Writings About Music

Climbing Rocks and Colored Stones

Michael Robinson

Climbing rocks and examining the rainbow of colors found in stones have been passions and fascinations of mine since childhood. One may correlate multitudinous hues of semi-precious and precious stones with shifting swaras of the saptak. Western composers and Indian classical musicians have sometimes found semblances between music and color. With compositions like Amethyst Labyrinth, Ruby Soul, Emerald Anklets, Peridot Pond, Carnelian Compass, Pink Sapphire and Onyx Sands, one particular phase between October 2011 and July 2012, I meditated upon alluring pigmentations together with historical and cultural resonances as a starting point in search of purely musical abstraction.


Amethyst Labyrinth


Ruby Soul


Emerald Anklets


Peridot Pond


Onyx Sands


Carnelian Compass



My Spiritual High interview with the astoundingly magnificent santoor artist Shivkumar Sharma touched upon the subject of the striking rings he wears.


Michael Robinson and Shivkumar Sharma


Do the gold chains and rings you wear have any special significance, perhaps from your guru?

It has a special significance.  I’m very fortunate that I’m blessed by Sathya Sai Baba.  I don’t know whether you have heard about him.

A little.

So I have been going to Baba for more than thirty years, so time to time.  We believe he’s an incarnation. That is the kind of experience I have got all these years.  Experience of this kind.  For example, I’ll give you an example.  I’m talking to you now.  He’s sitting in Southern India somewhere in a village.  He lives there.  It could be possible if I meet him after three months, he will exactly narrate that Mike asked you this question, and you answered this.  This is what I have experienced.  His omnipresence.  And there are umpteen number of experiences which I personally went through.  And these rings, what I wear, are materialized by him.  Now this is something which people who have not experienced will never believe, so mostly I don’t discuss it.  But you have asked me this question.  So materialized means created from nowhere.  These two rings are materialized by him.

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Pandit Jasraj has related similar stories to me, and the special regard I have for both Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Jasraj is indicated by the photos of them displayed in my home. Both their musics have utterly transformed me.

- Michael Robinson, May 2017, Los Angeles


© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer, programmer, jazz pianist and musicologist. His 170 albums include 150 albums for meruvina and 20 albums of piano improvisations. Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University.