Nat Bhairav (Indian Ocean)
About this work:
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
Chaterjee, 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.
For a while I debated whether to put three different tracks on the
CD for the opening alap, the percussion entrance and the doubling of
tempo. This would be for those occasions when the listener only wishes
to hear a particular section. However, since the one-hour piece is
continuous, I decided to leave it as one track, which is the most
effective way to hear the gradual evolution of Indian Ocean,
and my other extended pieces.
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my new CD, I found a line from an unpublished (during his lifetime)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, Beverly Hills
© 1999 by Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Year composed: 1999
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Live Electronic Sound Sources
Instrumentation: ,1 Computer/Laptop soloist(s), ,1 Sampler (Keyboard/Other) soloist(s)
Instrumentation notes: A computer and sound module are programmed to perform the fully notated composition in real time. Indian Ocean (Nat Bhairav) is voiced with samples of the following acoustical timbres using Indian tunings: sitar, tabla, dholak, dhol and two tanpuras.