Loading page... Wait Bar Animation
TobinMueller.com Mobile Menu Close Button Mobile Menu Button
Home Bio Recordings Music Videos Photography Writings Illustrations Contact
Biographical Information
Tobin flyer.
Solo PianoJazzRockStandardsSpoken WordRecordingsCollaborationsAwardsMajor WorksChildren's Music
Tobin Mueller - collaborative and solo artist

Welcome to my website. Please start off by checking out my recordings.

Tobin's headshot.

My grandfather was a violinist for silent films. My mother was a Jazz vocalist. I started accompanying her on piano when I was 14. I grew up in a musical family, moving from Wisconsin to New York City (the West Village) when my off-Broadway career took shape. Later, I volunteered at Ground Zero, following the attack on 9/11/2001, and subsequently suffered lung damage, so I can't sing like I once did. But that has only made me cherish the piano all the more. (See the 2016 article Chopin and I: Music That Transcends.)

I've composed and performed musical theatre, jazz, progressive rock, pop, neo-classical, New Age, film scores and children's music; written fiction, political essays, poetry, domestic humor, video games, software and music equipment reviews; and I've sold my photographs to the hotel industry and digital illustrations as part of my web design work. But I've always thought of myself as a composer, first.

I spent the majority of my career writing musical theatre (since 1985). Then, in 2005, I released my first solo piano album Morning Whispers and enjoyed the experience so much I have concentrated on solo piano and jazz ensemble recordings ever since. However, my past association with the stage brings a sense of storytelling to all my work. I still imagine scenes playing out in every music composition I write.

I have recently completed The Masterworks Trilogy, a 3-album 5-CD set that explores the intersections of classical and jazz piano. The most recent of those recordings, Of Two Minds, pays homage to Frédéric Chopin and the Romantic period. The other two albums in The Masterworks Trilogy include (Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach & Tobin Mueller) and Impressions of Water & Light. Both Of Two Minds (2016) and Flow (2015) achieved Fanfare Magazine's Critics' Choice Award.

I've had the good fortune of working with many fine people, including Dave Brubeck, Ron Carter, Michael Hedges, Donny McCaslin, Woody Mankowski, Janet Planet, Ken Schaphorst, Entcho Todorov, Dane Richeson. I've played with Maynard Ferguson, collaborated with Jon Anderson (from Yes), Brian Welch ("Head" from Korn), Scott Rockenfield (Queensrÿche), Michael Hedges and countless friends from around the globe. Five of my musical dramas were produced in Manhattan during the 90s, and my 2004 musical drama, Runners In A Dream, set in the Holocaust, was part of the York Theatre new play series. Music from my Off Broadway show Creature (1998) found its way onto my Rain Bather album. Songs from some of my other shows appear in Hard Place To Find, A Bit Of Light and If I Could Live Long Enough. The fine people I've worked with in musical theatre are too numerous to mention, but a special shoutout goes to Randyl Appel, my collaborator from 2001-2006, and Kim Vanderhyden, my good friend and benefactor from 1987-2000.

Please see the following interviews. Each interview highlights different interests and eras:

One of the most creative musical minds out there… I love that Mueller ignores all boundaries for musical genres in his music, juxtaposing jazz, blues, Broadway, prog rock, New Age, classical stylings... giving free reign to his vast experience and training along with an imagination that knows no limitations."
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano

My happiest music may be my Jazz ensemble recordings. My most successful collaborations have been with L.A. saxophonist Woody Mankowski. Our most recent album, Come In Funky, also featured Ron Carter on bass. It was released May 4th, 2014, celebrating the Jazz legend's 77th birthday. Eclectic and playful, Come In Funky is a slick twist on funk, incorporating an unusual mix of old-school Big Band Funk and unique acoustic duets. My first collaboration with Woody, The Muller's Wheel, includes forays into fusion, funk, beebop, swing and contemporary jazz. Woody also played tenor and soprano sax on some of my earlier releases, including A Bit Of Light, If I Could Live Long Enough and Song of Myself.

Rain Bather, a jazz ensemble recording, won the 2009 Midwest Jazz Album of the Year award (JazzChicago.net). My jazz recordings have been showcased regularly on the syndicated radio show "Expressions of Jazz" as well as dozens of regional FM stations across the country. (Thank you, NPR!)

In each of his recordings Tobin Mueller proves his originality, his inquisitiveness as a musician and a thinker, and his fluid, full throttle energy as a pianist. One continually has the sense that the piano is Mueller’s alter ego, and when he sits down to play, to arrange, or to improvise, he is engaging in an exciting dialogue of discovery with his inner self."
- Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, Fanfare Magazine
At Piano

As an NYC Dramatist Guild playwright and musical lyricist, I've been a part of some wonderful original projects. As a musical director, I've had the privilege of directing other people's scores, as well. I keep learning new things from others and am extremely grateful to be a part of such a creative industry. Before I moved to Manhattan, I toured my CenterStage Theatre Troupe around the world. Performing for such diverse audiences, including many involved with UNEP, the environmental arm of the United Nations, was very rewarding. I was most humbled when inducted into the United Nations’ 1994 Global 500 Roll of Honor, in London, for my work with youths and the environment.

As the founder of ArtsForge (an online arts community founded in 1998), I participated in expanding the power of the Internet to communicate across distances. I've used ArtsForge to collaborate on many projects, including eBooks and video games. Check out some of these endeavors on my Writings page.

Collaborations with musician friends from around the world led to my progressive folk 2007 album A Bit Of Light, featuring songs written for film, and my 2008 progressive rock concept album, Audiocracy. Some of the work was done long distance, using the latest digital technologies, so that musicians from different continents were able to play together via the Internet. For more on this, please see Collaborations.

But the highlights of my current life have more to do with sitting in front of my grand piano and playing for my wife Suzanne after dinner. As I struggle with A1AD - the genetic lung disorder that threatens to shorten life and diminish the quality of that life - these intimate moments at the keyboard become even more timeless and transcendent. I cannot thank my wife enough for everything she does and inspires.

Decades ago, I attended Marquette University (in 1977, the year they won the National Championship), the University of Wisconsin (including the year they won the NCAA Hockey Championship), studying musical composition, physics and journalism. In all my artistic endeavors, no one ever asked to see a degree, but I'm glad I went, nonetheless.

Tobin collage.

Member: ASCAP, Dramatists Guild (NYC). For more bio info, see CDBaby.com.

Selected piano solos from The Masterworks Trilogy. Trouble with the CDBaby player? Click here to reload.
Solo Piano
Of Two Minds cover
Of Two Minds: The Music of Frédéric Chopin and Tobin Mueller the final addition to Mueller's "The Masters Trilogy" in which he explores the interconnections between classical and jazz genres. Mueller reinterprets Chopin's most iconic piano solos (Disc 1) and uses Chopin's preludes to inspire three original jazz piano sonatas (Disc 2). Seductive, rebellious, heroic, lovely, Mueller embraces Romanticism at its core, making it distinctly personal and deeply poetic. Jazz, Blues, New Age and Romantic, Mueller weaves all strands of music into a single fabric. Fanfare Magazine's 2016 Editor's Choice Award.
Flow cover
Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach and Tobin Mueller is a double album featuring Mueller's reinterpretations of Bach's greatest hits (Disc 1) plus two original jazz piano suites by Mueller (Disc 2). Inventive, playful, full of emotion and intelligence, one part homage, one part internal romance. New Age, Neo-Classical, Modal Jazz and Baroque all combined in seamless synergy. 16-page booklet included with 2-disc CD set. See the project page for details. Achieved Fanfare Magazine's 2015 Editor's Choice Award. Flow is second album of "The Masterworks Trilogy".
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Impressions of Water & Light - an exploration of Impressionist piano music, including Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Satie. Using the written notes as if they are light and his imagination as if it is water, Tobin creates all new intrerpretations exploring the inherent intimacy between jazz and Impressionist music. You will never hear these works the same again. The CD package itself is a work of art, includes beautiful Impressionist paintings to illustrate each piece. Impressions if first album of "The Masterworks Trilogy".
Impressions of Water and Light cover
Midwinter Born - a collection of jazz piano reinterpretations of 18 traditional Christmas carols, Mueller captures the quiet simplicity, expectant playfulness and over-riding joy of the season. It is perhaps his most accessible solo piano album. The wonder of Christmas unfolds as he takes you on a yuletide journey through his musical imagination. A progressive rock synth-driven medley completes the album with a surprise Bonus Track. For details, see Midwinter Born Liner Notes.
Morning Whispers cover
Morning Whispers - New age / Neo-classical solo piano combining lyrical impressionism, healing emotions and contemporary jazz influences. A song cycle of tragic beauty. Almost every track is elagant, giving, combining joy and melancholy,a breath of morning. Influences include Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussey, Aaron Copland, Keith Jarret, Chic Corea, Bill Evans, David Lanz, Liz Story.
13 Masks cover
13 Masks - An interweaving of jazz, avant-garde classical and "Progressive Ragtime." Blending each style through the chaos of the subconscious, the composer wanted to create compelling, surprising musical stories. Indeed, he has! Influences include Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, Art Tatum, Scott Joplin, John Medeski, as well as classical composers Shostakovich, Ligeti, Bartok. These pieces will startle and delight. Also, check out the thirteen Medieval masks that served as inspiration to each track.
Afterwords cover
Afterwords - Combining spoken word and solo piano, Tobin "illustrates" his favorite works of literature with a wide variety of new musical compositions. He pays homage to classic authors like Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Faulkner, as well as new authors Dave Eggars, Chuck Palahniuk, Aimee Bender and China Miéville. Mueller mines every style and genre of music he has experienced in his long and varied career. Taken one at a time, each track is a meditation, guided by inspiring quotations recited by Mueller, expanded by the music they inspire. Taken as a whole, the album becomes a personal memoir of Mueller's life journey.

In each of these recordings Tobin Mueller proves his originality, his inquisitiveness as a musician and a thinker, and his fluid, full throttle energy as a pianist. One continually has the sense that the piano is Mueller’s alter ego, and when he sits down to play, to arrange, or to improvise, he is engaging in an exciting dialogue of discovery with his inner self."
- Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, Fanfare Magazine
Jazz / Big Band / Funk
Come In Funky cover
Come In Funky - Jazz/Funk - Old School Funk and and small combo Jazz featuring legendary bassist Ron Carter. This eclectic blend of Jazz and Funk is the second collaboration between keyboardist Tobin Mueller and saxophonist Woody Mankowski. Half of these tunes will transport you back in time to when most everything (music, clothes, language) owed its hipness to the Funk wing of 1970s jazz. The other half resonates with unique intimacy, playfulness and humor. A delight. For more info, see: Come In Funky Project page. 2014.
The Muller's Wheel cover
Müller's Wheel - small combo jazz - Remastered and now on CD, formerly titled "The Muller's Wheel," this jazz ensemble recording takes you on a joyous history of instrumental jazz from bop to fusion, swing to funk. The happiest, hippest hour of music you'll ever hear, featuring Tobin Mueller on piano & organ, Woody Mankowski on saxes. All original tunes that pay homage to jazz greats that came before. Released 2010; remixed and reissued 2012. For more info, see: The Muller's Wheel Project page.
Rain Bather cover
Rain Bather - big band jazz - 13-track, 80-minute tour de force jazz collection by an all-star ensemble. Winner of "Album of the Year" for 2009 at JazzChicago.net. Scored for B3 organ, piano, saxes, flugelhorn, trumpet, flute, clarinet, acoustic bass and drums. Not to be missed! "One of the freshest and most sheerly entertaining, intriguing and exciting recordings I've come across. Rain Bather is the product of its composer's kaleidoscopic mind. A true panorama of pulsing big band horns, wacky organs, fiddles, flutes, clarinets and beats, that succeeds by accurately capturing the sound of someone smiling." - Brad Walseth, JazzChicago.net

You guys can play! A stellar set of recordings that, I believe, adds seriously to the body of jazz that this represents. Ron Carter’s bass drives. Tobin Mueller’s own work on the organ fascinates. Woody Mankowski is on fire from track to track. Remarkable work in every single way I can think of, played with a spirit of invention and joy from the first notes to the last. A delightful experience to hear such excellent compositions played so beautifully in this most-lively of styles."
- Paul Page
Rock: Prog Rock / Folk Fusion / Pop
Audiocracy cover
Audiocracy - progressive rock - A post-political neo-prog concept album. Players include Tobin Mueller: vocals, keyboards, B3; Twøn: lead vocals, bass; Darren Chapman: guitars; Bob Piper: guitars; Tadashi Togawa: guitars; Rob Thurman: drums; Al Ligammari: engineering. "A symphonic whirlwind of passion and sensations. With their tight, gorgeous arrangements, the songs used every hertz of my sound system. The album flows from idea to idea like birds winging from tree to tree. I predict you will return to this album time and time again, gaining new insight, just like I did." - Progressive Magazine. See: Audiocracy webpage.
A Bit of Light cover
A Bit of Light - contemporary folk fusion - 14-tracks featuring Mueller on vocals and a huge bullpen of backing players. Styles range from tango to jazz fusion, yet always seem to gravitate to contemporary folk. These inventive arrangements paint an entertaining yet honest and intimate, portrait of the artist. Also featuring: Tony nominee Entcho Todorov-violin; Grammy winner Donny McCaslin & Woody Mankowski-saxes; Bill Barner-clarinet; Thor Oliverson & John Luper-guitars. "The songs on A Bit of Light run an emotional gamut, telling of life's joys and sorrows, deep love and the end of love. Recommended!" - Kathy Parsons
September 11 Project cover
If I Could Live Long Enough - Previously unreleased outtakes from earlier projects, including the 1998 Rain Bather sessions, the 2004-2006 collaborations that contributed to A Bit Of Light. and songs from Mueller's musicals (Creature and Runners In A Dream.) Featuring acoustic guitar by Grammy winner Michael Hedges, vocals by Woody Mankowski and Emily Rohm, and some of Mueller's best songwriting. The album page includes six Bonus Tracks not available on any other website!
September 11 Project cover
September 11 Project: Ten Years Later - Music written following 9/11/2001. "I was asked to participate in the 10th anniversary at Ground Zero ceremony and revisted these songs," Mueller writes. "I decided to put them out as an album instead of keep them to myself. Since I can no longer sing, after contracting a lung disorder, hearing this music has several layers of poignancy." Recorded in the months following the tragedy. Also see the 9/11 Project page for notes, photos and Mueller's eye-witness commentary.

One of the most creative musical minds out there… I love that Mueller ignores all boundaries for musical genres in his music, juxtaposing jazz, blues, fusion, Broadway, prog rock, folk, New Age, classical stylings... giving free reign to his vast experience and training along with an imagination that knows no limitations."
- Kathy Parsons
Voice and Piano: Standards and the American Songbook
Song Of Myself cover
Song Of Myself - voice/piano - Tobin's favorite songs from the American Songbook, reinterpretted. Intimate, heartfelt, evocative arrangements sung with the vocal burden of a devistating lung disorder, adding to their poignancy. Ballads, blues, showtunes, folk rock, jazz - songs Mueller has sung for decades at his home piano now shared with everyone. Includes songs by Jamez Taylor, Lennon/McCartney, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, more. Complete lyrics, song notes and mp3 links on Tobin's Song of Myself project page.
Hard Place To Find cover
Hard Place To Find - voice/piano - Tobin's favorite songs from the American Songbook, Volume Two. Including: "Still Crazy" (Paul Simon), "Bob Dylan's Dream" and "Shelter from the Storm" (Dylan), "Paradise" (Richie Havens), "Don Quixote" (Gorgon Lightfoot), "Dulcinea" (from Man of la Mancha), and "Alfie" (Bacharach). Many more, plus an original song by Tobin Mueller, "Let Yourself." All songs have to do with journeying, questing, searching. For lyrics, song notes and mp3 links, see Hard Place To Find project page.
Poetry / Spoken Word
As Simple As Soap cover
As Simple As Soap - Del lends his deep voice and unique personality to Tobin's award-winning poetry. Love, fatherhood, history, music, death, and daily meanings are all touch on in this combination of poetry and short story offerings. Each spoken word selection is accompanied by Mueller's visually stimulating background music that both illustrates and adds emotional depth. Just the force and color of Del's voice would earn this collection a high recommendation, but the synergy of elegant insights and breathtaking music make this a truly fascinating addition to Tobin Mueller's collected works.
Afterwords cover
Afterwords - Combining spoken word and solo piano, Tobin "illustrates" his favorite works of literature with a wide variety of new musical compositions. He pays homage to classic authors like Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Faulkner, as well as new authors Dave Eggars, Chuck Palahniuk, Aimee Bender and China Miéville. Mueller mines every style and genre of music he has experienced in his long and varied career. Taken one at a time, each track is a meditation, guided by inspiring quotations recited by Mueller, expanded by the music they inspire. Taken as a whole, the album becomes a personal memoir of Mueller's life journey.
Recordings...
Centerstage cover
For more information on available CDs, go to Tobin Mueller's Recordings...
Honors and Awards...
Bearded Tobin, smiling
Environmental, Music, Writing, Art Awards:
  • United Nations’ Global 500 Roll of Honor, laureate, 1994.
  • Fanfare Magazine's Annual Critics Choice awards: Of Two Minds (2016), Flow (2015)
  • Mainly Piano's Annual Favorite Picks: Of Two Minds (2016), Flow (2015)
  • Rain Bather, Midwest Album of the Year (2009), JazzChicago.net
  • MacJams Best Song Contest Winner, 2003-2004 (Dreams and Was There Once a Time)
  • Wisconsin Association of Environmental Educator’s “Earthguard Award”, 1993.
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s “Environmental Excellence Award”, 1994.
  • Wisconsin Theatre Association, president, children's theatre division, 1989-90.
  • Wisconsin Arts Board, Artist-in-resident, 1989 to 1993.
  • Top Ten Digital Artists Award winner, 1999.
  • Bryce Forum Select Gallery Award Winner 1998-1999.
  • DigiFad 10 Ten Award, 2000.
  • Digital Paint Award, 1999.
Web Design Awards:
  • Mind Tour Award of Excellence, 2000.
  • Visionary Award, 2000.
  • Webdancer's Pick, 1999.
  • Digital Waterfall's "Spotlight Award", October 1999.
  • "Best of the Best" Softwind Design Award, 1998.
  • "Killer Site Award", 1999.
  • Digital Artworks Award, 1999.
  • The Art & Ramble Award, 1999.
  • The Information Revolution Award, 1999.
Major works...
Tobin, 2017
2017:

Afterwords: In The Amber of the Moment, solo piano and spoken word, in progress.
2017:
As Simple As Soap, spoken word poetry collaboration with Del, in progress.

2016:

2016:
If I Could Live Long Enough, pop-rock/jazz vocals retrospective, Rock/Jazz.
The Masterworks Trilogy 3-album set*: Of Two Minds, Flow, Impressions.
2016:
Of Two Minds: The Music of Frederic Chopin & Tobin Mueller, solo piano, Jazz/Classical.*

2015:
Flow: The Music of J.S. Bach & Tobin Mueller, solo piano, Jazz/Classical.*

2014:

Impressions of Water & Light, solo piano, Impressionist/Jazz.*
2014:
Come In Funky, Funk/Jazz featuring Ron Carter & Woody Mankowski.

2013:

Midwinter Born, solo piano, reinterpretations of Christmas carols, Holiday Album.
2013:
Hard Place To Find, solo voice and piano, Standards.

2012:

Song Of Myself, solo voice and piano, Standards.
2012:
Müller's Wheel, The Muller's Wheel - remastered under new title, Jazz/Funk.

2011:

The Muller's Wheel, ensemble Jazz recording, collaboration with Woody Mankowski.
2011:
The September 11 Project - 10 Years Later, original songs inspired by 9/11, Pop Rock.

2009:
Rain Bather, ensemble Jazz recording, winner "Best Album in Midwest - 2009", Jazz/Big Band.

Tobin, 2007
2008:

Audiocracy: Revolution's Son, collaborative progressive rock concept album, Prog Rock.
2008:
Book of Dreams - a memoir, my journal of most important dreams, Written Word.

2007:

A Bit Of Light - progressive folk fusion, The Lost Records, Pop Rock/Art Rock.
2007:
13 Masks - solo piano from the chaos of the subconscious, commissioned solo piano, Jazz.

2006:
Morning Whispers, commissioned solo piano song cycle, New Age.

2004:
Runners In A Dream, musical drama set in the Holocaust, by Tobin Mueller & Randyl Appel.

2002:
What Survives, a jazz renditions of Creature themes, CD recording, Jazz/Big Band.

2001:
Journal from the Streets, first-hand account of 9/11 and aftermath, plus photos.

2000:
Falling Past Love, Poetry Collection - a fall into passion and the climb out of loss.

1999:
Ash, Poetry Collection - a juxtaposition of biblical allegories and personal confessions.

Tobin, 1994
1998:

Creature, an alternative Frankenstein, musical drama.
1998:
Xianu Override, a computer space opera, available for Mac only (story, script by TJM).
1998:
Established ArtsForge, an online community of artists, composers, and writers.
1996:
Frankenstein, the Man-Made Messiah, musical drama.

1995:
Robin Hood, musical drama.

1994:
Freedom’s First Light, musical drama (music & lyrics by TJM, book by Ed Medina).

1993:
We Are the Ones, theme song of United Nations’ Global Youth Forum
& Children's Alliance for Protection of the Environment.

1990:
To Save the Planet, children's musical about the environment, winner of 4 national and international awards.

1988:
The Politics of Selfestness, essay, published in New Humanity, London, England.

1987:
The New Age Politics, political philosophy text, Amherst Press.

Tobin, 1980
1986:
Sweet Liberty, song performed at the Statue of Liberty Re-dedication.

1985:
The Diary of a Househusband, autobiographical domestic humor/magazine column.

1980:
From Where the Sun Now Stands, historical fiction, Indian History of Nez Perce.

1979:
Pindar's Ode, contemporary ballet commissioned by & performed at UW-Milwaukee.

1978:
Lustre, first collection of poems.

1974:
From the Creation, avant-garde drama performed by Odyssey Playhouse.

1973:
Find the Cost, surreal drama performed by the Samuel Pickard Theater.
Collaborations...
Centerstage cover
Although I have loved performing as a solo artist, I highly value the energy and inspiration collaboration lends. I'm always looking for inventive projects to join. Muller's Wheel cover

All of my stage plays involved collaborations. Writing musical theatre has honed my collaborative instincts. Directors, producers, design people, actors and co-writers all get in the act. It's a whirlwind of creativity. Unlike film, in theatre the author provides the central vision... one of the reasons I love it.

My collaboration with friend and jazz saxophonist Woody Mankowski resulted in The Muller's Wheel, 14 tracks that illustrate the evolution of jazz. We wanted to write our own happy history of jazz, from swing to bop to funk, and this was the result. It is definitely my most upbeat album. Adding legendary bassist Ron Carter to the mix in our 2014 collaboration, Come In Funky, was pure joy. These two happy recordings are great additons to my jazz catalog that began with Rain Bather.

  • B3 organ, keys: Tobin Mueller
  • Rain Bather cover
  • Piano: Chris Mueller (Tobin's nephew), Doug Schneider
  • Saxes: Woody Mankowksi, Tom Washatka, Doug Schneider, Sal Giorgianni
  • Trumpets - Bob Levy, Carl Fischer
  • Flugelhorn - Ken Schaphorst
  • Flute - Sal Giorgianni
  • Clarinet - Bill Barner
  • Acoustic bass: Jeff Cox
  • Electric bass: Butch Taylor
  • Electric guitars: Richie Hart, McBoy
  • Drums/percussion: Dane Richeson

A decade ago, I formed a progressive rock band with guys spread all around the globe. We called it "Audiocracy", a play on words indicating both the reign of music and the post-political nature of the band's lyrics. Progressive rock is a combination of rock inventions, classical virtuosity and jazz freedoms; so much fun to play. My son, Twøn, sang lead, making the group inter-generational as well as cross-continental. Please check out our album page and see the list of fabulous musicians behind the project: Audiocracy: Revolution's Son.

Audiocracy cover
  • Tobin Mueller - vocals, B3 organ, synths, keyboards
  • Twøn - lead vocals, bass
  • Bob Piper - guitar
  • Darren Chapman - guitar
  • Tadashi Togawa - guitar
  • Rob Thurman - drums

My 2007 progressive folk fusion recording A Bit Of Light and 2016 retrospective jazz-pop release If I Could Live Long Enough both feature wonderful contributions from very talented musicians. On many of these tracks, their solos resulted in significant collaborative additions, most noteably Donny McCaslin (who collaborated with David Bowie on his final album) on "Icarus" and "Crazy Stories", and the great late acoustic guitarist Michael Hedges on "Before There Were Gods." Other players that need mentioning:

A Bit of Light cover
  • Entcho Todorov - violin
  • Bill Barner - clarinet & tenor sax
  • John Luper - guitar
  • Thor Oliverson - bass & guitar
  • John Selva - bass
  • Martyn Kember-Smith - fiddle

The entire spirit behind Artsforge.com (the website I founded) was collaboration. When Artsforge was in its heyday, we created dozens of recordings, a space opera video game, several collaborative short stories, and began two eBooks. The timing of the eBooks was slightly ahead of its time and the gaming world changed so fast it was difficult to remain up to date with video game code and hardware. As I became more involved with my own projects, the collaborative writing aspect of the site skidded sideways. ArtsForge is now "merely" a `place to view interesting art, listen to music and dream of what might have been.

Illustrations

Collaborations on digital art remained strong for many years. Most of us worked as beta testers for Bryce and other early 3D modeling software. Many of these artist are still creating cutting edge digital art. Please see Illustrations to read more about this aspect of ArtsForge. I learned enough about digitial illustrations to be able to design several of my subsequent album covers. The Illustrations page has examples of eBook illustrations, stand-alone collaborative art, video game illustrations, album covers and fractals.

Music, however, was always my main focus. In 2004, I discovered a music site that took my attention away from ArtsForge... MacJams. While tooling around the net to find a good how-to site regarding new music recording software, I stumbled upon MacJams.com. I immediately saw its potential as a collaborative songwriting site. I contacted the admins and they agreed to emphasize songwriting skills as well as recording tips...and made me their sole moderator. I helped spawned tons of great artist-to-artist collaborative projects there. It became a wonderful musicians' community. I spent 10 years encouraging and critiquing musicians, posting over 20,000 tips, observations and insights. It was a wonderful outlet to share the things I'd learned over my career.

Children's Educational Music: CenterStage Productions
Centerstage cover
One of the highlights of my career was working with the United Nations and environmental NGOs during the late 80s and early 90s. In addition to writing environmental plays for youths that toured the world, I help plan international events that empowered youths in the worldwide environmental movement. I wrote the tune that was adopted as the UNEP Youth theme song: We Are The Ones.

From 1987 to 1995, before moving to New York City and concentrating on adult theatre, I wrote a series of youth educational musicals marketed by CenterStage Productions:
To Save the Planet, environmental musical.
I Want to Know!, about the history of science & invention.
The Sound of Money, about economics.
Danger, Dinosaurs!, about the exctinction of the dinosaurs and the importance of friends.
Music of the Planets, about the solar system.
Mickey Spleen Saves the Day, swing-jazz anatomy musical.
Say "Yes!" to Life, anti-drug, pro-self musical.
Frankenspell Superstar, Tale of a Man-Made Messiah, based on Frankenstein.
Robin Hood and the Free People of the Forest, musical drama about freedom and revolution.
Celebrate Earth, CenterStage "Best Of" Compilation CD.

*These musicals are now available only directly from Tobin Mueller. Contact him for more information.