Azure Miles Records ~ The Music of Michael Robinson

 

Michael Robinson

Kanakangi

Cover art is handmade paper from India

 

 

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1. Kanakangi (2009) 37.11

meruvina: piano, Indian bells, rotating drum, rainstick, synthesizer, tanpura

 

 

 

All music composed and programmed by Michael Robinson for performance and recording in real time without any overdubbing or added parts.

Recorded and Mastered by Catharine Wood at the Planetwood Productions studio in Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), California.

Live musicians are welcome to perform these compositions with acoustic and/or electronic instruments.

 

 

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Kanakangi is the first mela of Karnatic music. It is believed to have been the primary mela at least five-hundred years ago, and that is astonishing because it is practically unknown to Western ears, and most Indian ears of our time. That may not last, however, because I found it to be utterly seductive in both a melodic sense, and the manner which it accentuates the tunings I employ. I cannot imagine creative musicians not wanting to use Kanakangi if they knew about it. 
 
Kanakangi is the sixth of nine alap compositions completed in 2009 and 2010 that share the same musical setting for the through-composed melodic voice sounded by a piano timbre.
In effect, the result is as much Vedic Chant as music. The setting consists of a dramatic compostie drone first used on Gangadhara (Bhupali) from 2002, combined with a single tanpura, Indian bells, rotating drum and rainstick. 
 
The process of selecting which precise tone to use for shadja (tonic) for each particular raga is fascinating for me. Indian musicians use one tonal center for their entire life, but given the nature of the meruvina, I have used all twelve possibilities in my work. It is an intuitive process that filters the melodic personality of the raga together with my individual temperament, and I frequently am surprised where shadja turns up. Kanakangi is based on B flat. 
 
- Michael Robinson, September 2010, Los Angeles 

© 2010 Michael Robinson All rights reserved