Cover art is handmade paper from India
1. Bhairava (2009) 51.12
Meruvina: piano, Indian bells, rotating drum, rainstick, three tanpuras
As noted in my essay, Fence Sounds, Bhairava is the composition that followed California Spring (Suryakanta). Originally, my idea was to use Mayamalavagaula mela from Karnatic music as a basis for a new work. The intent, as with California Spring, was to move from Hindustani ragas, which I have studied, to the more abstract realm of Karnatic melas. However, while working on the piece, I was drawn into the world of Bhairava, which shares the same swaras as Mayamalavagaula, and it was futile to resist. Bhairava is so revered in Hindustani music that it is known as the first raga, a musical embodiment of Shivas most awe-inspiring incarnation. Indeed, I found the raga fantastically powerful and mysterious, both forbidding and gentle. It had me under its magical spell.
My composition is pure alap, using a piano timbre colored with Indian bells, rotating drum and rainstick all moving within three tanpuras.
- Michael Robinson, February 2010, Los Angeles