Writings About Music

Aural Memory

Visiting Aspen a few weeks ago, there was an American Roots trio (not sure if they call it bluegrass in Colorado!) of acoustic bass, mandolin/fiddle and female lead singer playing for free in the airy lobby of a hotel I wandered into one evening. Their music was so powerful and moving, in a profoundly understated vein, I began imagining how some of these elements might be transmitted into a new composition. If so, I will have to rely upon my aural memory because the albums I purchased from them didn’t quite posses the spark of magic heard that evening. Possibilities include use of related timbres, melodies, rhythms, and, most elusive of all – spirit. Finding new connections is part of what music is about, not to mention being, perhaps, the concept that saves the world.

Come to think of it, the Korean gayageum timbre used in Emerald Anklets bears some relation to the American banjo.



- Michael Robinson, August 2017, Los Angeles


© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


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