Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Instrument: Electronics | Location: Los Angeles

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, legendary alto saxophonist

Updated: July 22, 2021

Born: March 11, 1956

Michael Robinson brings his Indian raga-styled compositions into being using the Meruvina, in essence a software-hardware mix that enables him to perform his fully notated scores in real time; in a typical Robinson work, sound samples of acoustic instruments from multiple world cultures appear in long-form settings of powerfully hypnotic character.

Michael was born in Manhattan at French Hospital, and grew up in Borough Park (Brooklyn), North Merrick (Long Island), and Wantagh (Long Island), graduating from Wantagh High. He received a BM in Composition from Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and also studied at CalArts and Tanglewood.

Robinson's composition teachers have included Steve Reich, John Cage, David Lewin, Morton Feldman, Salvatore Martirano, Mel Powell, and Leonard Stein. His jazz teachers include Lee Konitz, Paul Jeffrey, and Ken McIntyre. Indian classical music teachers include Harihar Rao (the senior disciple of Ravi Shankar), Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy, Pandit Jasraj, and Anindo Chatterjee.

The music of Michael Robinson is represented to date by 147 albums for Meruvina, and 7 albums of piano improvisations, all on Azure Miles Records.

Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University. His writings about music have been used by Carnegie Hall and MIT publications, classes at NYU, CalArts and UC Berkeley, and are included in the Bob Dylan Archive in Oklahoma.

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Multiple Reviews
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”These acoustic recordings showcase another facet of Robinson's musicianship. They are as exciting and sui generis as anything Robinson has produced. They're also a testament to his consummate artistry no matter what “tool” he uses, computer or piano.” (Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz)

“Robinson's sense of timing, phrasing, form, and flow guide listeners toward his alternative vision. His music has the clarity and ingenuousness of Chinese brush painting, some of the hard geometric edginess of Kandinsky, and a detached, ethereal, and abstract quality that nonetheless seems bound to the tight forms found in some abstract Expressionist paintings.” (Titus Levi, Keyboard)

“Making use of alternative tunings, and blending tradition and technology, Robinson is able to transcend cultural and spiritual boundaries.” (Amanda MacBlane, NewMusicBox)

“The main thing is that his music is a definite grower

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Frank Sinatra
voice / vocals
John Coltrane
saxophone
Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Jackie McLean
saxophone, alto
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto

Links

Michael Robinson Albums