Michael Robinson voices and colors his compositions with instrumental timbres and scale tunings from diverse world music cultures including India, Africa, the Near East, Japan, China, Korea, Bali, Java, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
He composes using traditional Western notation and programs a computer and electronic sound module to perform his music in real time without overdubbing.
I'm interested in discovering and liberating the expressive quality - the essence - of computer- performed music. I want this music to emanate from the computer in the same way other sounds emanate in nature, like wind and water. (Michael Robinson quoted in Keyboard)
Statement from Michael Robinson:
Asked about my approach to composition and performance, one thought is the reimagining of musical syntax from jazz and Indian classical music through prisms of personal temperament and body chemistry guided by raga elements. Ragas are a wondrous musical form from India believed to be based in divinity, and used as a basis for improvisation and composition with unlimited developmental potential. European classical, rock, and myriad American popular and esoteric forms are part of who I am musically, too.
Meruvina is my orchestra and instrument at once, consisting of a sound module with sampled and synthesized timbres, a computer, and miraculous software programmed to perform my compositions in real time working from fully notated scores. Meruvina is a name invented by combining my initials, MER, together with the Sanskrit word for musical instrument, vina. Mer was extended to Meru when I recalled the mythological mountain where the Hindu gods reside, Mount Meru. My reason for devising a new musical moniker came with the realization that beautiful sounding instruments deserve beautiful sounding names as opposed to technical, scientific designations. For example, we don’t call the flute the metal blowhole, or the piano the wooden-boxed, metallic-hammered mechanism!