i went to montreal in june of 2008 to collaborate with percussionist georges barbar on a new project, a suite of modern dance songs based on rich percussive rhythms.

the city was inviting with flowery gardens and a wonderful jazz festival. i met georges barbar daily and as we explored and he recorded basic rhythms i would hum melodies over them. it was a joyful process and in a few weeks we created the structures of ten songs.

it would take another year of work for georges to lay down percussion and for me to write down and record the lyrics of robotico.

as i started writing i was guided by the music to create stories and by my initial humming

to chose the appropriate language for each song and to refine the melodies.

later as i developed the lyrics i tried giving the word “dance” a variety of connotations.

in “meu amor”, my love in portuguese,  it is an invitation to dance, to love and express solitude.

in “baby move on” it is the erratic behavior of an unfaithful lover whose being rejected.

in “dis moi”, tell me in french, it is the answer to a prayer and comes as an explosion of percussion inviting you to dance.

in “robotico” it is freedom and the power to fight oppression as robots in the city of robotica rebel, break away, led by robotico, and dance freely.

in “citizen braveheart” it is the battling of soldiers and men. battles of war and love, death and hope.

in “afrique” it is the magic, beauty and humanity of the land that comes with the dance of an african lover.

in “this officer” it is a compulsory dance as you must follow an assigned and rather peculiar officer thru town.

in”playland “it is the power to change and connect to emotions. mechanical dolls, once touched, slowly start to feel human and dance.

in “ay mi amor” it surges out of a dream with a horseman that dances his way to you, riding high over the sea waves  while pulling a magical sailboat.

and finally in “all night long” it is the intense and often sad dance of love and lust.

all of these thematic variations are of little importance compared to the richness, intensity and clarity of georges barbar percussive rhythms. a primal and powerful invitation to dance!

robotico was mixed by georges barbar and danny naim and mastered by gavin lursen in los angeles in 2012.

the red water color painting is the basis to the cover’s artwork of robotico. it was painted in school in 1966 by samuel sarafian my beloved childhood friend.



the songs

meu amor

baby move on

dis moi


citizen braveheart


this officer


ay mi amor

all night long

  robotico songs excerpts


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georges barbar

kamal kozah

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