Inspiration Point

Michael Robinson

About this work:
Inspiration Point is one of the extended pieces written before I began studying India’s raga form. The inspiration to write long, meditative compositions began after hearing a performance of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet, performed by the Kronos String Quartet in 1980 at CalArts. However, I was unable to find a way to realize my idea until hearing a concert of North Indian classical vocal music at Washington Square Church in Manhattan in 1987. That performance conveyed to me the unique mixture of rasa and timelessness, which are the essential elements of the opening alap section of the raga form. Hearing this music in person actually taught me how I could begin writing long, meditative compositions. Someday I plan to research and find out who those performers were who had this great influence on my musical life. The first composition that utilized my new insights was Cave Pond, from 1987, which has not yet been released. Some of the extended pieces that followed reached extraordinary lengths of three hours (Tropical Sun), six hours (Distant Times), and even twelve hours (Mer). Two recordings featuring works, which are part of this group, are Sea of France and Dark Yellow, in addition to the present recording. Almost two years after moving to Los Angeles in October 1990, I visited Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades one summer afternoon. There is a winding trail you can follow up to the top of a mountain with exceptional panoramic views of the ocean, mountains and city. It was in this setting, with a perfect combination of warming sun, cool breezes and a fine ether-like mist rising from the ocean, that I heard and felt the continuous resonance and embracing melodic voice that became Inspiration Point. The music is scored entirely for synthesized strings. In this and the other related pieces I have mentioned, my deep attraction to the alap section of the raga form was anticipated. Tibetan Tears (Nagamani) and Astral Palace (Malkauns) are two recordings released after my raga studies, which are pure alap, without any percussion instruments. - Michael Robinson, May 2000, Beverly Hills, California © 2000 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Year composed: 1991
Duration: 01:00:51
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. Inspiration Point is voiced with synthesized strings using equal temperment tuning.

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