Rajasthani Spring by Michael Robinson - textura review

"Drawing upon his half-Russian ancestry and the strong Indian classical influences in his work, Michael Robinson has christened his latest work Rajasthani Spring, a title that also suits the effervescent character of the piece. As discussed in Robinson's recent textura interview, the seed for Rajasthani Spring was planted serendipitously when he heard Caribou's “Second Chance” (featuring vocals by Jessy Lanza) during a visit to Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard; suitably entranced, Robinson purchased Caribou's Our Love and, using the aforementioned song as inspiration, developed a rasa that blossomed into the work as a whole. As he has in his previous works, Robinson again uses his customized meruvina to generate a global orchestra, with kawala, biwa, kane, gu, furin bell, tabla, dholak, dhol, and ghatam bols among the instrument sounds involved."

"After opening with an alluring, low-pitched flute trill, the full ensemble enters a mere twelve seconds into the piece, the flute now accompanied in the work's first section by a dizzying phalanx of hand drums as well as tamboura drone and motorik funk groove. Interspersed between the flute's ecstatic expressions and the roiling percussive flow are ear-catching percussive effects that intensify the music's mesmerizing quality, percussive treatments that persist into the second section alongside the wild, roller coaster-like vocalizings of a bowed string kamanche from Turkey and the metallic tinkle of the furin bell. As the piece advances into an uproarious episode spearheaded by the light-speed glissandi of the Japanese kane, it's clear that one of the most appealing aspects of Rajasthani Spring is the irrepressible spirit of joy and celebration it exudes, as well as its infectious dance-like character. Refreshingly free of anything one might call dour or lugubrious, the work teems with positivity."

- textura, September 2015

textura is a Canadian music publication