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Escaping The Fray Zone


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Description
Escaping The Fray Zone is really more a synth symphony, a 4-part 10:43 long genre-bending contemporary classical synth orchestral work with progressive rock, jazz and modern classical influence. But what I was really trying to do was something unique, that didn't sound like anything I've ever done; something with no time signature, that let me pour the music out as it came. Create something that seemed truly alive, organic, amorphic, growing as it moved along. I ended up using 81 tracks and nearly every piece of hardware I own. There are no canned loops of any kind, but I did develop a few loops of my own on my Wavestation, and I created some hefty sound effects using various software AUs for processing. I worked on this for 4 months, on and off. I used tons of MIDI tricks to create motion, articulation and other effects on nearly every track. Hope you enjoy the journey too.

I originally conceived of this piece when contemplating a Rock Opera based on a half-finished story of mine, Dreamless. I am using this style of music as one of the styles in a project of eclectic music I am organizing under the title Audiocracy, collaborating with several MacJams members. Another not quite finished epic song I've posted from this collection is Grave Robbing.

The song art is an undoctored self-portrait photo taken into a mirror at Provincetown.
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Lyrics
All tracks are played by me except the guitars, which were played by Suzanne (and put through several filters). Please turn up the volume, since it is not compressed (to retain dynamics).
Song Stats
Hits: 9718
Comments: 91
Fans: 30
Plays: 1739
Downloads: 463
Votes: 58
Uploaded: Nov 24, 2004 - 04:14:53 PM
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2006 - 02:23:57 PM Last Played: Apr 10, 2017 - 12:49:09 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Roland A-90, JV-1080, U-220, Korg Wavestation, Proteus I & 2, Vintage Keys, Morpheus.
Software:
GB 1.1, JamPacks, Ivory pianos; DP 4; Peak for certain self-sampled FX sounds and to master (several layers of mastering went into combining early tracks to alleviate CPU load)
Comments
Z293 said 4688 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
Alright I'll Go First
Quite impressive as always. Nice to see you two work
together. I always hear Suzanne do small segments
and still would like to hear her do a full blown guitar
piece. Tobin, I can't even comprehend what you do
so I just sit back and take it in.
Check out my latest song called La Pavillon
Suzanne said 4687 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
Alright I'll Go First
i am working on a few. hard to manage the time lately. i don't think in melodies enough to suit me, which is why i like to gig with tobin's work. he's so strong in melodies. he sings lines sometimes and gives me ideas, the same way he works with woody on sax. i'm always surprised how it turns out. tobin's really good at piecing lines together, making me do more than fast scales. and a hundred other things. thanks for the mention.

---
morning girl
Check out my latest song called Rock The Baby With Voodoo (w/Tobin)
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Alright I'll Go First
Singing to Suzanne is what I live for...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
macapa said 4688 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
Very interesting
Those who know me know that I love originality. This
piece has a lot of it. Actually, it sounds to me as if this
song had evolved from "Dreamless (Robbing the Grave)",
the song you'd posted after I'd first talked about
originality. (And I see you mention the story called
Dreamless. Any relation?)

Anyway, I liked it very much and I downloaded it. Many
thanks for sharing!
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Very interesting
Yes, this is one of 4 multi-sectioned songs I've started, and the first one I'm
finished with. All in this synthetic-epic style, using multiple and sometimes
no time signature, sometimes employing more than one key at once,
stretching my limits as an arranger and my imagination as a composer.
Thanks for remembering. They were all originally conceived as music to
illustrate my eBook Dreamless and perhaps work into a rock opera that never
materialized.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
hacked_to_pieces said 4688 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
Good
thing I enjoy long songs. Wow quite impressive, each new
section flowed so seamlessly that it sounds like and entire
orchestra played the song in one take. Simply amazing

10 10 10 10
Check out my latest song called blues shuffle
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Good
Thanks. I'm a fan of the long songs of Yes and Dream Theatre, as well as
Stravinsky, Bartok and the 20th century composers that stretched the limits.
There is something liberating about simply going until you feel done,
regardless of convention.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Suzanne said 4687 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
speechless
every time i hear this piece i am amazed. speechless. one of the coolest things i've ever listened to. thanks for asking me to play. you even used some of my takes that were supposed to be thrown out! (and made them work, no less.) this is so unique, so epic, my mind flies a million places listening. genius. can't say enough, beyond words. the realm of mind. speechless.
Check out my latest song called Rock The Baby With Voodoo (w/Tobin)
chikoppi said 4687 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
Humanistic
I'd say you achieved your goal of avoiding the mechanical nature of the synth/techno genre. (ooh... love the crazy piano jazz riffs!) Super guitar textures! Very unstructured yet smooth evolutions.

There's a lot of ambition here. I wonder if the whole wouldn't be stronger if were contracted somehow? Maybe a smaller palette of sounds? Where a theme rises it works just right. Hm. I'm not sure what I'm getting at. This might be beyond my ability to summarize... in which case you've achieved your other goal of breaking existing conceptions and genres. Definitely interesting and thought provoking!
Check out my latest song called Disquiet (demo 2)
TobinMueller said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
Humanistic
Thanks for your comments. I tried to have everything sound synthetic yet
alive, never static. Thanks for noting that. One of the things I tried to do was
swing thru scenes in an epic way. It was going to be a three part journey but
some transitions ended up expanding into sections unto themselves. I didn't
want to worry about balance in a normal way, just what was happening next
in a short-sited, building up, expansive sort of way, to let things build onto
themselves, like moments. Or cancer. (Or health, too, I guess.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ChrisSly said 4687 days ago (November 24th, 2004)
When I grow up
I want to be Tobin Mueller. Shades of Peter Gabriel era
Genesis, with a whole bunch of "never heard anything like
this" thrown in. Mixed with such care and taste, right
down to the last three notes. Sometimes when everything
is synthesized the mix can sound really canned and
airless. Not a problem here. And Suzanne, you sure can
play!

Nothing but raves.
Check out my latest song called La Valse Final Waltz
TobinMueller said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
When I grow up
Thanks for the very cool comments. I wish I could sing like Peter Gabriel,
thats for sure.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
packosmokes said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
Unique!
And manages to fly over my head. There's concepts and
textures in here that just rock, though. Definitely dripping
with talented goop from the fingers of both you and
Suzanne. There are so many different explorations in this
song.

Too many possibly? Perhaps, I'm too hook oriented, but
nothing popped out with a chair saying "Come along for
the ride", until near the end. Then again, maybe that was
the intention. Maybe I need to go listen to The Lamb and
come back to this... :)
Check out my latest song called The Future
packosmokes said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
Unique!
Okay, just thought I'd come back and post my vote. 9-9-9-7

I suppose I'm leaving this, because I want to make sure you know that credit
is received even if I don't "connect" to the song. Even if it's not my cup of tea,
you can't deny it's level of content, production value, or originality. It excels
at all three. I leave my overall rating to how I "felt" about the track. I've
noticed some low scores on this song and I don't understand why. Even if you
completely hated this track, you can't deny the talent that has been poured
into it.

Check out my latest song called The Future
mulletsrock said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
I'm hooked
Where do I begin describing what thrills me about this. Spine-tingling audio awe. So many great moments. What you are able to do with a 3-note theme (G-A-Bb), coming back to it throughout in ways that are subtle yet powerful, holding it all together in a post-romantic way (even though it took me a few listens to hear what you were doing). I love the first theme, that floating blues synth that defies conventions. And then the piano explosion (like Crimson's "Cat Food"), the first of those unusual solos that fits perfectly into the seams without following any rules. Then that Frip-like guitar solo in the next section. The juxtaposition of symphonic and electric is without parallel, it never seems out of place. And that 5/4 theme and variation that builds and builds in the final movement, wow. In this world of hooks and cookie cutter copycat sameness, you have carved out something toally your own. Bravo. Always a step ahead.
Check out my latest song called Frankenfun II (with iGStudio, Tobin, Suz...)
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
I'm hooked
Yes, there is a 3 note motif throughout, 3 ascending notes, sometimes
major, most times minor. Its initial voicing is in the "chorus" of the first
section, in the electric piano. Then it becomes the bass line of the next
section (that features the duet between the Oberheim synth and the guitar).
Then I break it apart (like Bach) in the bass drum section and further develop
it in the 3 section's ending "chorus." Lastly, in the 5/4 section, I use it as the
first 3 notes of both the accompaniment chord progression and the melody
Moog sound that soars over it. nice catch. Hey, only the Professor would
have?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Del said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
Highest Creativity & Production
This could be the most astounding thing I have ever heard, like listening to history in the making. How anyone could give this song even as low as a 7 for Creativity or Production is beyond me. What excellence you display, not just playing techniques, but all your years of studio work comes out in what you have done to these otherwise static MIDI instruments. Indeed, everything sounds alive, just as you wished. This is not just dripping emotionally, but the intellectual excitment it stirs in me puts it in a class by itself. Congratulations, sir. 10-10-10-10.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
susabell said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
Whatever happened to songs?
With all due respect...I don't get this?....sounds like "bug busic"...don't think you should get extra points for how long it took you to do it...remember "less is more"..and "the song is the thing"....there's certainly a talent here...but it's not enjoyable to listen to...just one opinion...good luck with your music.

SB
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Whatever happened to songs?
If by bug music you mean music that is alive with activity that may seem at
first look to be chaotic, yet on closer inspection is highly organized and all
moving toward a specific end, then thanks. If by bug music you mean music
that could have been created by an alien mind, something new and inventive,
from a different perspective, then thanks again. I mentioned the length at the
outset of my description so as not to put anyone off who doesn't like long
tracks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
iG.STUDiO said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
Whatever happened to songs?
If I don't like something I hear here at MacJams, I try not to rate. Critique is a
valuable resource, but only if it is constructive...

---
iLYA
Check out my latest song called Spiral Samba
Anonymous said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
Whatever happened to songs?
I tend to agree with SB....just seems like more "math" than "art"...nothing wrong
with wanting to hear a "song" here at MacJams....e.g "Mars"...Nothing wrong
with making "bug music" either....some people just prefer creativity over digital
mechanics.....I think SB gave a fair critique...he or she didn't get it....isn't that
important information?

vivid
TobinMueller said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Whatever happened to songs?
I also write songs. I have posted songs in many different categories (this is
my 31st music submission to MacJams). ETFZ is not meant as a challenge to
normal songs; I love normal songs. This submission, however, is not a
normal song. As others have noted here, this musical experiment is an
eclectic sort of thing, not something for everybody. If someone thinks this is
bug music, then my answer is that maybe bug music has its own sort of
usefulness, enjoyability and artfulness... to those who look at it with an
"alien" mind or unconventional "perspective." Actually, I was trying to answer
what I thought was a rather dismissive comment with a bit of humor. I didn't
mean to offend. (By the way, some people may view this work as creative and
not mere "digital mechanics." I certainly considered what I was doing as
creative/artistic and would not dismiss it is anything less, as I don't when
encountering similarly creative/artistic experiments in the varied and
amazing database of Macjams.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J.A.Stewart said 4502 days ago (May 29th, 2005)
Whatever happened to songs?
We are each a universe unto ourself.

Although I personally tend to be a "nice-melody-with-a-strong-hook" kind of
a songwriter, I really enjoy the opportunity to take a peek into the disparate
personal universes of other writers, who, apparently have managed to
transport themselves far beyond the "Moon in June," hanging so predictably
in their horizons.

If someone is looking for more familiar structure, form and content, I would
heartily recommend exploring polka music. It's very happy music and doesn't
pretend to be anything more. And... you can dance to it.

However, if you're a songwriter, exploring the myriad possibilities available to
you that are perhaps... less predictable and calculated than what you might
be used to, I believe this particular piece of "bug music" (the actual name of
an independent music publishing company, BTW) would be an excellent place
to start.

I, for one, am grateful to Tobin for the opportunity to visit this corner of his
personal musical universe, which I found fascinating. I have hopes that the
experience will somehow translate into some sort of interpretive appearance
in one of my future works, totally uncharacteristic of my usual style.

I'd consider that a good thing. Unless, of course I happen to be writing... a
polka.

Extraordinary musical landscape, Tobin. But where's the James Burton solo?
;-)
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Cameron said 4687 days ago (November 25th, 2004)
of epic proportions
This is a very ambitious, long work. I have to give you
credit for the obvious length of time and care you devoted
to the piece.

There are many interesting textures and little bits of
melody throughout, but the piece didn't really have a
direction, or a distinctive "hook" to hang my hat on. It did
seem too long.

The fast piano "noodling" section was sort of slap-dash;
expressive on one hand, but seemed somewhat like noise,
lacking the care and meticulous nature of the other
sections.

I liked the Andrew Lloyd Webberish "Jesus Christ
SuperStar" 5/4-time bit towards the end, the most distinct
part of the piece in my opinion. This section could be
developed and expanded to be a piece in its own right.

This is a unique "stream of consciousness" composition,
free-form and episodic. Thanks for sharing it!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
of epic proportions
I thought of this more as a Fantasy in 4 movements. Even though there are
several strong melodic themes presented, the real musical material that is
"developed" is a 3 note motif, like Mahler might have done in a different
context. I tried to stay away from most conventions, including the normal
use of melody in certain instances, like the "slap dash" piano transitions;
which actually sets up an interesting transition section: What I had in mind
for that first transition was a form of deconstructionism. The 3 note motif is
cut and played backwards and spun around, while snips of moments to come
are folded in like in a tornado. Out spills Suzanne's guitar and the second
movement begins while you are still spinning. The piano there... I had this
strange visual of me announcing her solo using fractured piano licks that
create a line without normal melodic content, and descend into the repeating
base figure; it is meant to surprise, pull you from the vortex, and land you
into the repeating bass line 3-note motif without referencing melody, just
motion. Actually, I really like that part, but it helps if you know its coming
(and have listened to it a hundred times while piecing it all together, like I
have).
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Monumental
I've listened to it about 8 times now and finally feel like I
can make some judgements and comments.

Intensely sophisticated and clearly not a ditty made for
casual listening. A mistake to try and do that.

I love the plucked and droning bass in the opening
sections that repeats later. It's like a cross between prog
rock and funk. Timbrally, my favorite part.

The piano section before the guitar solo is too free for my
taste. I don't like that sorta thing personally. It's not
where I woulda liked to see the song go. For what it is, it
feels right though.

Suzannes guitar solo feels out of place though. The
pacing of the song comes to a halt. It's not a bad solo at
all, but it belongs in a different song.

Yeah, from the middle out is the best part. It all comes
together there. I like the regal sounding synths. There
are some notes around 7:30 that are off time. Pity,
because this is probably my favorite part of the song. It's
confusing how you say this is a stream of consciouness
piece yet it took 81 tracks and 4 months to complete. Yet
there's muffed notes?

The closing section that starts around 9:00 needs to be
bigger. More dramatic. Mroe drums. Deeper bass. Pomp
it up!

The production values and recording are pretty much
faultless. GB in the right hands never ceases to amaze me.
My only complaint here is that the drums are a little weak,
a little freeze-dried sounding.

I agree with the comment that the main theme wasn't
strong enough to carry a 10 minute piece. There needs to
be a more obvious hook that repeats in your repeated
sections. You hear it, but you've heard the song 100
times. We need to get it on FIRST play.

Tobin, this is an amazing piece. Like others, I'd rather see
all these ideas worked into several shorter stand alone
pieces. Most people struggle with songs over 5-6
minutes these days. I think the MJ context makes it even
tougher to stick with a 10 minute song.
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Monumental
Suzanne's solo, which is pretty perfect from my point of view, is different
from other aspects of the piece in that it, like the free piano licks leading up
to it, is obviously a human performances, where as many of the other
textures and asepcts of the piece are much more synthetic, so I can
understand where you might think it doesn't fit. (The filters I put it thru made
it sound much more sythetic in AIFF than mp3, for some strange reason. I
think it is the EQ changes mp3 conversion causes.) But there are moments in
the song where I wanted the other-dimensional aspect to break open and let
me, as the flesh and blood composer, surprise and assert, in almost a
creator/creation dance. Strange, I know, but after listening to these first
sections a hundred times, I felt something missing, and the piano
summoning and the guitar/oberheim duet satisfied me after they were played
in, completely. Also, I can assure you there are no muffed notes; whether my
reasons translated or not, there is a reason for every note positioned where it
is, altho the reasons are embedded in an inutitive, subjective place inside me
that I can't necessarily articulate in words. And, becuz of that, need never be
defend. I wrote for my own pleasure, and share it hoping others can share in
those pleasures. Altho this is a sophisticated intellectual piece, as you point
out, for me, as the performer, it is emotionally charged and intuitive. (The
"stream of consciousness" tag is Cameron's, not mine.) I didn't just write it to
be different; I opened myself up to shed convention and let an unfettered
passion pour out. So the piece presents a sort of paradox: an intellectually
sophisticated and technical work that wells up out of a post-convetnional
emotionalism. And, when I listen, I love every moment, and feel immensely
satisfied when it is completed. It hold together becuz it is, in my ear, exactly
what I want to hear.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Monumental
(Man, I wish we could fix spelling on comments after submitting them! Got to
proof read better before hitting that submit button.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
iG.STUDiO said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
101010
:{)
Check out my latest song called Spiral Samba
said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
"I've Seen Things You Wouldn't Believe..."
After three days of intensive listening to "ETFZ", on several
different systems AND frames of mind, I couldn't help
dwelling upon another "quadrilogy" of epic proportions.
Imagine if you will, a three part story with an introduction,
or prelude, precursor outlining, or even occluding the
events that are to unfold.

My aural journey was that of a audio/visual congruency
with the likes of LOTR. Imagine what people thought as
they read "Jay-Ar-Ar" for the first time, digesting each
syllable with a touch of fear, hate, anger, envy, love and
eventually acceptance. Armed with only their
imagination... or lack of it... attempting to decypher the
ever changing geometry and amorphism.

The sycophants, skeptics and soothsayers embrace these
monuments with opposing oppinions. Let the
everchanging sands on the shorelines of time foretell the
plight of the great things that are ... and the great things
to come.

Bravo, you have journeyed where most have not.
TobinMueller said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
"I've Seen Things You Wouldn't Believe..."
Thank you, Alimar. I really appreciate your enthusiasm, attention and
brotherhood. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
coolio said 4686 days ago (November 26th, 2004)
Multimedia Entertainment and Courage in Composition
Not only is this piece fascinating and ultra professional, reading all the comments above is a real trip. But I have to say, there are a dozen or so people who submit on macjams who are simply excellent at what they do, and reading other people's judgments and suggesetions are kind of beside the point. TobinMueller is one of those. It is obvious from his comments that he probably thought of every single criticism before completing this epic, and did what he did anyway. He has vision and courage and talent in almost every musical category, and this new submission only extends the respect I have for him. Alimar said it best, "imagination... or lack of it... " I say to you, Tobin, and everyone else with this sort of sweep and vision, keep listening to yourself. Keep on pleasing yourself. And keep posting your stuff for free on MacJams! Feel free to sumit a 15 minute song next time. I am addicted. And, btw, I felt the passion, imagined the other dimensions, heard the creator break through, and dug the way the drums were so cool yet didn't sound like anything I'd heard before (maybe they were being played by the bugs!)
Check out my latest song called coming out
TobinMueller said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
Multimedia Entertainment and Courage in Composition
...the bugs, yes. They were crawling all over me at the time, the little
buggers. Actually, you should try it sometime, kind a cool. (Ever read Ender's
Game?)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Mcboy said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
Great...
aural splender......again i hear how u break the rules
without making it seem u did......this is a great aural
feast...and for those that don't get it...just shut u r eyes
and listen......u'll be surprised on the journey it'll take u
.....i for one really dug the textures and rhythmic phrases
and articulations that allows me to imagine my own story
and characters in a fantastic sonic stage....awesome work
here!!!!..........
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
TobinMueller said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
Great...
Thanks, man. I had hoped you, more than most, would have dug it. Glad you
did. Makes me feel good.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
fosod said 4685 days ago (November 27th, 2004)
wow.
sound odessey. tobin, you're nutz. this level of
organization is bordering incomprehensible.
Check out my latest song called Totally Hoany
TobinMueller said 4684 days ago (November 28th, 2004)
wow.
From you, "nutz" is a high compliment. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
mikkinylund said 4684 days ago (November 28th, 2004)
What can one say
This is clearly not a musical piece created for "all" of the
ears and minds out there, yet, for thus who decide to take
the time to "feel" this type of musical poetry, it is only a
wondeful pleasure. I've listen to this song several times
now, and there is always something more to be found.
Many hidden corners and surprises. I am not going to talk
about the arrangement, no need to - this is about the
music. About the story telling through the usage of
tunes. I don't see the need for music to be restricted to
time - this is your piece, and you could not have been
able to tell this story in 3.34 minutes. I've created a few
long compositions as well, and I can completely feel with
you, and others on this part. When creativity rules there's
no such thing as time involved. It is truly refreshing to
hear this piece here on Macjams and to hear a piece like
this being composed today. I am very much looking
forward to hear more from you and Suzanne - and like
Dali, let the clock melt! :) I clear download and a high
score. Thank you very much both of you. /M
Check out my latest song called Rune XV
TobinMueller said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
What can one say
Thank you. Your "musical poetry" comment was especially appreciated. Keep
on making those epic songs, yourself. I am a fan of the story songs you're
posting.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alanfraser said 4684 days ago (November 28th, 2004)
Others May Meet but Won't Exceed
10-10-10-10 - Marked as 'favorite' - I don't rate in terms
of 'talented amateurs' on Macjams. Something will either
fly anywhere or it's a loser and this will fly
anywhere. Fascinating evolution...well worth the
investment in time.

However, the title is kind of weak. What is a 'fray zone'
and why would I have to escape one? No need to answer -
I shouldn't have to ask.

Also, I thought the responses to some negative reviews
were somewhat dismissive and I didn't like it.

Enough of that. It's an exceptional work.
Congratulations!
Check out my latest song called Too Much or Not Enough - Live at 20th Century
TobinMueller said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Others May Meet but Won't Exceed
Thanks for the comments. Maybe I should change the title; it is based on a
storyline in my uncompleted eBook Dreamless. I'd love to have ideas for a
new title. Even tho it is kind of nice having a title that implies passage and
action yet doesn't really reference anything most people can be certain of,
much like the music. As for interpreting some of my responses as dismissive,
I am happy for opinions yet, truly, I would (as one accurately surmised) have
done it this way regardless of other's opinions, and so, from that perspective,
they are dismissive, since this music is not meant to satisfy anyone but
myself (unlike most of the music I write for others and have my entire adult
life). However, most of my comments have tried to explain, not merely
dismiss. Sorry to offend anyone.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alanfraser said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Others May Meet but Won't Exceed
Anything this complex needs to be named after a woman!

Or not...

It doesn't appear to me to be 'escaping from' but rather 'evolving into' and that would make it a transformation but that word has been abused far too many times already.

There are so many flashes of fire and colors through the journey (was that Suzanne honking that Steve Vai-ish lead??? very classy wailing) that even a pilgrimmage would apply but that word has been thrashed as well.

Or get Roger Dean to do an album cover and call it the Transformation of the Pilgrim so no-one would ever have any chance of figuring out what you meant but it would look so cosmic they'd just figure it HAS to mean something!

Or not!

Hopefully I'm doing more than making you self-conscious about the name. If not, ignore. No problem!

---
Melodically, Alan Fraser at http://myducksoup.com/blog/blogger.shtml
Check out my latest song called Too Much or Not Enough - Live at 20th Century
Will Schwark said 4684 days ago (November 28th, 2004)
No less than a piece of art
Wonderful. I love how each of the sections transforms into
the next. The ambience of all the sounds definitely gives a
great atmospheric effect. I love how the solo guitar gives
it that little extra edge. Great job. Man I haven't been here
to macjams in so long.
Check out my latest song called Voodoo Juice
TobinMueller said 4674 days ago (December 8th, 2004)
No less than a piece of art
Thanks, Will. I am still working on our collaborations, I haven't forgotten!
Don't give up hope, more of your bass playing will be on board sometime
soon.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
giovanni said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Yes!
I don't hear math as is suggested in some of these comments... I hear molten metal hitting cold water... I hear a bit of "Gates Of Delrium" and some 5/4 JCS. I hear some (well played) screams... bursts and smoothness all within a breath from each other... but I really must say "Darn you Tobin Mueller!"... I usually squelch ideas of trying to write that grand amorphic opus... hearing this will make it hard to kill these thoughts!!!
Check out my latest song called You Monster
TobinMueller said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Yes!
Judging from the great work you did in Hypothesis (including Space Horse,
Cosmic Conflict and The Apology), any opus you attempt will turn out
spectacularly. Go for it! (It's a little bit like building a Frankenstein's
creature, however... and then looking in the mirror and finding you were
actually doing surgery to yourself!) Thanks for the "molten metal hitting cold
water" remark; very cool.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Sil-VER said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
Zappa fx!!!
Great composition!!
Remember me Frank Zappa... a genius!!
Bravo bravo
ciao
Silverrrrr

Check out my latest song called The Art of Death /feat Ronnielong
TobinMueller said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
Zappa fx!!!
I voted for him to be the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in the 80's.
He got ill and dropped out. Very sad.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dchapman said 4683 days ago (November 29th, 2004)
How do you think...
... within a scope this big for a tune. It never ceases to
amaze me, the creativeness and ingeneuity that I find
while listening to some of these epic pieces.

Fabulous arrangement and performence. Suzanne, my
compliments on your chops, great phrasing and it's good
to see the whammy back in use after all of these years...
very Joe Satriani... very, very! I'm a huge Satch fan, and
that's a huge compliment.

Tobin, your compostitions, arrangements and
performances need not be critiqued every time you submit
a new song. You're on your game. Everything is always
top notch.

My ONLY suggestion/criticism of this piece would be the
drums. A real drummer would have made this piece
perfect.

9-8-9-8
Check out my latest song called Waiting for the Other
TobinMueller said 4631 days ago (January 20th, 2005)
How do you think...
Yes, real drumming. That is the toughest instrument to mic. And the
toughest to find collaborators for. I wish too. But the synthetic quality of the
drums grew on me as I built the piece, and I tried to not sound necessarily
human with it. It fits now for me, organically synthetic, altho after listening
to this a million times, I have no idea what it sounds like to someone for the
first time anymore.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ponkey said 4682 days ago (November 30th, 2004)
bladerunner, the remake (directed by Geoff Geoffity Geoff)
Bloody hell mate, this is bug music at its best. And I'm
glad a couple of people didn't like it because they helped
make the comments page longer, which kept me busy
reading and made sure I listened right to the end (I must
admit there were moments near the beginning that I didn't
really like first time round, or rather, that didn't grab me -
but yes, it hooks you about half way through. Which is the
point at which I stopped reading the comments and just
sat back and listened. Doesn't feel cold and doesn't feel
mathematical at all. People are strange).

Gosh what a long parenthesis that was.

By the way, I didn't really get the Robert Fripp reference
but what's the name of that guy who played piano with
David Bowie in the late 70s and again from the mid 90s?
Someone once said he never plays one note where he can
fit 200. The piano on this piece reminds me of that. And
this is a good thing.
Check out my latest song called pas de bruja (with the dennex donor)
Cameron said 4681 days ago (December 1st, 2004)
bladerunner, the remake (directed by Geoff Geoffity Geoff)
Pooey says, "People are strange" (in reference to those few who made less-
than-glowing comments on this piece).

I'm sorry, Tobin, for jumping in here on your song page to address this issue,
but I feel compelled to. It brings up a point which has been bothering me for
awhile on this site.

I have seen a trend here on MacJams where some listeners don't happen to
like certain aspects of songs, and then are almost chastised and dismissed
for "not liking the piece" by other commenters, who seem to find it necessary
come to the defense of the artist/piece.

Each of us has the right to express our views, hopefully in a tactful,
respectful fashion, without being called to the carpet for it. I would hope that
these occasional "less than glowing" comments are not taken as a slam
against the composer, and that these views are not denigrated or dismissed
by other commenters.

There are as many opinions as there are listeners, and there can be a wide
range of reactions to a piece. Especially those "breaking new ground" as this
piece does.

Let us be able to feel free to make comments, positive or negative, without
feeling inhibited or being told they're strange for their views.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
TobinMueller said 4674 days ago (December 8th, 2004)
bladerunner, the remake (directed by Geoff Geoffity Geoff)
Indeed. If anyone here is strange, let it be me!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
_nderscore said 4681 days ago (December 1st, 2004)
a lot to wrap your ears around
got to admit i don't understand the depth of musical
concepts you are working thru here. the looser,
experimental feel of this is much more appealing to me
than most of your other work. plenty of structure, but not
defined by it. this seems more natural & inventive to me,
personally. i really enjoy having no idea what's about to
come around the corner-you & suzanne play that game
out beautifully. the last minute or so seemed to have a
different strength to it. i think there is enough in that last
bit to evolve into another song all it's own. DL'd/faved
Check out my latest song called glyd
TobinMueller said 4674 days ago (December 8th, 2004)
a lot to wrap your ears around
Thanks for taking the time and for your great comments. I guess I never
wanted this song to end, to feel complete; part of the emotions of not
wanting journeys to ever stop. I know what you mean about feeling as if
there is more to develop in the final section; but I had this intuition that the
final stage always seems, at first, like the place you think you are going to
rest, that it is the one of greatest substance... yet something new always
eclipses it before too long. That is what I was thinking, if that makes sense.
And so it feels grand, yet slips away before it has truly settled.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
eleveneyes said 4677 days ago (December 5th, 2004)
Sponge worthy....
Actually dowload worthy. I'm on dial-up so for me to wait
through the download time on a 10 minute piece you
must be download worthy. Unfortunately you never know
until after the act has taken place. In this case definetly
download worthy.

What I like most about this piece is the natural delivery of
the composition. The song just seems to carry you along.
Some pieces that use odd time signatures sound jercky,
forced, unnatural. But ETFZ has such an organic freedom
about it even though it's very organized and thoughtout.
True art on many levels.

Somehow though I didn't feel submurged enough in the
mix. There are such varied textures and sublte things
going on I guess I was wishing for a surround sound mix
of this. Get busy Tobin. Nonetheless, thanks for the very
cool illustritive journey. Another song that supports my
position that Tobin Mueller rules and knows all!
Check out my latest song called You And Me
TobinMueller said 4674 days ago (December 8th, 2004)
Sponge worthy....
Thanks so much. I like listening in headphones best, with the volume too
high. It makes it sound more in the mix to me. Perhaps the depth of the
reverb at times pushes you away from the mix, and I angst over this every
time I master a tune.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
qthrul said 4675 days ago (December 7th, 2004)
tortured guitar
That guitar is so tortured within the rigid structure. I am glad you let it free for a moment.... now back to the march.... step, step, step, step. I'll have to listen to this a few times to get it to fit in my head.
Check out my latest song called Restless
TobinMueller said 4674 days ago (December 8th, 2004)
tortured guitar
Tortured, yes! That section is like passion trying to cut thru, tearing away at
the veneer. That is what I was going for. The filter I used on the guitar has a
slight delay on the attack, giving it less edge than should be there, adding to
its tortured sense. Nice catch. And then everything marches on, and people
relax... but what is missing from our lives after such passion has been heard
and passed by?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4672 days ago (December 10th, 2004)
We're not worthy, we're not worthy...
_
thetiler said 4648 days ago (January 3rd, 2005)
Loved the fact that you are so creative!
Thanks for giving so much inspiration.
I liked that rhythm theme.

There is a Michael McDonalds (Dobbie Brothers) I was just
wondering if you got that beginning rhythm from that
tune. Or was influenced by him. Sorry I can't remember
which tune it was but I'll bet you might have an idea.

I loved that horse sound/ wow!!!!
You come up with all sorts of ideas.
Love the thumping and the organ sound.
Then you go nicely back to the Dobbie sound but only
more modern of course.
Love the fact that you do this with out too many loops!


Thanks
Bill
thetiler
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 4631 days ago (January 20th, 2005)
Loved the fact that you are so creative!
Thanks for the comments. No, Michael McDonald never came to mind while
doing this, consciously, altho I love his hip keyboard and vocal work. That
gives me an idea...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ivanjs said 4636 days ago (January 15th, 2005)
Freakin' Awesome!
Comin' to the table late, Tobin, sorry. Finally got
around to listening to this.

This is incredible. So many angles to approach it
from.

I hear what people are saying about lacking a hook,
but so what? So I won't be able to hum this Monday
at the office. I've got other songs by other artists to
do that with. This is mind altering, experience
shattering kinds of stuff.

I'm a big fan of experimentation and creativity and
just lettin' it go to see what happens. I LOVE to just
sit down with a bass and do something that sounds a
bit off the track then throw other instruments in later
that others may not get but I feel it. And I feel what
you're doing here.

My ONLY complaint, and it's one I've said before, I
wish the bass were just a BIT louder! There's some
cool bass stuff happening, and I can just barely
perceive it.

And not a complaint, but I wish the drums sounded a
bit more fat. They have a little bit of a canned feel
here (not the playing quality, but the actual samples
themselves).

As for Suzanne's work on the frets, yikes good stuff!
I don't feel it disrupts the tune at all and gives us a
switch of the rails from the great synth work
throughout.

I hear influences here from Peter Gabriel, Thomas
Dolby, and others, and I like what I hear.

Now I have to go listen again...

John

Check out my latest song called Double Bass Collaboration
TobinMueller said 4631 days ago (January 20th, 2005)
Freakin' Awesome!
Thanks for the great listen. I can't wait to work with you again on a new
project. I have some very cool ideas brewing...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
SpasmodicMan said 4626 days ago (January 25th, 2005)
genius flung like a gauntlet
Not just an experiment, this is a fully formed universe of genius flung at my feet like a gauntlet. Man, transcend yourself, this site, my moment. For an instant there, I stopped spasming and actually listen, forgetting myself. Don't even escape that fraying zone. Let it take you with it, and save the Princess before the Nothing comes. You've faught it off with a Something. Hats off.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
TobinMueller said 4606 days ago (February 14th, 2005)
genius flung like a gauntlet
I've got the Luck Dragon by the tail!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
reaganwhite said 4623 days ago (January 27th, 2005)
just wanted to say...
...thank you for letting me hear this song today. my day
is better because of it. thank you for sharing what you
created. and to read your comments, what a privilege.
wow. no, WOW!
Check out my latest song called The Oogan Invitation
TobinMueller said 4606 days ago (February 14th, 2005)
just wanted to say...
Thanks, that is totally cool. Thanks for for great comment. I appreciate the
careful listen.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
EdensEve said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
21st century music
Ok, I am on a lower (basic) level than all you guys when it
comes to music and taste, rarely listen to 20th century
classical music, let alone 21st century, but you accomplish
something amazing, I think. Altho I swirl in confusion at
times, I want to know what is around every corner, never
feel like you have abandoned me, and truly feel pulled on
a fresh and new-place journey. And that ending makes all
the journey worth it. Like life. How did you capture so
much? I still like singing better. But this is the reason
"mind-blowing" is in the ratings choices, that's for sure.
TobinMueller said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
21st century music
Thanks for listening to this, especially if it is out of your normally genre and
area of taste. I really appreciate that. And for sticking with it to the end.
Really glad you liked it; maybe there was enough musical theatre in there to
sustain you through the modern music stuff?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
EdensEve said 4535 days ago (April 26th, 2005)
21st century music
Ok, I am on a lower (basic) level than all you guys when it
comes to music and taste, rarely listen to 20th century
classical music, let alone 21st century, but you accomplish
something amazing, I think. Altho I swirl in confusion at
times, I want to know what is around every corner, never
feel like you have abandoned me, and truly feel pulled on
a fresh and new-place journey. And that ending makes all
the journey worth it. Like life. How did you capture so
much? I still like singing better. But this is the reason
"mind-blowing" is in the ratings choices, that's for sure.
TobinMueller said 4487 days ago (June 13th, 2005)
21st century music
Thanks for riding along all the way to the end. And being open. I appreciate
your ears and thoughts and care you give to listening here at MJ. I hope to
keep you interested about what is around the next corner!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
urbnite said 4503 days ago (May 28th, 2005)
Bug Music
People thought John Coltrane was crazy when he started
experimenting with free jazz, too...
Check out my latest song called Fall With Me
J.A.Stewart said 4491 days ago (June 9th, 2005)
For Those Who Don't Get It
Sorry if I'm literally redundant; I'm still learning my way
around this site and I inadvertently posted this in the
middle of the comments, rather than at the end. My
apologies for repeating myself...

----------------------------------------------

We are each a universe unto ourself.

Although I personally tend to be a "nice-melody-with-a-
strong-hook" kind of a songwriter, I really enjoy the
opportunity to take a peek into the disparate personal
universes of other writers, who, apparently have managed
to transport themselves far beyond the "Moon in June,"
hanging so predictably in their horizons.

If someone is looking for more familiar structure, form
and content, I would heartily recommend exploring polka
music. It's very happy music and doesn't pretend to be
anything more. And... you can dance to it.

However, if you're a songwriter, exploring the myriad
possibilities available to you that are perhaps... less
predictable and calculated than what you might be used
to, I believe this particular piece of "bug music" (the actual
name of an independent music publishing company, BTW)
would be an excellent place to start.

I, for one, am grateful to Tobin for the opportunity to visit
this corner of his personal musical universe, which I found
fascinating. I have hopes that the experience will
somehow translate into some sort of interpretive
appearance in one of my future works, totally
uncharacteristic of my usual style.

I'd consider that a good thing. Unless, of course I happen
to be writing... a polka.

Extraordinary musical landscape, Tobin. But where's the
James Burton solo?
;-)
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
TobinMueller said 4487 days ago (June 13th, 2005)
For Those Who Don't Get It
Thanks for getting the songwriter/composer context to this endeavor.
Flexing wings was what it was about, and internal flight I wanted to share.
Thank you for enjoying the ride.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Drew Kopr said 4469 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Great Stuff!
Awesome, awesome, awesome sounds and playing and structure. Very cool!
Check out my latest song called IfIWereHigh
stellarblue said 4463 days ago (July 7th, 2005)
what a monster!
This is incredible....I'm just having a great time going through your stuff...you are very polished and creative...

Stellarblue
Check out my latest song called CB Dreams
Einarus said 4342 days ago (November 5th, 2005)
What a ride...
So smooth and filled with adventerous sounds and music.
Excellent!
Check out my latest song called "I Hate Goodbyes"
said 4338 days ago (November 9th, 2005)
SWEET TITTIY STEW!!
I love the chaotic fusion moments! Nice experiment now must go eat plant food!
said 4338 days ago (November 9th, 2005)
SWEET TITTIY STEW!!
I love the chaotic fusion moments! Nice experiment now must go eat plant food!
perceptualvortex said 4337 days ago (November 10th, 2005)
Fascinating
I'm going to have to listen a few more times to take it all in. Everything about this just blows me away. It made me think Yes and Chick Corea in some dimensions. Truly, it's unique and beautiful.
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
TobinMueller said 4336 days ago (November 11th, 2005)
Fascinating
Yes and Chick Corea, very cool. My favorite album of each: Close to the Edge;
Time Warp. Definite influences.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
SopMan99 said 4312 days ago (December 5th, 2005)
Outstanding!!!
I really, enjoyed this fine piece of music. I really like listening to original music that doesn't have to remind me of someone else's work.

I am looking forward to hearing more of your work.


Check out my latest song called Experimental
poodyglitz said 4271 days ago (January 15th, 2006)
Hmmm
This song is very abstract and interesting.
Check out my latest song called Ersatz Prunes #2
Isak Sherwood said 4260 days ago (January 26th, 2006)
So much...
One of the coolest things I've heard.
j2morrow said 4007 days ago (October 6th, 2006)
Experimental
it sounded more jazz to me than either classical or rock or whatever at
the beginning, then a third of the way through it turned modern classical,
then the rock guitar came in and...yeah, I guess Experimental is what
you'd call it. But most important it sounds GREAT. Really beautiful work
here. Hey, by the way Tobin, I dig that hat you're wearing!
Check out my latest song called CAPTURE THE RAPTURE
Mute Albino said 3911 days ago (January 10th, 2007)
Woah!
I really like this. Some parts remind me of Godley & Creme, althoug their music mostly kept me frustrated somehow. I love the fragmentary(is this an English word?) attitude, almost a collage (and at the end it's becoming that anyway). Really love this tune
Check out my latest song called Rose Garden Gangsters v2
Scorpjammer said 3911 days ago (January 10th, 2007)
What a...
MASSIVE undertaking!

Jazz/Rock/Classical/ Experimental.. I hear it all.

So complex and so enjoyable.

I love the plethora of synth sounds, strings, tempos, and free-wheeling attacks on your instruments.

Really nice guitar by Suzanne, as well.

Nuts! Delightfully, nuts... and impressive work!

Thanks for turning me on to this one, T.

10s | fav | iPod | iPhone (someday) :)
Check out my latest song called Christmas Time Is Here
Bubowski said 3892 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
I think this is...
my personal favorite of your prog rock tunes. Varied and interesting throughout.
Check out my latest song called Drumbeats off Jupiter
WIProg said 2793 days ago (February 1st, 2010)
Audiocracy
This was transformed into a vocal driven song for the album Audiocracy: Revolution's Son. I wonder if WIProg should consider to message it for Audiocracy II - the instrumentals?
Check out my latest song called Pandora's Box (version 2)
tonestones said 2770 days ago (February 24th, 2010)
The Grave Robbing connection
I can hear it. They both stand on their own. I can hear some of the same instrumentation (especially that wavestation). I like this one equally as well. The flow of this is very nice and the musicianship (as always) is outstanding. Suzanne sounds amazing.
Check out my latest song called Stairway to Heaven (LZ Cover)
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
send a note
I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Genre Info
Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. There is an overlap with avant-garde music. John Cage was a pioneer in experimental music and defined and gave credibility to the form. As with other edge

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