Writings about Music
Our Collective Solitude and Beyond
This crucial concept of solitude is germane to all music. The classical music of India has alap, which Harihar Rao told me is about touching a color. Or in British rock, the Rolling Stones’ most moving song beginning with solitude is Angie, with the opposite energy being Sympathy for the Devil.
One ingenious semblance pertaining to the raga form of India, which I have frequently turned to for compositional models, is how it echoes the process of physical intimacy between two persons, or the spiritual journey of an individual, sometimes culminating in what may be described as a hair-raising ride through the mountains.
Ravi Shankar, Harihar Rao and Yehudi Menuhin
Guillaume de Machaut is the composer whose depiction of solitude has engaged me the most is recent years, brought to my attention by Steve Reich. For the opposite extreme, there’s nothing that matches the solo tabla drumming of India.
Honu Morning visits the concept of touch a color found in the alap form of Indian classical music.
- Michael Robinson, August 2016, Los Angeles
© 2016 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer, programmer, jazz pianist and musicologist. His 198 albums include 151 albums for meruvina and 47 albums of piano improvisations. Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University Long Beach and Dominguez Hills.