Ordering Suggestions from Michael Robinson
My music is intended for close, even meditational listening, with elements of both adbhuta rasa (exhilaration) and shanta rasa (tranquility). There is an expressive feel different from live musicians that may deter some, but hopefully, you will give my medium an opportunity beyond that traditional expectation, and allow the import of the music to manifest.
For an introduction to my music, I suggest any of the CDs from the first two categories. These CDs represent my current musical direction, which uses the meruvina and Indian ragas as a basis for composition. That said, Chinese Legend (1997), Kaunsi Kanada (2000) and Darbari Kanada (2007) are good places to start. The Listening Earth (1998), a compilation of shorter compositions, is also a good introduction to my music.
If you visit the individual CDs on the homepage, there is information regarding specific instrumentation, and liner notes explaining the aesthetic and technical nature of the music.
All Azure Miles CDs manifest a continuum of my experiences and perceptions of the inner and outer worlds through the realm of music. The recordings are divided into five main categories as follows:
Post-Raga CDs for Meruvina
Music that is not based on specific ragas, yet exhibits a strong influence from my previous use of ragas.
CDs for Meruvina Based on Indian Ragas
Music that uses Indian ragas as a basis for composition, simultaneously engaging your intellect, and inducing a trancelike state.
CDs for Meruvina Based on Alap
Alap, which translates to mean evocation, or conversation with God, is the opening section of Indian ragas. The musical profile and rasa are presented by a melodic voice floating over a tanpura or tanpuras. There is no tempo or percussion used in these CDs. Indians compare alap to the void that existed the world was created. The 2000 series CDs listed in this section were composed before I became involved with Indian classical music, yet they anticipate the form and feeling of alap. The 3000 and 4000 series CDs listed here are actual alaps. Please note that almost all of the CDs based upon ragas begin with alap before continuing with jor, jhala and gats, the later featuring percussion. If you happen to be looking for a CD to fall asleep to, Inspiration Point is extremely effective. Just set your CD player to repeat, and the hour-long piece will lull you away. What's great is that it is also interesting to listen to on an intellectual level if you are prepared for doing that. After hearing Inspiration Point in concert, a journalist approached me to enthuse that Inspiration Point was one of the greatest pieces of music he had ever heard.
Pre-Raga CDs for Meruvina
The 2000 series features music composed during the five years prior to my study of Indian classical music. These compositions are highly colorful, rhythmic and contrapuntal, containing elements from both Western and World Music, including some tunings other than equal temperment.
CDs with Meruvina Realizations of Compositions Originally for Acoustic Instruments
These are meruvina realizations of my second and third symphonies for orchestra, and second and third string quartets. Rather than attempting to recreate the sounds of a symphony orchestra and string quartet, I used the meruvina found on the 2000 series to create glockenspiel and vibraphone timbres chosen for their spare, transparent nature. The music is extremely contrapuntal and energetic, and you will notice traces of musical characteristics that define my later works.
The Lotus Girl and The Abode of Joy each contain five of my earliest compositions, including the first piece I ever wrote: Promenade des Tortues, which is really fun to listen to, and the last piece I wrote for live musicians, Demesne, which is also a lot of fun to listen to.
Other compositions originally for live musicians include two Piano Sonatas, four One-Act Music Dramas, a song cycle, numerous songs for voice and piano, and miscellaneous works, all of which I hope to make available in the future.