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One Body - a duet


by

TobinMueller

 Genre: Piano

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Description
In enthusiastic support of the concept behind the 2-track Challenge, I wanted to submit an instrumental duet. This is a remastered version of a track I had demo'd to MJers years ago and was hoping to place on my Rain Bather album, but it didn't make the cut. It was going to be the Bonus Track, but there wasn't enough room left on the CD.

The melodies are based on a gospel tune I wrote for my 90s Off Broadway musical, Creature, based on the Frankenstein story. The spirits of the different body parts sing with a single purpose, reveling in their new found rebirth and physical manifestation. Of course, things go down hill from there and the body parts soon sound less and less like One Body, but so goes most histories. But this moment, in the show, is pure joy and promise.

In keeping with that idea, we take the gospel melody and put it through many stylings, passing it back and forth between nested grand pianos. My nephew, Chris Mueller, was the show's accompanist, so he already new the music inside and out. It's a different beast, however, to play something without singers. This version is also about freedom and communication and blood ties.

The track runs 6:37. When replaying this, I remember how two pianos can fill up a room...
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Lyrics
WE ARE ONE BODY

We are one body of Man.
We are a creature uncertain.
Knowing only what we hold in our hands.
We are one body of hope.
So many dreams we’ve seen broken.
Will we know how to be human again?

We are one Body of Life.
We are a creature that’s breathing
Ev’ry word of ev’ry voice ever heard.
We are one Body of Life.
We are a creature that’s seething
With the dreams of ev’ry mind ever stirred.

…We are one body.
…Miracle body,
Wanting ev’rything that’s just out of reach.
…We are one body.
…Miracle body.
Who can learn when there is so much to teach?

We are one body entwined,
So like a rope we’ve been woven.
Are we strong enough to think on our own?
We are one body in line.
The door to life, it stands opened…
But in going through will we find we're alone?

We are one body of Man.
We are a creature of history
That they say we are all bound to repeat.
Yet, in this body of Man
We stand on shoulders so lofty.
Can’t we see a way to make this life complete?

©1996, 2000, 2011 Tobin Mueller
Song Stats
Hits: 2874
Comments: 53
Fans: 26
Plays: 104
Downloads: 52
Votes: 5
Uploaded: May 23, 2011 - 11:19:03 AM
Last Updated: May 23, 2011 - 03:39:02 PM Last Played: Apr 10, 2017 - 12:43:32 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

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Comments
billykirsch said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Tobin
So nice to hear something new from you. Love the joy and the energy flowing out from the tune and, not less, the performers. Jazzy bluesy impressive.
Thanks for the gift.
Check out my latest song called Everything
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Something new
Thanks. Please check out the Muller's Wheel series I've been adding to recently. The latest song is a collab with Ziti: Struttin Up Bourbon. I think I have one or two tracks left and that series is done. Lots of cool sax work there.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
billykirsch said 2162 days ago (May 25th, 2011)
Yup
After I made the comment I saw all the others you posted recently.
The problem of just arriving after eons of absence :-)
Check out my latest song called Everything
Dadai.2 said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
This is great...
Tobin,
I really like how the piece moves along as you described. I kind of imagined the "monster" being on stage, moving and prancing about in a jerky fashion as each body part chimed in.

Solid recording of your writing and performing skills.


Check out my latest song called Stepping Back From The Edge (2008 protest song)
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Chiming in
Thanks. This is slower and less obviously gospel choir than the stage version, and the flights into jazz don't happen with the Spirits. I had always wanted to do a version of Creature where the spirits flew. We only used four in the off broadway version, but they could really sing and dance!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Gaylen75 said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
As Usual
Brilliant and perfect.
Check out my latest song called Dont Go Now
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Thanks
This was conceived as sort of a duel. I'm glad there was no judge determining a winner, tho.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Gospel Jazz
The hits just keep coming, Tobin. This is terrific. Have you created a new genre here? This is so full of exuberant life, almost too much to take in such a long dose, but a welcome happy escapade in this frightening world. The two pianos seem absolutely suited to each other and one would have to listen awfully hard to find even the slightest misstep: quite a feat when trying to sync two heartbeats. This is wonderful, right down to the last cadence.
Check out my latest song called Far From The Madding Crowd
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Duet
Thanks. Maybe we should meet somewhere and try something similar? You could play your new organ and I could play my B3. That would be cool, no?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dave_b said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
One Body
Bluesy brilliance. Love how it strays out of pure blues, but then always finds its way home. Awesome piano chops.
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
A stray
I am kind of unable to play pure blues, not like the real blues cats, that's for sure. I am a stray, a musical stray. A mutt. Crossbred from too many styles and eras to feel comfortable in any one slot. But I always find my way home for supper! (Actually, I'm the one who does most of the cooking, so I better be there for supper...)

Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Feter said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
One Body
There s a body of work and sound here ..no one can ignore and how its so theatrical and huge ..fabulous fabulous work Sir ...Hats off to you !
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
One Body of Work
Thanks. It sure is fun to fit together the different influences and experiences into songs. It's been strange posting things on Macjams and having listeners think that particular song style is all you do, especially in the beginning. It's nice to finally have a collection of songs here to represent most of the styles I've been able to explore through the years. This one gets to cross a few of those lines. My mother always said I should play softer. Maybe she would've like this one, tho... if she could listen from the adjacent room?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
smokey bacon jnr said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
That's good.
I like this one. It's much better than your prog stuff which I find a bit arduous and difficult to listen to. I think you work better with a structure (the blues, here) than freeform. Good work!
Check out my latest song called April
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
One, at least
Thanks, I think. I do hate to be put in a box. I invite you to check out more of my stuff, tho. I work with structure all the time. Prog Rock represents about 5% of my musical output, altho I prefer to experiment in most other genres, too, especially with the things I post at MJ. Writing for musical theatre can overwhelm you with structure (as well as dealing with directors and producers and other performance constraints). Progressive Rock provides an outlet for me to keep my sanity, to give my imagination impulsive reign. But you can bet I am always think in terms of structure, even if it is a complex and twisted one, as some of my prog stuff explores. All of the tracks in The Muller's Wheel are highly structured, as are most of the jazz tunes in Rain Bather. I invite you to check those out, if you like One Body.

This track is an expression of fun, a musicians playtime. I used to avoid those, wanting to show my composing chops instead, to prove to myself I could accomplish something I hadn't heard before, something new or clever or really difficult. As I get older, as I care less about new accomplishment of any sort, I do whatever makes me feel good. As an example, I've played a ton of bluegrass in my life, really happy music, altho never recorded any, stemming from my years living on an Indian reservation and organizing folk house concerts in northern WI. Sometimes I would come home and pound out some Cecil Taylor type stuff just to balance things out. It's just who I am.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alackbass said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
One Body - a duet
Two cool! Ray Charles's head would be swinging side to side with a big ear to ear smile! Downloaded!
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Ray Charles
I think Chris was wearing sunglasses, come to think of it...
Thanks. I'm glad you downloaded this. I appreciate that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
magnatone said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
One Body
Hi Tobin - what fabulous, masterful piano playing! i love the gospel feel, and i just want this to go on and on and ON!! it might be 6:37, but it could be twice as long as far as i'm concerned. I loved every note - thanks for this gift!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
On and on
Funny how, in the moment, it felt more like 12 minutes of playing. I'm glad you wanted it to keep going, since I thought it did go longer! Thanks for checking it out.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Vic Holman said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
it's alive!
excellent. i like how the 2 pianos react to each other. weaving and playing off of each other.
Check out my latest song called Blue Shoes
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Weaving
Thanks. It was a fun experiment, to not only throw harmonic changes back and forth, but stylistic ones, too. I would be fun to do more often. I'm glad you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
johnwhitehead said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Duet
Main theme reminds me of Hank Jones, one of my faves. Super strong-- or should I say powerful performances. Man, you guys can play! Great blowing on the solos. What an exciting track. Lifts me off my chair like good church music oughta!
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
TobinMueller said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Hank Jones
Wo, there's a name I have heard in a while. A master accompanist. I think he died about a year ago. I'm going to go to iTunes and remind myself why he's a legend. Thank.

I dig the "lifts me off my chair" comment. Made me smile.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dimm witness said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
staggering
display of virtuosity perfect on every level ... ya show off!! :-D

been playin 30 years in 30 more years I will be nowheres close to this level of expertise and proficiency -- technical yet with nuanced feeling and emotive expression unsurpassed. I'm running out of superlative adjectives here so I'll say superb super duper um nice !
Check out my latest song called conflation
TobinMueller said 2158 days ago (May 28th, 2011)
super duper
Thank you. We definitely had a good time.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
PatriciaGirl said 2163 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Excellent :)
What a wonderful piece to be my first Tobin Mueller listen, and I must say I enjoyed it very much! Very professional on many levels. I’m looking forward to listening to more of your pieces. Thank you very much for sharing.

My name is Patty and I play piano as well. I am self taught (amateur) and have a Roland Piano that I write with. I use Logic Express as my main recording software and use it for midi as well. I would appreciate any comments, suggestions or critiques you may have, if you have the time to listen on my pieces. I really want to improve on my writing technique. Thank you again :) patty

Check out my latest song called Derelict
TobinMueller said 2158 days ago (May 28th, 2011)
First listen
Patty, thanks for taking me for a spin! I will check your stuff out shortly. I enjoy commenting on writing, as opposed to recording, techniques, even tho MJ tends toward the technical aspects of using the software and hardware devices. I will pay special attention to your writing...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
drakonis said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
As the piano music runneth over the CD...
I'm not sure if it would be possible to have "too much Tobin piano music"... but I can see how this piece has so much character and body it might a CD all by itself, quite a monster of joy! :-) Love the upbeat and slightly more "traditional" jazzy feel of this. I also love the back-and-forth offbeat interplay between the left and right lobes of my headphones here, both pianos playing a fast tennis match with the rhythms and melodies in my brain. Fantastic composition and playing!
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
Tennis match in brain
Great comment. I was hoping for something like that happening. I love long volleys.
Besides running out of time on Rain Bather CD, I had just completed Last Song On Vaudeville (w/ bbarner) and wanted to fit that one on. Also, this track has no B3, and on Rain Bather I play organ on every track. Still, in retrospect, I wish I'd have included this piano duet even if it meant dropping Vaudeville. Oh well. At least I've released it here!
THanks for your other comments. I appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
kassia said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
ah
one of my favorites of your compositions/performances. i've had the older version on my ipod for a long time, and listen to it often. excellent interplay and support between the two pianos. definitely a head-bopping-feel-good-bring-the-sunshine-in tune. great job on the remaster - sound is excellent even on my laptop speakers.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
Bring the sunshine
Thanks. I am liking sunshine music more and more lately. I'm thrilled you still listen to the older version. I hope this one has better fidelity and higher levels to compete with the compressed rock tracks out there.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
davajonah said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Great jazz
Would be brilliant to listen live! Alas, I'm on the wrong side of the pond. It's "live" here in my little room, right now, but I think I'd prefer a smoky basement somewhere in New York. :)

Cracking stuff.
Check out my latest song called Lost and Found
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
Smokey basement
Thanks. I avoid smokey basements these days, but I do like the comfort of air conditioned studios. In fact, I am thinking of buying a grand piano for the living room to replace the stand up that is full of cat hair and I'm allergic to currently inhabiting the space. Then I could just invite you over to the house!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
iG.STUDiO said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Impressive
Love the energy and the live feel, can't fake that. Gorgeous performance.
Check out my latest song called Spiral Samba
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
can't fake that
Thanks. I appreciate that from a fellow jazz cat. A lot.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
PeterB7858 said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
Classy work
Hi Tobin. Not often you hear two pianos "duelling". I like this a lot. It has so much energy and passion. Gospel jazz is a good description. Classy work. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Dancing In The Rain (GSB)
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
Dueling
Even in 2 piano bars, they rarely duel. Usually one rests while then other plays. I wanted a sense of joyful competition, but more a sense of true duet, as if it was a guitarist and a piano together. (You almost never consider a duet with differing instruments "a duel.") But framing it as a duel kind of added to the fun. Thanks for checking in.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
davisamerica2 said 2162 days ago (May 24th, 2011)
It's aliiiive!
This is the finest piano I've heard in some time. I'd like to hear more coming off this gurney. T
Check out my latest song called Road to Yourself/with Abandon Style
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
off this gurney
Thanks. Love the gurney allusion. Funny, but in the stage show, our Creature was played by a huge body building 6'6" bass. He was wheeled in on a gurney, under a sheet, but (originally) has to lay there for over 15 minutes before Victor Frankenstein reanimated him. However, the gurney gave him such a stiff back, we had to use a fake body under the sheet and alter the blocking. Those things are gosh darn uncomfortable, unless you are mainlining anesthetics...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Ibstrat said 2161 days ago (May 25th, 2011)
This
is really good. Lots of soul, wow your solo is fantastic. I love this!
Check out my latest song called What the
TobinMueller said 2154 days ago (June 1st, 2011)
Lots of soul
Thanks. Glad you like the stuff that came out. I think we just did a single take. Kind of worked the first time around. Nice to leave well enough alone, for once!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ShadowofNine said 2161 days ago (May 25th, 2011)
Superb track
Gave me gospel vibes, delightful piece, and pro ivory tickling...Bravi...
Check out my latest song called Gone (with Eagle)
TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Collaborating
Thanks. And thank you for letting my play with your cool progressive rock track, 5X4. I had a fabulous go add stuff in all the time signatures. Way cool.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
gadzooks said 2160 days ago (May 26th, 2011)
One Body - a duet
Wow ... real nice bluesy feel ... soulful ... played with such feel! Man you're are good. I love the way it gets jazzy at about 2:20. A bit Keith Jarrety ...Kohln concert ... oh yah! I should have dropped by sooner. Thanks for the show!!
SG
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TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Keith Jarrett ...Koln concert
Way cool, thanks. I lived with that recording when I first heard it in high school. I dig that you hear one in the other. Nice...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Skweryl said 2158 days ago (May 28th, 2011)
WONDERFUL!
BRAVO MAESTRO! SKWERYL LIKES VERY MUCH!
Check out my latest song called SKUNKCASS SoloMe-o
TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Thanks
Glad you could hop by. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tokai said 2157 days ago (May 29th, 2011)
Cool
Da blues. For a solo piano you got the balance perfect in my monitors. Subtle playing, expressive and with a very full sound in deed. Like the brakes into the jazz groove, sure signs of somebody who knows what he is doing.
Check out my latest song called sleeper
TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Da blues
I'm glad you like the new mix in your monitors. Kind of amazing what a better mix can do for listening pleasure/ease. And thanks for the insight into the transitions into the jazz section. I dig all the morning that starts then. Glad you did too. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
FatherTime said 2156 days ago (May 30th, 2011)
interesting pianos in stereo sound
This tune was relaxing and comfortable to listen to, excellent ensemble work!
Check out my latest song called I Can't Say
TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Stereo pianos
Thanks. Funny, how so much energy goes into a comfortable piece! I've been trying to play more comfortable, accessible music this last year. I'm glad you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tonestones said 2148 days ago (June 7th, 2011)
Filling up the room
This is a really well done recording. Love the photo. Frank, chillin at the piano bar. Very cool.
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah [Leonard Cohen Cover]
TobinMueller said 2146 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
The photo
Thanks, Steve. Yes, I wanted to point back to the original version a bit. In the Frankenstein novel, the Creature becomes scholarly, even has this really long treatise monologue on society (in early socialist terms, as Mary Shelly was somewhere between an anarchist and socialist). I wanted to portray his sophistication, and the monster inside us all. Glad you liked the music, too!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Artist Info
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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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