to hurtle through space at my own tempo, not slowing down for those too slow to catch on - we only live once.

- Michael Robinson, December 2019, Los Angeles

This writing was inspired by the following thought from New York Times columnist Bret Stephens: "But as the story of the Lithuanian rabbi suggests, Jewish genius operates differently. It is prone to question the premise and rethink the concept; to ask why (or why not?) as often as how; to see the absurd in the mundane and the sublime in the absurd. Where Jews’ advantage more often lies is in thinking different".


© 2019 Michael Robinson All rights reserved

Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).