Love, the making of.

By Robbi  //  Love  //  27 Comments


This album will be my first  solo album.  Although I am the music director for  the band tribe after tribe the approach to this album is something altogether different. Firstly tribe after tribe is “african acid rock” based and considered to be one of the pioneers of world rock.  So in a sense when i write for tribe i keep these african rock parameters in mind so that there is some kind of continuity between albums. For this album the challenge will be to stay away from my africanisms.  As a musician i have always been interested in ethnic music of the world,  i have studied turkish music, Indian music, classical baroque , jazz and i play many different instruments from various cultures. My deepest relationship has been with the Saraswati Vina.  ( i am waiting to grow up so i can approach the Rudra Vina next)

Robbi with the vina

Also I am blessed to have had some wonderful music teachers in  my life from Mike Dickman to Mrs Moss (trinity college in south africa) from Alan Kwela to Alan Weinberg and many more.

So now with the making of the Love album i am venturing into three realms of music that i have not used in a rock context before namely -- celtic music and music of the vikings ;  then applying baroque fugal techniques for  the arrangements.   Unfortunetly there isn’t much viking music to draw on -- we do know that they used flutes made of bone and they had hand drums.

Viking flutes

Viking flutes

Modern commentators describe the melodies of the Vikings as “eerie,” because the harmony is one that is unfamiliar to modern ears. The strangeness of  the singing of the Vikings, has been compared to the howling of wolves or dogs. Though their melodies are beautiful,  the major third was regarded as a dissonant interval in the early Middle Ages in Europe because most European music at the time utilized Pythagorean tuning, which gives pure fifths, but very nasty thirds.

Here is a pic and score of one of the earliest Scandinavian pieces of music discovered.

Viking score

Viking score





The text reads:

“i dreamt a dream last night
of silk and fur.”

It is the oldest preserved piece of music known in Denmark.

Here is pic and score of an earlier piece of music that scholars believe sheds light on the music of the vikings.

De la borde

The hymn is written for a two-voices  in the Lydian mode and harmonized in parallel thirds. This is known as a parallel organum in thirds, one of the earliest polyphonic forms. In the northern parts of of Britain,  the people who inhabit these parts use a similar kind of singing in harmony  but with  only two distinct melodies and parts, one murmuring below, the other charming the ear above. Since the English do not generally use this manner of singing,  it is believed that the vikings, who often occupied these parts of the island brought this special manner of singing to the northerners.  So on this album you will hear this stylistic idea being used especially on the first song about the Boy who is from a Viking Ship.

De la borde

One source of viking musical evidence comes from  a book written by Jean-Baptise de la Borde, Essai sur la Musique Ancienne et Moderne. In his book, Borde included five tunes to Old Norse texts, which he said were “as they today are sung in Iceland.” Iceland being so remote maintained the language of the Vikings almost unchanged up to the present day, The melodies seem  to be similar to the hymn. The strange thing about these melodies is that they  circle around the major third and the tune only goes one note above and one below, so that the entire range is within a fifth.  Again this motive will appear often throughout this album

The music of the Girl and her clan is based more or less on Celtic ideas where i hope to get some intense Bodhran drumming in.

The Story of Love

The Love story is about two soul mates who have incarnated on parallel universes. He is from a Viking clan and she from a Gaul clan. The vikings have arrived at her island which causes much grief to the islanders. Meantime our lovers longing for each other will create a worm hole of sorts through which they will meet up for a few minutes.

The entire writing and recording of this album will be documented on video. Many times you will see me begin a song from scratch having no words or chords. Other times you will see me using my “dream-speak”  technique which involves me singing from a sub-conscious place and then writing down what i have sung afterwards. These are things i usually do in solitude and in the privacy of my studio  -- so now you have it.  I hope you enjoy witnessing this process.

Join tribe after tribe page on face book or  tribeaftertribemusic channel on youtube to get the latest releases of the video documentary and more.

shine on.

27 Comments to “Love, the making of.”

  • beautiful!… keep it up!!

  • Good job my friend :)

  • I’m baaaack

    • as you can tell by reading this blog much flooting and tooting will be needed!

  • Great idea, Robbi. I’ll be followin’ ya on your journey. -LF

    • thanks Larry – and remember: no seat belt or helmet required only the courage to free fall for a long time!

      peace t you

  • Born into the Asylum as it became the Tribe with Power, I wandered through the Enchanted Entrance, continuing the journey with Three Fish and a Dancing Lotus…let the journey continue! I look forward to the ride!

    Go you must.
    No guest shall stay
    in one place for ever.
    Love will be lost
    if you sit too long
    at a friend’s fire.

    - The Havamal

    • Yay! what a long strange trip its been!

    • Beautiful quote, thanks for sharing it

    • lovely idea… look forward to watching it become…

  • Incredibly beautiful Robbi. This is the Robbi music that resonates with my heart. You certainly know what love is, you and your beautiful Kripa are soul mates if ever they do exist it is within the two of you! Excited about this work. Blessings!

    • Yes Cyn – actually it is because of Kripa that i stopped writing poetry – i always felt filled with a strange silence like a little boy who first comes upon a birds nest lying on the ground – it just seemed that all words were numb, dumb and blind to capture her beautifulness…

      nothing left but to gaze in silent receptivity.

      and you will soon see what a remarkable musician she is!!! she is playing so many instruments on this record –

      oh boy i am Blessed!

  • I frikkin love this concept, No world too small my friend!!

    • Just a speck in the infinite!

  • hey there sir.

    as you are one of my biggest influences in music/words along with my first true musical spirit guide so-to-speak on the path i started back in ’96 with the first three fish album…i have been following you and all you projects for a long time. i love being in the studio! it’s one of the few places i feel truly at home and walking in the right direction. i too am in the studio working on my first (not home-studio) album. as much as i love recording myself and the absolute freedom that brings…sometimes its nice to sit back and just create and not think about: levels and phase cancellation and effects and mixing and yadda, yadda!

    anyway….best of luck to you on your solo effort!! i’m sure it will be wonderful!
    thanks for sharing brother!

    be well.

    • and you too have fueled my journey with your continued support and just …staying in touch…

      My studio is pretty much hassle free but even then i have an engineer in to do the mixings and phase shift checkings etc. Right now i am just in the writing mode and the studio is a bit like my fountain pen – now you must realize what this means for being left handed. But it seems all is flowing well now.

      Many times i have caught performances for myself and others in these stages of writing that could never be done again and so have reverted to the so called demo/jam performance. Proud and beautiful – Run – Red Sky and many others and of course pretty much all of the first THREE FISH album are one takes from the jam sessions.

      Good luck with your magikal workings! i look forward to hearing them


  • Smaak it,Beyowt taam oke ek se’.Sending you Love Brah Robbi.

  • I miss the “LIKE” button here. Alle the comments are so beautiful, it makes me wanna click this very button .. :)

  • So exciting to hear that this is coming our way -Cannot wait Rob- you have been a Music teacher to ME!
    thanks my old friend-
    miss you

    • Ah Ruthie my dear friend – you mend many feathers in my weary wings!
      love always.

  • Amazing project brother man! Hope to reconnect soon.

    In Her Love,

    • sweetness and delight!

  • What a treat to experience your fertile imagination again love you always

    • Hey Carol – this is the album that Laz was urging me to make – it’s taken sometime for me to transform from anger to Love. Hope to be in africa this year!

  • robbi, as always, your eloquence and light spirit mesmerize… i love you

  • i’m digging the description and concept of the love recording.
    i will have to dig into my own scandinavian roots when it comes time for the digital feast. i see full moon recording sessions in the future. howling wolves and drums!
    your friend
    stuverud (stoo-va-rude)

  • This is fantastic Robbi!! I’m so happy that you have this here! Had no idea!!
    love, Love, LOVE!!
    (the bad pirate/faerie)

Leave a comment to Robbi