The music of Tobin James Mueller is lyrical, subtly complex, and draws on a wide range of influences, resulting in a blend of new age, classical and jazz that can only be described as Tobinesque. The romance of Chopin, the fancifulness of Gershwin, the rhythmic play of Brubeck, the harmonic innovations of Debussy, the grandeur of Copland and the grace of Liz Story can all be heard in these technically difficult pieces. From beginning to end, Mueller transcends styles and captures a kind of honesty and range of emotion that is breathtaking.
Morning Whispers is the result of a special commission designed to create a cycle of songs for solo piano dedicated to healing and joyful passion. To be sure, there is an overwhelming feeling of lovingness within these songs, but a strong current of melancholy and, more importantly, exploration and courage help bring to this music a depth that goes beyond the original intent. The end result is poetic and inspirational.
There are moments of innocence and simplicity, moments of cascading key changes and aural wonder, moments of passion and exultation. Many of the songs run 5-8 minutes, epic compositions that move in and out of themes with ease, displaying a brilliant sense of variation and virtuosity. The collection coheres as if it were a single piece.
Mueller is a modern day Renaissance Man, winning awards for playwriting, children's music, web-based art, collaborative cross-genre projects and for his work on global environmental issues (1994 Global 500 UN Roll of Honor). He has written musicals on subjects as wide-ranging as Frankenstein and the Holocaust, a 12-tone ballet incorporating ancient Greek, and symphonies for both orchestra and band. He has been a member of The Dramatists Guild of America (NYC) as a composer, lyricist and playwright since 1996. This is his first collection of music written for solo piano.