Michael Robinson

The magical radiance of the Bhimpalasi raga inspired the music. It also inspired the following description in the Sangita-Raga-Kalpadruma: “With wide eyes and fragrant with celestial flowers, Bhimapalashri, the sages tell, sings with her deep voice to the lute. Her lovely form is the embodiment of art.” I find that this mid-afternoon raga reaches deeply into our hopes, dreams and memories with a vision of mystical adventure, blissful union and ecstasy.

Alap / the opening
Jor and Jhala / the first part and the rhythms
Vilambit, Madhya and Drut Gats / a slow mood



Ragas can give life to long compositions, which is why Bhimpalasi is published in three CDs. The first CD, the opening, is performed with kemanche, Indian bells, jing, and two tanpuras. The second CD, more rhythmic and lively, is performed with kemanche, wind bell, and two tanpuras. And the third CD is performed with kemanche, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese percussion, two tanpuras. Each has its rhythms and sounds.

My alap adds Indian bells to the tracings of the meditative kemanche. In homage to my teacher, Pandit Jasraj, I have included the Korean jing intoning the phrase, “Om, Vishnu,” a prayer for the Hindu God of Preservation and Protection, at the places where the kemanche pauses. The music on this, and the other two CDs, begins and ends with two tanpuras strumming their individual phrases like waves upon the ocean shore.

- Michael Robinson, September 2001, Los Angeles (excerpted from original liner notes)