Writings about Music

A Demon's Leisure from Yeats

View from the East 65th Street and First Avenue apartment in Manhattan where Michael Robinson lived from January 1985 to May 1990. The first music for Meruvina was composed here.


A Demon's Leisure moves at a furious pace, from the opening percussion, to the frantic bass voice ostinato, to the spinning arabesques of the main melodic voice. Both the composition and performance realization were completed in my East 65th Street studio in Manhattan during May 1988. On the tenth floor, and in the back of the building facing east towards the East River, this was a most conducive, quiet place for creative work. Daytime views were invigorating, and nighttime was enchanting. Most of my time was spent here except for several trips a year to Maui. In addition to music, I loved visiting museums and jogging in Central Park.

My title comes a passage in The Wanderings of Oisin: Book II by William Butler Yeats:

He slowly turned:
A demon's leisure: eyes, first white, now burned
Like wings of kingfishers; and he arose

Here is the Meruvina transcription from the Snow and Wood album, and the original Meruvina version from the album of the same name, A Demon's Leisure.


- Michael Robinson, January 2021, Los Angeles


© 2021 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).