Dharmavati

by Michael Robinson

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1.
38:10

about

Dharmavati is the fifty-ninth mela of Karnatic music. The swaras mirror the Western melodic minor scale except for the transformational presence of tivra madhyama in place of madhyama.

For the present composition, I found the mela both gentle and poignant, heavily steeped in the sounds of South Asia and Persia.

Dharmavati is the third of nine alap compositions completed in 2009 and 2010 that share the same musical setting for the through-composed melodic voice sounded by a spare piano timbre. The setting consists of a dramatic composite drone first used on Gangadhara (Bhupali) from 2002, combined with a single tanpura, Indian bells, rotating drum and rainstick.

The process of selecting which precise tone to use for shadja (tonic) for each particular raga is fascinating for me. Indian musicians use one tonal center for their entire life, but given the nature of the meruvina, I have used all twelve possibilities in my work. It is an intuitive process that filters the melodic personality of the raga together with my individual temperament, and I frequently am surprised where shadja turns up. Dharmavati is based on E flat.

- Michael Robinson, September 2010, Los Angeles

© 2010 Michael Robinson All rights reserved

www.azuremilesrecords.com/dharmavatitraycard.html

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released September 15, 2010

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Michael Robinson Los Angeles, California

“Making use of alternative tunings, and blending tradition and technology, Robinson is able to transcend cultural and spiritual boundaries.” - NewMusicBox

"...in a typical Robinson work, sound samples of acoustic instruments from multiple world cultures appear in long-form settings of powerfully hypnotic character." - textura

“A fascinating musical odyssey...vast epic compositions..." - The Idea
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