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1. I Want To Know (opening) [IWTK]


by

TobinMueller

 Genre: Showtunes

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Description
I wrote "I Want To Know" in 1991 as part of an Artist-In-Residence program at a high school back when I as a Wisconsin Artist and president of the Wisconsin Drama Association children's theatre division. I recently was asked to remaster the tracks to sell to schools in New Zealand. I'd forgotten how fun the music and lyrics were. I decided to share them all here.

It is, more or less, a history of the western world in comic book form. The students and I researched history in various categories and compressed it into lyrics. The style of performance was ensemble-based, improvisationally-conceived, low-budget theatrical. Lots of partial costume pieces, people playing multiple roles, open staging chaos. Very fun to perform (and, if you were part of the process, edify on several levels, hopefully).

Part of the residency was setting up a music lab in which I arranged and recorded the backing music. (Part of the grant.) I taught the students how to use the equipment as we arranged the music with various keyboards. I recall there being an M1, a Casio something, and an early Mac running Performer.

I've uploaded the tracks in reverse order so that they'll appear on my song list in the correct order. Here is a complete list. The tracks run about 40 minutes if you listen in one sitting. (The show also has spoken scenes with no music.)

1. I Want to Know - opening
2. The History of Science
3. The History of Medicine
4. The History of Transportation
5. The Industrial Revolution
6. I Want to Know - closing

Hope you enjoy it!

This is the opening scene and prologue song, sung by the entire ensemble. The studio track (heard here) starts with my son, Anton, then about 10 years old, playing the part of the paperboy. That's me buying a paper from him. Kind of a Hitchcockian cameo...
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Lyrics
It's on the news every day. . .the changes scientific discoveries and new inventions bring to our daily lives. Yet, most discoveries and inventions have come quietly, without banner headlines. They start as an idea in inside one person's head. An idea and a driving curiosity.

Have you ever wondered how to fly? Or what makes the Sun burn so brightly in the sky? What makes air? What lives in the deepest seas? What really makes up electricity?

There is a magic that drives us to learn these things, to think up amazing and sometimes wonderfully simple inventions, and to unlock mysteries that have confused people for ages. Each new idea has opened the door for yet another new idea. Inch by inch, discovery by discovery, we come to understand the world around us; driven by a single desire: the desire to know!

Have you ever held Nature in your hand?
Have you wanted to know, to understand?
What makes the air, what makes the land?
I want to know!

Have you wondered what happens when you breathe?
Or what happens to air when smoke stacks heave?
What keeps us alive, keeps us healthy?
I want to know!

I want to know what makes us heal.
I want to know who it was that invented the wheel.
The light bulb! The automobile!
I want to know! I want to know!

Have you wondered what lives beneath the sea?
Do you know what makes electricity?
Can you define "reality"?
I want to know!

Have you wanted to see beyond the stars?
Make things better for us than what they are?
Can you imagine something more?
I want to know!

I want to know what makes us move.
I want to know what to do when I've something to prove;
Get in the groove.
I want to know! I want to know!

Curiosity's said to've killed the cat.
But was satisfaction that brought him back.
Not knowing makes a Scaredy Cat.
I want to know! I want to know!

Wanting knowledge will make your spirit soar!
Having knowledge will unlock every door.
Then you'll be coming back for more!
I want to know!

I want to know how I can fly.
I want to know what makes the Sun burn bright in the sky.
To simplify: I want to know... want to know why!

By Science, with Science, through Science we will know.
From Science, real Science, we'll come to know.

I want to know.
Oh, yes, I want to know!
Song Stats
Hits: 2713
Comments: 32
Fans: 15
Plays: 72
Downloads: 39

Uploaded: Mar 16, 2012 - 12:02:55 PM
Last Updated: Mar 16, 2012 - 12:26:39 PM Last Played: Jun 06, 2017 - 01:10:05 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

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Comments
sschedra said 1931 days ago (March 16th, 2012)
Tobin
Flawless production work. Did you do the engineering and production on these? The song "I Want to Know" is well composed show music and the performances are sharp. I love that you meld the performance right into the opening. Great work!
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TobinMueller said 1931 days ago (March 16th, 2012)
I Want To Know
Thanks. I almost always employed a Prologue Song in my shows intended for youths to perform. An effective way to warm up both the performers and the audience. Glad you liked it.

I brought in a friend of mine that owned enough of the right kind of mics and a 16-track TAPE MACHINE that we used for the actual recording. The cast was already well rehearsed, having worked on this all semester. Although it was recorded before the end-of-residency performance (so that the kids could hand out cassette tapes to everyone). There is a hum on every track, and you can hear the level of hiss increase with each overdubbed track that is added to quieter stretches. But it is not as perceptible when played on speakers. I could not remove the hum during remastering, or didn't try hard, caring instead to add warmth, volume, and rounded depth to the sound, since the originals sounded too thin in my 2012 ears. I spent more time perfecting the backing tracks before putting them on CDs for New Zealand, since the "full performance" versions shared here are for learning only.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Philip18 said 1931 days ago (March 16th, 2012)
I want to know
Fascinating work, Tobin. Catchy tune. Rich production. Strong vocals. Inspirational music. I bet the school was pleased to have you there!
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Schools
Yes, schools have loved this one. A challenge to stage, however! But lots of learning...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
abzwork said 1930 days ago (March 17th, 2012)
I Want To Know..
Got my popcorn, java, and I'm ready to go my friend..take me there now...:)peace
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Popcorn
...that reminds me, I have to go to the dentist this afternoon...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Ibstrat said 1930 days ago (March 17th, 2012)
Really
creative stuff, better than much of the recent big-time Broadway stuff that I have heard!
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
better than Broadway!
Thats what I like to hear!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 1930 days ago (March 17th, 2012)
I want to know
I love the music you composed here, so positive!
And the choir is great!
Cool arrangements
Impressive piece of work!
KC
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
so positive!
Thanks. You gotta write positive music when writing for kids. Right?! But writing about the history of science brings with it a kind of optimism that needs expression, I feel. Viva la future...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dave_b said 1929 days ago (March 18th, 2012)
I Want To Know
Feels exuberant to me. If this doesn't get 'em learning nothing will. The melody/vocal phrasing stand out for me.
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Excuberant
Thanks. The phrasing is part of choral stage singing I stress with my singers. Thanks for noticing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Vic Holman said 1928 days ago (March 18th, 2012)
i want to know
very cool....... sounds high budget to me.:-)
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
sounds high budget
:-)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
VicDiesel said 1927 days ago (March 19th, 2012)
Great opening!
I love the very organic melody in the beginning, where the rhythm of the notes follows the speech, rather than lyrics being shoehorned into the instrumental rhyhtm.

Hm. The early part of this track made me think "boy, synthesizers have made some progress in the last 20 years". Those strings are decidedly not up to 20-teens standards....
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
progress
Yes, progress is the main theme of the song!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Maximum_Lux said 1902 days ago (April 14th, 2012)
Great!
Really dug this! Great opener and great production! I bet this took a ton of work, but it obviously paid off!
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Great opener
Thanks. Yes, it was a very long process putting it all together. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
kindafishy said 1896 days ago (April 20th, 2012)
Impressive to say the least
What a mind you must have to be able to compose something of this magnitude. It's hard for me to imagine dreaming up something like this.

Flawless production all around. Wonderful work.
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
What a mind
...trust me, you don't want to find the door to my mind... First, too much stuff would spill out, and I have trouble enough remember things as is. Second, the music chaos in there is deafening...

Thanks. I have had a weird day. But I appreciate your comments, truly.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
gadzooks said 1894 days ago (April 22nd, 2012)
I Want To Know
This is so well done. I'm in awe at how you can create something so complex. Love the arrangement with the choir. The synth sounds a bit dated ... fantastic Tobin!
SG
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
dated
The most dated thing on the track is me!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Soundhound said 1893 days ago (April 23rd, 2012)
good song.....
THE ?.........
Some times it's best that you don't know.....
Solid vocals and Music track....
Check out my latest song called Melded Universe....
TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
good song but...
Sometimes it IS best that we don't know! Ha! Thanks for making me smile today!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 1892 days ago (April 23rd, 2012)
I keep thinking
of the ribbed tubes of mars and the relationship to Lonnie Zamora, Gary Wilcox and Donald Shrum and 1964 ) And how Nasa is blurring out so many artifacts of mars by the tons ! I want to know as long as I don't start getting paranoid about how smart the martians are that are living underground due to a solar flare thousands of years ago.
As crasy as it all sounds it could be a burning question by many people, but so many think that mars artifacts are just rocks.

Your production, the whole shebang is incredible to say the least. Actually one of the best productions i've heard on this site. Amazing Tobin ! I thought I was hearing Abba on Broadway, LOVE the syncopation of the bass and so much more!

Really touching and moving ! So glad I stopped by.
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Abba
Wo, way cool. IF it rivals their exuberance and dancibility, I would be very pleased! Love your comments. The Mars stuff, tho... I wish we'd be shooting up lichen and algae and greening the place. We are gonna have to have a New World some day, gonna NEED it...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 1884 days ago (May 2nd, 2012)
The production quality...
especially the bass and back-up orchestra really catch my attention — and keep it. The the mixing of metrical elements makes this so interesting to listen to, and probably a bit tricky for kids to sing (though they always seem to pick up on this sort of things faster than adults). You are really quite a master at moving a song forward (e. at about 4:50 this is such a nice little section that breaks from the rest before your conclusion). By sharing this (and the other tunes from this show), you also become a wonderful teacher to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing "...all that you know." Such a marvelous treat to hear some music intelligently conceived and beautifully played.
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
tricky for kids
The biggest trick to get kids to sing tricky things is to never tell them its tricky! If they hear it, they can sing it. The first thing you have to do is get them to hear it. Thanks for you careful and thoughtful listening to everything I do here, Paul. You are one of the reasons I keep coming back!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tonestones said 1822 days ago (July 3rd, 2012)
Fun topic, fun music
This is great stuff. I agree with all the other comments concerning production. You have an incredible ear. I bet it is a real source of pride to have captured Anton's voice at that age and listen to it years later. This is wonderful.
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Wonderful
Thank you. Yes, having that moment of Anton captured in time is precious indeed. Thanks for listening in. Hope you listen to the entire show!!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ste said 1786 days ago (August 7th, 2012)
inspired
writing. show tunes must be a difficult genre to try. no idea how one would even make a start. impressive stuff!
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TobinMueller said 1479 days ago (June 11th, 2013)
Show tunes
I grew up arranging and accompanying my mother singing show tunes, so it is more second nature than rock or pop. The trick for me is having other genres NOT sound like show tunes! Thanks for listening. Truly appreciate comments by excellent musicians...
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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