Puriya Dhanashri by Michael Robinson (Azure Miles Records)

CDeMusic review

Michael Robinson: Puriya Dhanashri (Azure Miles Records)

Michael Robinson's electronic realization of Puriya Dhanashri, the early evening raga. Robinson offers a playful, gentle opening for this challenging raga, gradually building his composition into a musical hurricane. Reflecting upon the opening sections the composer notes: "This non-traditional composition expresses wonderment (adbhuta rasa), and some fear (karuna rasa) for the mysteries and uncertainties of life. At the same time, there is a feeling of playful sensuality and joy (shringara rasa)." The featured instrumental sound on this recording is sampled Western clarinet, tuned in an Indian manner, accompanied by the sounds of Japanese kane, African kalimba, Indian tabla, dholak and dhol, drums from Indonesia (wadon, bebarongan and pelegongan), and additional percussion from China (tang gu and shu gu), Japan (wadaiko and shimedaiko), and Korea (buk and changgo). Robinson's use of the clarinet is unusual and evocative, moving it into the lower registers, and intertwining it with rainstick sounds. His use of percussion in this composition, and his angular melodies, give the work an exotic, shimmering quality.

- Joel Chadabe, CDeMusic (2002)

CDeMusic was part of the Electronic Music Foundation founded and led by Joel Chadabe