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North Africa

by Michael Robinson

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North Africa 12:21
China Gem 04:01
Yucca Tree 14:06


North Africa opens with an unusual cicada-like ostinato. The melodic voice, colored with an exotic tuning, moves from clavichord to harpsichord, and ends with harp.

First Instrument was named for the featured trumpet timbre, which was the first instrument I ever played, beginning at the age of nine. The trumpet is surrounded by a rich array of tone colors throughout the three contrasting movements of the piece.

Rainbow Sprinkles, inspired by a famous Brazilian melody, takes unexpected melodic and timbral turns, led by an incisive harpsichord voice.

China Gem is the last piece composed for my second version of the meruvina. (Purple Clouds, on The Forest CD, is the first piece composed for this instrument in 1989.) It was followed by Giant Leaves on my Hamoa CD in compositional sequence, featuring my third version of the meruvina. Named for a jewelry store sign I noticed while visiting San Francisco, the music incorporates some Indian tabla rhythms, making this the first of my compositions to demonstrate the influence of my studies with Harihar Rao. The music begins and ends with mysterious chords, building to a poly-rhythmic climax in-between.

African Plains combines various rhythmic ostinatos with a through-composed melodic voice.

Yucca Tree, in four movements, is a wild conflagration of diverse timbres and textures.

The music on this recording was composed in 1993 and 1994.

- Michael Robinson, December 1999, Lahaina

© 1999 Michael Robinson All rights reserved



released December 11, 1999

All music composed, programmed and mixed by Michael Robinson

Recorded and mastered by Catharine Wood at Planetwood Studios


all rights reserved



Michael Robinson Los Angeles, California

"Very nice - swings good! It's great doing the whole thing yourself. I just go in and play, and the rest is out of my hands." (Lee Konitz)

"He has amazing success bringing to life music performed by a computer." (Dean Suzuki, SFSU)

"No telling where he's going to spin off to, but he's an original." (Village VOICE)

"Michael Robinson makes great music." (Pandit Jasraj)
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