Writings about Music
He or she appeared suddenly one afternoon last week in Aspen, it being evident I had been more of a surprise than a disturbance since the brown and beige grasshopper seemed genuinely curious, perhaps even enjoying some unexpected companionship. You see, I had ventured off a rustic path to tinkle, and shortly before completion the grasshopper appeared, perhaps even amused by my thoughtless brazenness while being thankfully completely dry.
There was also a memorable performance by an air-borne Putnam’s Cicada another day in nearby Ashcroft, a genuine ghost town framed by golden trees in their autumn beauty even though it was still summer. This bright yellow-hued individual was less gracious than the grasshopper, weaving towards me like an enraged moose while projecting an impressive bordering on alarming percussive assertiveness reminiscent of emphatic Cuban wooden claves. Together with the sounds of myriad creeks rushing by at various tempos – each creek has its own subtle timbral distinctiveness – and the varied leaf rustling of different trees related to the speed and directionality of their breeze or wind duet partner, the stirrings of a new composition were planted even if this unknown will have to wait its place on line, there already being several ahead of it waiting relatively patiently for actualization.
Yellow Chandelier ends with a Chinese ban gu mischievously masquerading as a cicada performing glissandi in swaramandala fashion.
Poppy, who once gifted me a toy wand on Hanukkah, has something in common with Hariprasad Chaurasia, a flute player so great as to draw comparisons to Krishna - both began as professional wrestlers before finding their chosen paths!
- Michael Robinson, September 2018, Los Angeles
© 2018 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).