“Alphabet of Movements” by Jon Mueller
A devastating exploration into percussive drone from expert drummer Jon Mueller.
With the music of Milwaukee-native Jon Mueller, patience is the key. His radical snare workouts are meditative master-classes in drumming, but require a distinct offering of time and attention to truly enjoy the dense clouds of sound his music creates. After crafting last year’s critically acclaimed ‘The Whole’, Mueller decided to put together a live set that, while not reflecting the over-dubbed nature of the album itself, reflected the philosophy held within. The result was ‘I Almost Expect to be Remembered as a Chair’, and Mueller proceeded to perform this piece at various venues across the USA. Utilizing a unique snare drum setup, which finds the drums mounted on small amplifiers, Mueller’s enviable focus is put centre-stage and his resolve transferred absolutely into this dense, moving twenty-minute piece. Here, the composition has been recorded to tape with a tireless attention to detail by Greg Norman at Steve Albini’s legendary Electric Audio studio. The haunting, resonant drones spring to life with a surprising clarity, and the silo’s natural reverb gives the percussion a deeply human quality.
On the first piece, Mueller sticks to his chosen snare, slowly ramping the buzzing rhythm into near-cacophony. By the time the piece is fully formed you barely notice the change you have witnessed, but are surrounded by a cloud of thick, resonant, cavernous drones. The second rendition moves the composition to gongs and sees the dense resonance enhanced by the instruments’ singular plethora of harmonics. It is hard these days to emerge with music that could honestly be described as original, but ‘Alphabet of Movements’ is a truly singular piece of work. The focus that Mueller injects into his composition is unmatched, and his interpretation of drone and noise is absolutely on its own. Listen, absorb, and let the sounds permeate; you’ll be coming back for more in no time at all.