Writings about Music

Manhattan Riches

I admire sensitivity to the purviews of disciplines outside one’s own enough to adopt such procedures as related here with rhetoric and music composition. My first year living in Manhattan found me wandering into various museums on their free nights. At MOMA, I stepped into what became a transformative room filled with canvases by Ad Reinhardt. One very tall painting in particular, Abstract Painting (Blue), appeared magically in motion, with buoyantly dancing rectangular tones of blues and greens hovering over a smoky blue backdrop. This conjured rising arpeggios and playful trills amongst other musical elements that promised to conjoin effectively. My night at the museum was to become music named Thursday Evening. Ad’s aesthetic allocutions had opened a Tamboura’s Box of shapes and energies that went beyond art into a Rheingold of musical riches ripe for plundering.

Ten years later, in 1995, another work by Reinhardt led to music that took the same name as his canvas: Red Painting.

There are fond memories of a semester spent with pioneering composer Bulent Arel from Turkey. He loved watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and was most enthusiastic about a monkey who appeared doing tricks.

- Michael Robinson, June 2016, Los Angeles

© 2016 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer.