Azure Miles Records ~ the Music of Michael Robinson
Writings about Music by Michael Robinson
Adorned with Pearl
Cover art is hand silkscreened paper from Japan
1. Trance in Bamboo (Arabic tuning) (1995) 9:22
meruvina: balafon, female voices, male voices, African, Balinese, and Chinese percussion, flute, altered tablas
2. Violet Path (Jaijaivanti) (1996) 22:22
meruvina: clarinet, tabla, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern percussion, tanpura
3. Soma Creeper (Chandra Lekha) (1996) 9:48
meruvina: oud, shahnai, hichiriki, Japanese voices and Indian, Near Eastern, African, and Balinese percussion
4. Adorned with Pearl (Basant Mukhari) (1996) 11:41
meruvina: shahnai, tabla, African harp, female voice, Balinese, Chinese and Japanese percussion, tanpura
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.
in Bamboo features
an altered African balafon timbre with an Arabic tuning riding over
a sea of percussion ostinatos. The middle section interrupts the established
rhythms with wild percussion voices. The third
section finds a flute playing the main melodic material.
Rasa, which means nectar, juice, or essence, is the single most important aspect of Indian Art Music. Each raga has its own unique personality and mood, which is filtered through the expressive prism of the renderer's personal vision.
Strangely enough, it was the rasa of Shankar's Jaijaivanti that inspired Water Stones on my Hamoa CD. This is proof that rasa transcends everything else because the swaras used in Water Stones have nothing to do with Jaijaivanti.
The expressive feeling I get from the recording by Shankar and Rakha reflects the serene and refreshing qualities of nature, and a feeling of wonderment (adbhuta rasa) for these natural beauties.
look forward to writing future compositions based on Jaijaivanti because it is a very difficult and challanging raga, which one may
spend a lifetime exploring. I consider this realization to be
a humble beginning.
Back in 1997, it was a thrill for me to have Ray Manzarek on electronic keyboard, accompanied by Souhail Kaspar, one of the finest Arabic percussionists living in the USA, on frame drum, perform this piece at the House of Blues on Sunset. Ray was kind enough to announce me as the composer before each piece, and it was a surrealistic sensation to hear recordings of my own music played at rock music levels throughout the House of Blues during intermission that evening. When Ray's name was announced before he took the stage, and he walked out to his keyboard, a chill went through the audience knowing that we were in the presence of a living musical legend.
The shahnai timbre used on Adorned with Pearl is the closest sound to my past as a saxophone improvisor. For that reason, I feel a special affinity for the instrument, and have surrounded it with a wide range of wood, skin, and metal percussion voices.
All the music on this recording was composed in 1996, except for Trance in Bamboo, which was written in 1995.
- Michael Robinson, July 1999, Beverly Hills
© 1999 by Michael Robinson All rights reserved