Writings About Music
The most important genre is great music. With life being so fleeting, there isn’t time for any other kind. While I often disagree with his aesthetic views, I admire Jon Pareles for stating that his favorite album of all time will hopefully be one arriving in the mail today. Thus, we are constantly auditioning new musical artists in search of new procreations dwelling within the ultimate genre, together with keeping close to what we’ve already recognized as such. Sadly, much of superior merit will pass over our heads simply because it requires a degree of preparation and orientation. For example, I was attracted to Indian classical music initially, but it was only after I was extremely fortunate to study with Harihar Rao, the senior disciple of Ravi Shankar, that I began to listen with a more significant degree of depth and understanding. Similarly, it was only after I had become familiar with the song, How High the Moon, that I was able to perceive the mind and soul of Charlie Parker, keeping the original melody in my head while simultaneously marveling at the variations he spun around it. And the music of Stravinsky caused great consternation when first heard as a child, being as unfamiliar with his melodies and harmonies as I would have been with the tastes and textures of Japanese uni or Korean kimchi!
- Michael Robinson, September 2017, Los Angeles
© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).