Browsing articles from "April, 2011"

Like in a Song.

By Robbi  //  Like in a Song  //  4 Comments

“This Pearl abides in all the pearls like in a song.”

Lila is being initiated into the pearls of ancient wisdom by the High Priestess of her clan. “Like in a song” captures the content of her lesson on the nature of life. The content of this song can best be described, using an excerpt from the book I have written and am preparing to publish. Here it is:

“The fourth Hermetic Principle called; the Principle of Vibration – tells us that “nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.” Thoughts, mental images and emotions are nothing more than a series of vibrations in the field of consciousness. Even matter is understood to be a collection of vibrations, seemingly coagulated like condensed sunlight. It is the nature of vibration that obliges the quantum physicist to poetically acclaim that we live in a musical universe. Vibration gives us life, energy, sound, color, temperature, harmony and, most importantly to our own understanding of quantum healing, the law of attraction. The law of attraction is based on the physics of harmony. The greater the degree of harmony existing between two bodies the greater the force of attraction. In other words the law of attraction makes itself known through the phenomena called sympathetic vibration.”

So this lesson that Lila is getting will, if she thoroughly integrates it into her consciousness, prepare her for the subtle disintegration of physical form that would happen when she eventually passes through the wormhole between the parallel universes to make contact with her soul mate, the Viking Boy. At this stage of the story though, neither of them know that this event lies in their future. Here Kripa, Roland and myself are seen recording the seed idea for this song. (a part of it can also heard in video 1)

Hopefully it grows into something worthy of the wisdom words it is designed to carry.

shine on


Lyres and Bones

By Robbi  //  Lyres and Bones  //  1 Comment

My research into Viking instrumentation led me to the Lyre.

So i picked up the guitar and imagined what sort of music would be played by a few guys sitting around playing lyres on a lazy evening.  Firstly i began with parts that use only two or three strings on the guitar, and played them in a picking style to imitate  what a lyre player would have to do. I decided on the Fender Stratocaster for the sound.  I played these parts for a few minutes and then recorded them, all the while waiting for a vocal melody to arise from the interlocking  lyre-like parts.  Unfortunately nothing came to me that i really liked – so this little ditty will stay like this for a while.


Then Sam Wilmore a local drummer and healer came over for a visit and, since that i was in record mode, we decided to let him at it with percussion and drums.  Almost instinctively Sam reached for the “Bone tambourine”  that was made especially for me by local artisan Doug McKearn (see pic). Lyres and bones …mmm …this is very viking!  I was happy with the simplicity with which Sam approached the percussion arrangements. Even though he made his way through the many drums i have lying around – Indian, Turkish, Celtic and African – he managed to keep it very simple and open so as to let the guitar parts breathe.  Sam is great with this – he has had much experience playing in time to my delays and  line 6 looper where i build layers of interlocking parts live – much like this little ditty.

Toward the end i am trying to reign the piece in, so as to give it more of a rock arrangement, by using a thick ascending line played on a nasty distorted guitar. Finally i begin a modal guitar solo and bring back in, under it, the harmony melodies from earlier in the arrangement. This creates a cacophony of lyres and rock guitars.  It’s really fun to listen to this tail end as if  listening right though it, and not  to any one part in particular. It gets a three dimensional quality and a spaciousness between all the parts as they revolve around each other.

In the background all through the ditty you can hear the desert wind howling and whistling though our windows…mmm a gift from Thor? …The next day it snowed in the desert!


Amritakripa, beloved muse and first mate.

By Robbi  //  Amritakripa, Love  //  9 Comments

There comes a time in every musician’s life when, like in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the wind dies down and the ship stands idle -- “like a painted ship upon a painted ocean” and prayers are deterred by a “wicked whisper” that makes his heart “as dry as dust.”  A “weary time,” as the Mariner growled with hoarse voice….”a weary time.”   At the height of the Mariner’s dark time, a prayer arises from his depth, and he blesses the slimey creatures unawares. It is this spontaneous blessing that causes the wind to blow and bring his ship back to shore.  For me the spontaneous blessing came as ” a dew of immortal grace,” which is the meaning of the word Amritakripa.

Here is the story:

The first piece of music in this little documentary is an instrumental piece we just finished called ‘The Stirring’. The next music is a short excerpt of a song from Kripa’s second album, ‘Dancing Lotus’ -- the song is called Shakti.  The final piece of music, in which Kripa is drumming, playing keys and singing, is the first piece about the viking boy.  In this piece Kripa and i attempt to create the strange viking harmonies by singing a single note that remains constant even across the chord changes while the melody of the lead voice  follows the chords.

In the final black and white shot of Kripa and myself (a moment captured by Andre Wilms) Richard Stuverud is seen in the background -- his image and the image in the lyric are perfect together  “the seaweed lies like dripping hair, upon the rocky shore” -- nice coincidence.

On a final note -- i remind myself,  my friends and Saraswati, the goddess of music that it was the Ancient Mariner’s own actions, by his decision to shoot the albatross, that brought upon him and his shipmates  the “weary time” -- and so i do not blame anyone for those, my days of weariness in the doldrums that brought my ship to a painted ocean. In truth i am now even grateful, for out of it came the sweetest of all blessings and the dew of immortal grace!

Shine on!


Hear Richard Burton read the Rime of the Ancient mariner. This is my number one CD of all time.

Incidentally it is this reading that inspired the song Ice Below

A commentary on The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner: