Michael Robinson

Kamavardhani

Cover art is handmade paper from India

 

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1. First Gat 10.15

meruvina: piano, tabla, dholak, dhol, Indian bells, rotating drum, tanpura

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2. Second Gat 10.14

meruvina: piano, tabla, dholak, dhol, Indian bells, rotating drum, tanpura

 

3. Third Gat 10.06

meruvina: piano, tabla, dholak, dhol, Indian bells, rotating drum, tanpura

 

4. Fourth Gat 10.03

meruvina: piano, tabla, dholak, dhol, Indian bells, rotating drum, tanpura

 

Kamavardhai is the fifty-first mela of Karnatic music. It shares the same swaras as Bhairava in Hindustani music, with the notable difference of tivra madhyama in place of madhayama. 
 
After completing two alap compositions, I was eager to return to percussion writing with this piece that features four pairings of piano with a composite drum voice drawn from tabla, dholak and dhol timbres. 
 
Among my earliest compositions made when I was an undergraduate are works featuring much a similar plan of one melody voice with percussion even though I was not cognizant, let alone knowledgeable, about Indian classical music at the time. 
 
Beginning with a slow gat, the four gats of Kamavardhani exhibit an increase in tempo, with the fourth gat moving like a flash. 
 
For myself, there is nothing in music more basic and challenging than presenting pure melody and rhythm in such a transparent manner. 
 
- Michael Robinson, September 2010, Los Angeles

© 2010 Michael Robinson All rights reserved