Don Robertson : Dawn (1969)***° -illustration at the back of the record-
Radio show description of the album : "Om" like Indian droning with tamboura, western harp like sounding zither and some spoken word about spiritual consciousness in a slightly end 60's hippie way. The third track is a Krautrock like experimental psychedelic trip instrumental. This is followed by another very dreamy tamboura like 'clear droning' instrumental with spoken word, and a track with very "dreamy" percussion. The rest of the album is very experimental acoustic and semi acoustic instrumental music, as experimental as better examples of industrial and experimental music from the eighties, but then completely acoustic and with environmental collage, still in a hippie trip like atmosphere.
-Although I did put these items of Bobby Callender and Don Robertson together on the same review page before because of simularities in style, it seemed that Bobby and Don knew each other and even were close friends. Acording to Don :
"He used to come up to my apartment to work on music wearing that long white robe (in 1969). I lived in the Bronx of New York City and the neighbors were all very conservative. They were REALLY shocked. I am putting all these rememberences into a novel..."-
Don made several other albums from which I tried Yoki :
I'll include the review of that one here although it is based upon ancient Chinese music.
PrivateDon Robertson : Yoki (2001)*°
Sometimes, when ethnic sources are being musically used by someone outside the ethnic group or area this distance can be enough to create music which expresses a kind of purity almost impossible to create within the area itself without being mixed with disrupting contradictory ideas or certain conservative blind spots within the traditional scales. Don Robertson succeeds here to express the ancient music of China and activated my imagination seeing Chinese landscapes including figures in action. Despite the use of synths together with the traditional instruments thus creating a mix of world music and New Age the exploration brings over a wide perspective of the full potential content being associated.
The piece is written in the 5 note pentatonic scale.
I quote the liner notes with information from an ancient script called "Yo Ki" about it :
* If C is changed, disharmony is the result
* If D is changed, deviation is the result
* If E is changed, unhappiness is the result
* If G is changed, there is complaint
* If A is changed, there's danger and resources will be lacking.
Having used this theory in practice the music is highly relaxing, sounding very Chinese, without any harsh or too straight ideas or without being created within too strict borders. The music is not challenging like Western music usually does (-at its best way this could lead to a power of transforming or to a certain amount of transcendent music-) but stays close to the basis of harmony.
The complete sound and composition (-like most of the times in New Age music-) can't be taken too much to the front consciousness. Working as background music however this music works fine.