“Composer Mix” by Jon Mueller

A deliriously wide-spanning mix of composers from percussionist Jon Mueller.

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Spanning vocal, percussion, orchestral, and electronic music, this mix highlights some of the composers I’ve discovered recently, as well as stuff I’ve listened to for many years. There’s no real theme to the mix beyond that, but I think there’s a nice flow here, and a great display of ideas overall.

1. Georges Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann

From the ‘Oriental Suites’ set I recently took the plunge on. I could have stood for Disc 3 of this set alone, but the book is also worth the price of purchase. For those that know about the movements involved in this music, you can imagine the dancers for this strong piece quite clearly.

2. Fritz Hauser

I’ve long been attracted to the rigid yet expressive naturalism of Fritz’s work. This is one of my favorite pieces in that regard. Swiss precision, indeed.

3. Anton Batagov

From ‘The Wheel of the Law’ set, which I wholeheartedly recommend. The pieces flow into each other, which I could imagine playing for hours on end if performed live. You get an abbreviated glimpse here, but a good one at that. There’s just a few instrumental elements, that simply weave around and balance each other. It could go on forever.

4. David Hykes

I was first introduced to the Harmonic Choir many years ago by a friend who ran a record store. At that time, it was much different than anything I was listening to. I still marvel at this style of singing today, and is another testament to the intricacies of the human voice as instrument.

5. Katharina Klement

While I ran the Crouton label, I would often get obscure packages in the mail from musicians or labels looking to make connections with others. Katharina was one such person, and I immediately got in touch with her. We stayed in contact for years, and I have many of her recordings. This piece is from her disc ‘Beton’ which was the very first one of hers I heard.

6. Ross Bolleter

Music for ruined pianos. I literally just became acquainted with his work weeks ago, by suggestion of a friend talking about what inspired him this past year. On the surface, it’s a great concept – working with pianos that have been ‘naturally prepared’ – old, weather beaten, or otherwise ruined pianos.

7. David First

Another suggestion so fresh to me that I don’t have much to say. Comparisons to Niblock are there, and I thought it would fit nicely here as an alt.

8. Roger Doyle

This was some of the first of Doyle’s music I heard (‘The Ninth Set’) and my absolute favorite. The whole disc is fantastic.

9. Robert Haigh

In the early 90s, I became familiar with Haigh through rare compilations. Even more rare were his actual records. To my dismay, I found this one brand new (‘Juliet of the Spirits’) at a record show for $5 and grabbed it. At that time, I never imagined that years later I would be releasing one of his records myself (‘Written on Water’). His music will always be special to me, and a perfect calm end to this mix. Hope you enjoy.