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Vortigern's Fortress (EKNM)



 Genre: Classical

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In the hall of the King, behind a giant tapestry, a pipe organ was discovered. The King commissioned me to compose a piece for pipe organ to inaugurate the discovery. I used a variation from an earlier work, a solo piano piece entitled Chaos of the Subconscious*, for the opening and closing sections, but the middle is an improvisation fit for A Little Night Music.

The title "Vortigern's Fortress" comes from the scene in Merlin's youth in which King Vortigern is establishng his fortress yet it keeps falling. He forces a young devil child known to possess prophetic powers (Merlin) to tell him how to fix the problem. Merlin sees a vision and discovers that dragons are living beneath the foundation. (Merlin was also an architect/builder of sorts.)

I added tympani to the final variation for dramatic reasons, befitting a court appearance.

Thank you, again, Prince Feter, for introducing me to the Duke who introduced me to the King's concubine who helped me discover what was behind that giant tapestry and ended up helping me to get this gig.

*Actually, it's more of a fragmented variation, since it sifts out whole bits from the chaotic hodgepodge of that piano piece... and, actually, if you listen to this organ work before you listen to the piano piece, Chaos of the Subconscious makes much more sense.
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Song Stats
Hits: 5023
Comments: 21
Fans: 16
Plays: 137
Downloads: 164
Votes: 11
Uploaded: Jul 16, 2008 - 10:35:16 AM
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2008 - 10:21:04 AM Last Played: Jul 31, 2019 - 08:03:04 PM
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Please turn this up as loud as you can! I couldn't compress it any more without wrecking the dynamics. (It's already too compressed, actually.)
11 different organ patches went into this pipe organ simulation.
Feter said 4083 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
Vortigern's Fortress
Ahh Lord Tobin this is a delightfull
dramatic organ work ..I love pipe organ ...
and you gave that massinieh(spell) feel for your
organ work ..you certainly one of the best
who wrote with drama on every piece of music.
the change of the paddle was amazing ...so angelic
the progress you made that began with the drums
then the orchestra ..exactly refelct what I said
in the beginning ..of your drama feel to all of
your music ..this is glorious ...large and magistic
and fits the King mood ..just fabulous ...
Deepest Bow my Lord !!!

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Tom Atwood said 4083 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
Nice Pipes
I like the intro and close, but I love the middle improv section. Very cool piece.

In the interests of constructive criticism - I am not sure if the snare drum works for me. Could be my system, but the percussion overall sounded a little tinny, and did not add much drama. Again, though, that middle section is wonderful.

Now I will vote carefully following the pull down menu guidelines: 9-9-8-10
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peacepiano said 4082 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
Very cool how the organ makes the parts from "Chaos" sound so different. Must say that I admire your ability to use such sophisticated harmonies.

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sloparts said 4082 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
Very good work with the Pipes
At first I wasn't sure were you were going with this, but as it progressed into the piece I began to understand the power of it all.

Very good simulations of the pipe organ and adding the drums in the final part was effective. On the JBL's I'm using to monitor the whole piece sounded stunning.

Excellent work Tobin thanks for sharing.

Votes: 9 9 8 9

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SpasmodicMan said 4082 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
pentatonic visions
I dig the pentatonic feel, the crazy chord clusters. and that middle swection, like the euphoria sandwiched between the insanity of visions and prophecy. man, you always blow me away. glad I checked back in after so long gone...
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TobinMueller said 4082 days ago (July 17th, 2008)
I was actually trying to give it a French feel. You know the score for the 1973-4 film, The Three Musketeers (music by Michel Legrand)? That was my main inspiration. Thanks for checking in.
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jiguma said 4082 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
I'm a big pipe organ fan - this is not only a really good composition in the genre, but the production is superb. No nits that I can hear. Pro work (as usual).
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michael2 said 4082 days ago (July 16th, 2008)
i mean Rick Wakeman, I mean Tobin. This is stupendous, really. I like the drums. I used to live in an abandoned museum and there was a giant organ there, my roommate was always playing it, and I wish he sounded like this. Very impressive.
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TobinMueller said 4082 days ago (July 17th, 2008)
Rick Wakeman
Cool. Thanks. Yes, he was on my mind, along with Persichetti and Poulenc.
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Moviz said 4082 days ago (July 17th, 2008)
It transposes
very well from the piano piece and has magical sounding passages as well as the grand sounding parts, definitely fit for a King and his Court, cheers M
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HenriROGERsoloandbands said 4081 days ago (July 17th, 2008)

I love your chords .
Big organ sounds giving lot of emotional power to the music .
rsorensen said 4080 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
this is well done. i like the intensity of the playing in the beginning and end. the short but purposeful bursts. it compliments and contrasts the middle more freestyle section perfectly. the subtle percussion sits very well too. great piece and very cinematic.
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dajama said 4080 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
Very well done
Great organ sound, and lovely production. The intro was almost startling, and really pulls you into the piece. The change to the gentler passage is very effective, and what a lovely passage it is, lovely sound and really nice sound. The percussion in the last section works well, adding a new dynamic to the track. Very appropriate for the setting, and very nicely done. Peace.
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paul f. page said 4080 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
The middle...
...is magic, Tobin. Such sweet sounds that echo just "so" in the room you have chosen. (I don't "get" 18th c. sounds out of this composition, but I am really drawn into the composition as you have imagined it. The organ sounds and harmonies, while more modern, are very characteristic of this instrument and have a powerful effect.)... I enjoyed this number immensely.
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guygrooves said 4080 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
Now from the... Hack gallery
I really enjoyed this Tobin, although honestly my first instinct was to move on, because this isn't necessarily my cup of tea. Every time I come for a visit I am inspired and always walk away knowing something I didn't before. I really appreciate you as an artist and producer, and want to thank you for teaching me so much. Every comment I see of yours with constructive advice in it (never sounds like criticism to me) I find myself pouring over it to glean the knowledge and expertise you seemingly give to us from a very generous and patient spirit. Ok enough with the sunshine ;o)
This is beautifully composed and played.
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BossHook said 4080 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
Such a
musically diverse structure of extended chord figures that really takes on new musical meanings with each repeated listens.
ktb said 4079 days ago (July 20th, 2008)
11 different patch's
besides being a wonderful composition, I was struck by the authenticity and range of dynamics/harmonics I heard from the pipes. The mix also seems to capture the realm of having been recorded in a stone church. I closed my eyes for certain passages and felt I was being carried a way to old europe.

My neighbor actually has a massive (takes up a two story room) pipe organ and sometimes (he's well soundproofed) I can hear him playing in the dead of night. I love that sound.
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TobinMueller said 4078 days ago (July 21st, 2008)
In the dead of night
How cool is that. Like living next door to the Phantom. Thanks for the supportive comments. I'm really glad your ear caught the visuals I was striving for.
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Lightman- said 4074 days ago (July 25th, 2008)
Relaxing music.... Nice to hear it.... You're really good to arrange music.... Big thumbs up, for that.... Great work.....
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VicDiesel said 4073 days ago (July 26th, 2008)
Love those Maj7 chords
I can't remember coming across them when I played Widor.

This is great stuff. You clearly know your way back and forth through Mel Bay's 1001 Keyboard Chords :-)

Which organ did you use? I initially listened to this on headphones and I kinda missed the power in the pedals. On speakers it's better, but I think I'm still missing the 16' sound a bit. A nice 32' in the ending would of course be heavenly.
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Enrique Gil said 4071 days ago (July 28th, 2008)
Nice stuff
and unusual too. I love organ music. the quiet section in the middle is quite enjoyable. Thank you
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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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]

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