Writings about Music
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and Tim Maher visiting an Indian village (photo © 1974 Tim Maher)
Dawn and twilight are a central experience for North Indian classical music. Ragas for these magical times are named Sandhi Prakash, with Sandhi meaning junction and Prakash denoting light, together describing the transitional meeting place of day and night.
For myself, Sandhi Prakash ragas are often the most abstract and fantastical sounding, further removed from Western music than any others. For this reason, I challenged myself in late 1997 and early 1998 to attempt compositions based upon two Sandi Prakash ragas, including ambitious durations of an hour each. Work on Lunar Mansions and Luminous Realms began at the home of Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and Amy Catlin, having been invited to stay there and watch over their home – some referred to it as The House of Culture – while they were away for months in India.
After his passing, I wrote about my transformative time at the Jairazbhoy-Catlin home, indeed magical, this essay becoming one of the most widely read accounts of Nazir's remarkable life and work - Finding Nazir: the Precious Generosity of Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy.
- Michael Robinson, August 2017, Los Angeles
© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and musicologist. His 169 albums include 149 albums for meruvina and 20 albums of piano improvisations. He has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University.