Tobin Mueller: Chaos of the Subconscious


Chaos of the Subconscious


Tobin Mueller (piano)


13 Masks (Simig Media SM0003)

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Tobin Mueller (piano).

Composed by Tobin Mueller


Recorded: 2007


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Tobin Mueller's 13 Masks could make a good case study for the subconscious. What is going on in his head? Other reviewers have called this music a mix of " jazz, 20th Century classical and post-New Age solo piano." The artist himself has coined the phrase, "progressive ragtime." I think the operative word in the last two sentences is "mix." Tune after tune is expertly played, but structure and style change so often that you can't pick out either. Don't get me wrong. This is not free jazz. There is direction. We just don't know where Mueller came from or where he is going. It is organized chaos. What is chaos if all that surrounds it is chaos? Does it become the norm and thus no longer chaotic?

These and other questions are pondered while listening to the entirety of 13 Masks. "Chaos of the Subconscious" is one of 13 synapse-challenging pieces presented by the pianist. One more thing about chaos: it's dramatic. If that is one of the thousand ideas Mueller is trying express, maybe subconsciously, he succeeds. I feel and think when I listen to his notes, chords and even unexpected empty places. This isn't the best music to read a book by. You have to really focus and pay attention. Some music demands that. You will either find something in it or not. I found it to be interesting enough to listen to repeatedly to figure out where this guy is coming from. I still don't know. But a little exercise for the brain is good for us.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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