Shuddha Nat (Sagarmatha)
About this work:
Sagarmatha uses the same timbres of my last CD, Tibetan Tears, with the addition of tabla. The new recording is dedicated to Pandit Jasraj, whose disciple, Kala Ramnath, a leading Hindustani violinist, I studied with in Summer 1996. Jasraj is one of India's most revered vocalists. Over the last year I have been increasingly drawn to his recordings. In fact, I have discovered that there is no music more soothing when I am experiencing stressful situations. I mentioned this to Kala recently, and she insisted that I phone Jasraj, as she felt this was a wonderful tribute to his music. When I informed Jasraj that my absolute favorite recording of his was Rag Suddha Nat on Biswas Records, he suggested that "this rag is like your chemistry," which led me to ponder not only the emotional, spiritual and technical strata, but also the five elements in the physical plane (air, water, fire, earth and space) which Shivkumar Sharma had focused on in an interview I conducted last Spring.
Sagarmatha is born from the swaras of Bilaval thaat. There is an opening alap with kawala and balafon, followed by a gentle tabla entrance. The relative volume of the tabla is increased when the tempo is doubled once, and then once again the tempo is doubled and the tabla is given more prominence.
I find it offensive that the world's tallest mountain is known by a recent Anglican name (Everest), when there are beautiful and ancient names in Tibet and Nepal for this sacred place. Chomolungma, meaning Goddess Mother of Earth, is Tibetan, and Sagarmatha, which represents a male god, is the name from Nepal, meaning Top of the Ocean, or the highest point on earth rising above the sea.
Even though Shuddha Nat, which inspired this one-hour composition, is an evening raga, I composed most of this music in the early morning,
- Michael Robinson, June 1998, Beverly Hills
© 1998 by Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Year composed: 1998
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. Sagarmatha (Shuddha Nat) is voiced with samples of the following acoustical timbres using Indian tunings: kawala, balafon, tabla, hyoshigi and two tanpuras.