Student Showcase: Blue Crystal Fire—Transposing Robbie Basho

madison middleton investigates the strange and spiritual career of robbie basho.

Professor Kramer’s comments:

“It dawned on me, music is supposed to say something, music is supposed to do something,” Robbie Basho explained about his expansive and experimental folk music making as it took increasingly esoteric and spiritual turns. Madison Middleton takes Basho’s quest seriously in this Digitizing Folk Music History podcast, to the point that she recreates her own version of Basho’s song “Blue Crystal Fire” in an effort to get inside his musical creativity alongside her historical research into his life and work. The result is a fascinating mix of Basho’s own voice, Middleton’s narrative reflections, and her own excellent musicianship in a project that mingles historical inquiry, critical response, and musical expressivity into a sonic narrative.

Madison Middleton, “Blue Crystal Fire: Transposing Robbie Basho”

Works Cited

Amirkhanian, Charles. Ode to Gravity. Berkeley, CA: KPFA Radio, 1974.

Burdi, Jerome. “‘Robbie Basho Was an Angel. I Don’t Believe He Was Terrestrial.’” Elephant Journal(blog), July 23, 2011.

Knowles, David. “American Raga.”Acoustic Guitar, vol. 24, no. 16, 10, 2014, pp. 15. ProQuest,

Levy, Adam. “Mood Music.”Acoustic Guitar, vol. 27, no. 11, 05, 2017, pp. 26-31. ProQuest,

Reif, Max. “VOICE OF THE EAGLE—THE ENIGMA OF ROBBIE BASHO: A Film about a Legendary Musician Premieres in San Francisco.” The Mindful Word(blog), April 25, 2018.

Robinson, John. “ROBBIE BASHO.”Uncut, no. 204, 05, 2014, pp. 90. ProQuest

von Tersch, Gary. “Robbie Basho: Venus in Cancer.” Sing Out!, Spring 2007, p. 125. General OneFile, Accessed 15 May 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *