Prestidigitation is a project in the early experimental stage. The album will showcase Tobin Muellers's solo piano virtuosity and compositional inventiveness. For now, this web page is a project work space.
Photos taken by John Shyloski, Factory Underground Studios.
Possible selections:• Prestidigitation
Originally used to illustrate quotations from "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, I later created this edited version without talking, letting the Oscar Peterson-inspired piano speak for itself. The music displays the upbeat fortitude, manic desperation and sometimes delusional optimism that propelled the characters of Steinbeck's novel forward.
Written for four hands, this piano duet was created by me overtracking myself. It served as an intense background to a video about sailing on the ocean.
This piece begins with variations and ends with the initial theme I had in mind. The extremely fast final variation is why this piece gets a nod as a Prestidigitation footnote.
In memory of the many nights camping under the stars. The music pays homage to the open harmonies and spacious Americanism of Aaron Copland.
My adaption of this étude lends it a kind of Impressionistic sensibility, with an early Jazz vibe felt mostly in the left hand rhythms. This piece is often played with a certain frantic muscularity. I tried to give it a naturalistic gracefulness.
The Revolutionary Étude was written during the November Uprising of 1831, an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. When Russia first invaded Poland, Chopin fled to Paris as a political exile, where he became friends with the cultural elite of the day, forever changing the trajectory of his life.
I play Prelude No. 21 in G Minor playfully, edited, with fast and fun variations. I wanted to leave listeners filled with the energy of an infinite mind.
The blues progression used in the first section ("Double Fantasy") is inspired by the dramatic opening of Bach's Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor (BWV 542) for organ. I was originally going to play the actual Fantasia, but it didn't translate well to piano. The reason I use the term "Double" is that I also weave in the theme from Passacaglia in C Minor (BWV 582), mainly as a bassline variation. The fingering emplyed during the second half of the piece ("Fugue") is why I include this piece as a footnote to Prestidigitation, placing the G Minor Fugue directly over the Passacaglia Fugue in Cm.