Indian Ocean

by Michael Robinson

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There are few manifestations of nature more lovely than the dawn.

The pristine calm of morning has inspired the creation/discovery of some of North India's most tender ragas, including Nat Bhairav, which was the inspiration for Indian Ocean.

It was a recording by the late sitarist, Nikhil Banerjee, accompanied on tabla by Anindo Chatterjee, which revealed the full beauty of this South Indian-derived raga for me.

My definition of raga? "Timeless, individual melodic jewels possessing spiritual resonance and unlimited developmental potential."

While listening to the opening of my newly completed composition, I had the sensation of sailing on the Indian Ocean on a fresh, sunny morning caressed by gentle breezes, thus the title.

The main melodic voice for Indian Ocean is a sitar timbre. Also featured are new tabla, dholak and dhol timbres which I am using here for the first time.

Departing from the particular tanpura drone used on my last four CDs, I have intertwined two different and complimentary tanpura patterns which move at different layas.

After much searching for a poetic excerpt to place on the back of my new CD, I found a line from an unpublished (during his lifetime) poem by Yeats:

From the waves the Sun hath reeled

It is difficult to know in advance which artist will release the essence of a particular raga for me. In gratitude to Nikhil Banerjee for his gift of Nat Bhairav, I have dedicated Indian Ocean to his memory.

For the first time, I have used hand woodblock printed cotton paper from India for the CD cover. All previous CDs used hand silkscreen printed papers from Japan.

- Michael Robinson, June 1999, Los Angeles

© 1999 by Michael Robinson All rights reserved


released June 11, 1999



all rights reserved


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

" 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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