Writings about Music
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and Tim Maher visiting an Indian village (photo © 1974 Tim Maher)
Dawn and twilight are a central experience for Indian classical music. Ragas for these magical times are named Sandhi Prakash, with Sandhi meaning junction and Prakash denoting light, together describing the transitional meeting place of day and night.
For myself, Sandhi Prakash ragas are often the most abstract and fantastical sounding, further removed from Western music than any others. For this reason, I challenged myself in late 1997 and early 1998 to attempt compositions based upon two Sandi Prakash ragas, including ambitious durations of an hour each. Work on Lunar Mansions and Luminous Realms began at the home of Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy, having been invited to stay there and watch over his home – some referred to it as The House of Culture – while he was away for months in India.
After his passing, I wrote about my transformative time at Nazir’s home, indeed magical, this essay becoming one of the most widely read accounts of his remarkable life and work - Finding Nazir: the Precious Generosity of Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy.
- Michael Robinson, August 2017, Los Angeles
© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).