Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      




 Genre: Piano

Get Flash to see this player.

Lighthouse (Spring) is the third movement of my New England Suite, the second of two suites that make of Disc 2 of my latest album, FLOW: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller. This movement tries to capture the sense of fortitude, grace and vigilance represented by the omnipresent Lighthouse, the guards of the NE's east coast shorelines.

The first movement, River Ice (Winter) states themes to which Lighthouse continues to add variations. In fact, the entire sonata uses variations as a structural theme.

There is nothing more iconically New England than a lighthouse. They can be seen from nearly every beach. They protect nearly every harbor. Representing the lonely sentinel, they light the way, a series of singular voices bringing insight, illuminating the darkness, helping us to escape injury during our perilous voyages forward. It is this sense of intellectual Spring, of renewal, that I am focused on. The waltz feel brings to mind the turning motion of the light as it sweeps the foggy harbor with upright clarity, not sentimentality. In the middle of the piece, the past asserts itself (by way of Bach's Fugue #4 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 849), a signpost signifying where we have come from. Then the waltz returns. I like to think that way I play the recapitulation becomes a precursor to the dawn. An Emersonian internal rebirth.

As I said in my notes for River Ice, Disc 2 of "Flow" is supposed to be original music directly affected by my work during the past year with Bach. Yet, to be truthful, the pieces are more influenced by composer-pianists like Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk and Fred Hersch. At least in this one, I quote Bach in the middle, making it the fulcrum point of the piece.

Other tracks from this album shared on Macjams:

Here are tracks from "Suite: Flow":
Momentary Undertow (second movement)
Salmon Ladder Variations (fourth movement)

Plus: from "The New England Suite":
River Ice (Winter)
Lighthouse (Spring)

And from Disc 1, Tobin plays Bach:
Reinvention #13

If you haven't yet, please check out the review of "Flow" at Fanfare Magazine's "Not-to-be-missed 2015 Want List", favorite 2015 albums chosen by it's in-house music critics.

Also, if you'd like to read more (and listen to more) from this album:
Tobin's "Flow" project page on Tobin's website
"Flow" on CDBaby (where you can buy the CD Box Set
"Flow" is also on iTunes. Simply search "Tobin Mueller" via iTunes, or google "Tobin Mueller music"
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Song Stats
Hits: 1883
Comments: 10
Fans: 9
Plays: 34
Downloads: 12
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Sep 30, 2015 - 11:13:25 AM
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2015 - 08:38:02 AM Last Played: Sep 13, 2019 - 11:57:04 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Dadai.2 said 1451 days ago (September 30th, 2015)
Tobin, very nice! Lighthouse (Spring) indeed is a pleasant 'flow' of piano to listen to. Best of luck with your new album. regards...
Check out my latest song called Into The Down...
TobinMueller said 1451 days ago (September 30th, 2015)
A pleasant Flow
The whole forward moving key shifting chord progression is part of most every piece I wrote for Disc 2. I think it will be my favorite technique for the next year, at least. I'm really enjoying the difficulty level and high bar of not relying on normal progressions it pushes me toward. Thanks for checking in!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 1449 days ago (October 2nd, 2015)
intriguing chordprogressions
very cool piece
I enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called WORK
TobinMueller said 1449 days ago (October 2nd, 2015)
Intriguing chord progressions
Thanks. I tried to contrast the ethereal quality of the Lightouse's light sweeping across the waves with the steadfast weight of the Lighthouse itself, anchored among the rocks. Major 7th and augmented upwardly pointing chords, adding sharps as I go, make up the first section, while the centered style of Bach makes up the middle section. It's interesting that even as the Bach section's notes move upward in pitch, they only gain in heaviness (or drama), while, even as some of my chord are pitched downward from the one before, they seem to lift, due to the chordal voicing and accidentals used.

I've been experimenting with this sort of constantly changing key thing my whole career, but writing for solo piano is far more liberating than composing for musical theatre or jazz ensemble, with all the the expectations that go along with those other genres. I can sit at the piano without regard to meter, balance or schooling and simply build a progression, one chord at a time, writing in pencil as I add and erase and replace, until something takes shape that surprises me (but never startles), and keeps me pleasantly optimistic as the piece rolls forward. I enjoy bringing optimism into my sonic life :-)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Philip18 said 1449 days ago (October 2nd, 2015)
Interesting construction, Tobin. Certainly the end product is very evocative. Much enjoyed!
Check out my latest song called Refuge
TobinMueller said 1448 days ago (October 3rd, 2015)
Appreciated. It was one of the tracks highlighted on the WMNR that featured my music from Flow. I hope to make a music video of it this winter, using photos of New England lighthouses.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 1447 days ago (October 4th, 2015)
I really think I got glimpses what you are
Saying in your descriptions, especially about the light house shining it's rays on secular things and the movement of the light pronouncing the object at hand, As I was listening I could see the movement of the light delicately glancing off each objects kind of like giving it form. And your music in an odd way, sculptured it very quickly with my eyes not noticing it. My god, I think I am going crazy with my words :)

I other words I can understand what you are doing and how you stated before about how mental therapy writing music is. I think real musicians like you need music to create with and not just make money with to help sustain their mental health and can pass that off to even to a few people is a wealth that rich non-musicans could feel poor.

Way to articulate in your description to help us the viewer - listener better understand your very creative process!lll

I think one of the greatest accomplishments of what you are doing is to give us the musicians listening a musical rembrandt to glean from!

Giving us the inspiration to know there is beautiful music awaiting us if we listen for it in even what man creates materially ! That Tobin that is a great push for us the musical -listener. Way to go!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 1446 days ago (October 5th, 2015)
Us, the Musicians Listening
There is something special about this site. There is a reverberation of it's past potentials and energizing successes that surrounds its webpages like an aura, even as it has entered it's dark alley with no escape era. I love that music can still be posted, listened to by old-timers and Mjerons, and a transcript of creativity, friendship, shared inspiration and life stories emerges unlike anywhere else. Thank you for contributing to this.

Of course, there is also something special about you. One of the reasons I keep returning. Looking forward to that email with your new mailing address so I can catch you up on things...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
PeterB7858 said 1445 days ago (October 5th, 2015)
The CDs have arrived and I am enjoying getting to know FLOW with repeated listenings. Love the recording of the piano on this piece. It has a lightness of feel and touch that obviously comes from your playing prowess as well. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called The Parting Of The Ways
TobinMueller said 1445 days ago (October 6th, 2015)
Very cool. Thank you putting them in your personal rotation. I listen to Disc 2 almost exclusively now, as I drive around. When that last bonus track comes on, I almost always nearly jump out of my seat it startles me so. I get totally wrapped up on the preceding sonata, all the things I was thinking and choices I made both while writing and ninth moment while recording it, that the surprise fast piano duet at the end still takes me by surprise. A heart attack in the making... Maybe I should put a warning on the label?

Please let me know any thoughts that might help inspire me as I start to get exhausted in the middle of my next (Chopin) project. I need a boost every now and again. Btw, the booklet is hard to fit back into the middle pouch. Just leave it out, fold it in with the package. It stays there pretty well.

Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
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:

Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 57