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WONDER | Tobin Mueller
Progressive Rock / Pop Fusion
New Progressive Rock music album cover - Wonder
available on HearNow, Spotify, YouTube Music, YouTube Videos, Amazon, Apple Music, Qobuz
Featuring: Michael Hedges, Scott Rockenfield, Bob Piper, Steve Stone, Aaron Paul, Mystified, The African Wêreld Choir, Audiocracy, Lennon Loveday, Shadow of Nine and more. Produced by Kenny Cash, Factory Underground Studio.

Jump to: Volume 1Volume 2Bonus Tracks

See also: Reviews

Following on the heels of his successful Jazz album Standard Deviations, Mueller has turned his virtuosic chops to Progressive Art Rock and Pop Fusion. WONDER is a tapestry of layered vocals, masterful guitar work, multiple keyboards and percussion. The instrumentals merge experimental electronica with full symphonic orchestrations and anthem pop. The music exemplifies both definitions of 'wonder'...

    1)  a feeling of astonishment mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable;
    2)  or, a feeling of doubt and uncertainty sparking curiosity.

Fusing the power of progressive rock with the nurturing affection of lullabies, WONDER is an "epic 28 track 2-volume tour de force. A breathtaking array of music." (Industry Top 100)

The album cycles between vocal pieces and instrumentals. This gives listeners a chance to contemplate, to daydream, to create an internal storyline before the next set of lyrics kicks in. Each disc contains an hour of music, but the variety of styles deployed makes the time fly.

Wonder and curiosity permeate the album. The cover-art is a portrait of Mueller's granddaughter, Laura, the daughter of Tobin's son Anton (a featured vocalist on the album). The back cover features Nora, daughter of Tobin's son Will (a doctorate in biology but also an excellent drummer).

What began as an homage to youthful emergence grew into much more. There is a political aspect to this music, tempered by innocence and thoughtfulness. Themes of independence are coupled with those of reliance and compassion. Awe expands into transcendence and redemption.

A masterpiece in the Epic Prog tradition.”

- Progressive Magazine

Progressive Rock evolved at the crossroads of rock, jazz and classical music, infusing rock with a new sense virtuosity. It is inherently complex, embodying the grandeur of opera, the intricacy of the Baroque, the power of heavy metal. Many prog-rock albums celebrate epic myths and conceptual narratives. Wonder follows in that tradition. It is expansive, experimental, enthusiastic and uplifting. The scope of this collection is invigorating, a testament to the best aspects of bewilderment and efflorescence.

WONDER is produced by Kenny Cash, Factory Underground Studios. Cash produced Mueller's previous albums Standard Deviations, Afterwords, Of Two Minds and Flow. Album art is by Tobin Mueller Mueller and John Shyloski.

A symphonic whirlwind of prog passion! Led by the massive keyboards of Tobin Mueller, the dense harmonies of vocalist Anton, contributions from the likes of Scott Rockenfield (Queensrÿche) and Grammy winning guitarist Michael Hedges, ‘WONDER’ is a true combination of energy and poetry. 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.”

- Brian Gerhart, The Progressive Ear

Note: The bonus tracks at the bottom of this webpage are not included on the CD. They are free to download.

Special thanks: Kenny Cash, Tom Stewart, Bill Bletzinger, Patrick Wayland, Marc Alan, Suzanne DelTufo, Anton Mueller and especially Tobin's granddkids Laura, Nora and Chase for their innocence and love.

MP3s and Liner Notes
Wonder, prog rock new release Volume 1
• When The Future Comes
• Let The Rumpus Begin
• Rebellion is a Lullaby (to the boy inside)
• Rock The Baby
• Over The World (instrumental)
• Speak Truth To Power
• The Long Sleep
• Dare To Sing
• Ascent Of Wonder
• Gethsemane Revisited
• I Won’t Leave You (medley)
• I Won’t Leave you (instrumental)

Volume 2
• Before There Were Gods
• Pandora's Box
• Puzzle City
• Lilith's Lament
• Was There Once a Time
• Chaos is a Ladder
• Dreams (Awake to Me)
• Out of Toyland
• What Thou Lovest Well
• Merlin's Awakening
• Let Yourself Dream
• Lady of the Lake
• Pull Me Home
• What I Was Thinking While You Were Talking
• Loolay Lullaby
• God Bless America

Bonus Tracks
• Relentless Chaos of the Ocean
• Queen Crimson
• Charon's Requiem (alternative version)
• Out of the Forest (instrumental)
• Borate Zone (Please Eat)
• The Chimney Speech
• When You Awake to Me (alternative jazz version)

Jump to Volume 2Bonus Tracks

WONDER: New Progressive Rock Music

Volume One
When The Future Comes
(7:46) [lyrics]

This impressionistic song of survival, emergence and immigration acts as a prologue. Newly arranged, edited and remastered (see Audiocracy: Revolution's Son), this fresh version features new piano additions by Tobin Mueller, along with organ, synths, backwards drum programming and additional vocals; acoustic guitar by Anton Mueller; electric guitars by Bob Piper; drums by Rob Thurman. "There are thousand, maybe millions now, coming over the hill. Past the wreckage of the dreams they've sown and will cherish still..."

Let The Rumpus Begin

Progressive rock instrumental collaboration with Vancouver B.C. duo Shadow of Nine, featuring Lennon Loveday on guitars. Tobin Mueller plays all keyboards. Celebrating play, the title is an homage to children's classic "Where The Wild Things Are".

Rebellion is a Lullaby (to the boy inside)
(6:14) [lyrics]

Newly arranged, edited and remastered version of Revolution's Son from Audiocracy. Features lead vocals and bass by Anton Mueller; additional vocals, organ, synths, percussion by Tobin Mueller; guitars by Darren Chapman; drums by Rob Thurman. "Beyond every law of the Father is the tearing off of the label for the boy inside to realize the boy inside."

Rock The Baby

A collaboration between continents, Tobin Mueller's arrangement places The African Wêreld Choir in the center as he creates a multicultural new take on the lullaby. Features Tobin on piano, electric piano, organ, synths, percussion; Frank Dagostino on guitars.

Escaping The Fray Zone (instrumental)

This music was originally written a 1992 science fiction musical Mueller never completed, Dreamless. It was later adapted into a 14 minute scene from Mueller's Off Broadway show Creature (1996) under the title Over the World. Mueller's progressive rock band Audiocracy recorded a version for their concept album Revolution's Son retitling it Escaping The Fray Zone. This latest version features new piano additions by Tobin along with organ, synths, piano, percussion and adaptive guitar.

Speak Truth To Power
(4:41) [lyrics]

A hard rock revolutionary anthem. Features Anton Mueller (lead vocals, bass); Tobin Mueller (additional vocals, organ, synths); Darren Chapman (guitars); Rob Thurman (drums). "Gather like flowers all the promises of Eden once told. Speak truth to power and then just walk way."

The Long Sleep

Although titled like a lullaby, this music is actually a New Orleans funeral second line procession. Mueller explains, "When I was younger, I always considered falling asleep to be akin to death. It's only fitting that I write a lullaby that doubles as a funeral procession."

Dare To Sing
(6:50) [lyrics]

A post-Eden love song. Features: lead vocals, bass and acoustic guitar by Anton Mueller; additional vocals, organ, synths, percussion by Tobin Mueller; electric guitars by Tadashi Togawa. "Like a story with an ending you can write if you turn the ink to blood."

Ascent Of Wonder

Composed and first recorded in 1992, this track was to provide background music to a science fiction musical Mueller never completed, Dreamless. He eventually adapted it for his 1996 Off Broadway rock opera Creature. It was originally titled Grave Robbing. The dramatic ending underscores the souls resurrecting before being combined into the body of the Creature). This version features Steve Stone (Dolby Labs) on guitars and drums. Mueller plays all keyboards and additional percussion.

Gethsemane Revisited
(4:28) [lyrics]

A new arrangement of Gethsemane Again from Audiocracy: Revolution's Son, edited, remastered and renamed. Features Anton Mueller (lead vocals); Tobin Mueller (additional vocals, organ, synths, bass, drum programming). A personal interpretation of the most honest passage in the Bible, the moment God decides to remain silent and leaves his Son to decide for himself. "Time is running out on everything I thought was true and holy."

I Won't Leave You (medley)
(5:04) [lyrics]

A dramatic lullaby anthem. This music first appeared as the finale from Mueller's Off Broadway show Creature in 1996 (the second half ot the medley). It was later adapted for his 2005 Off Broadway musical drama Runners In A Dream as quiet lullaby (the first section of medley). This new version combines the two, with new piano accompaniment. Vocalists in order of appearance: Michael Seelbach, Emily Rohm, Gail Goebel, Tobin Mueller, Tim Cunningham and Deb Fett. "What survives here will make sense of my life for you."

I Won't Leave You (instrumental)

As stated above, this music first appeared as the finale from Mueller's Off Broadway show Creature. It was later adapted for his 2005 Off Broadway musical drama Runners In A Dream as quiet lullaby. This new arrangement is meant as a kind of concerto epilogue. Additional reinterpretations of this music can be found on Afterwords and Afterwords Bonus Tracks under the title One With Stars.

All music and lyrics by Tobin Mueller
except “Let The Rumpus Begin” by Tobin Mueller & Lennon Loveday; "Dare to Sing" by Tobin & Anton Mueller.
©2019 Tobin Mueller
Mueller is one of the most versatile and eclectic artists out there. ‘Wonder’ is a gem! Raw power and haunting beauty in both the music and lyrics. A celebration of playing! Hauntingly beautiful and sweet as well. One of my 'Picks’ for 2019!”

- Kathy Parsons, Mainly Piano

Jump to Volume 1Bonus Tracks

Volume Two
Before There Were Gods
(6:11) [lyrics]

A beautiful love song combining themes of timeless innocence, reincarnation, deep connection. A collaboration between Mueller and Grammy-winning guitarist Michael Hedges, remastered. Mueller transforms Hedge's haunting instrumental "Lenona" (1981), with the blessings of the Michael Hedge's Estate. Fretless bass is played by the new age pianist George Winston. "Before there were gods, before we knew the difference. Before there were lines that marked the land, you knew me. That’s what you said." (Adapted from a comment Tobin's wife Suzanne made to him 20 years ago.)

Pandora's Box

Another progressive rock instrumental collaboration with Vancouver B.C. duo Shadow of Nine, featuring Lennon Loveday on drums, guitars. Tobin Mueller plays all keyboards. The abrupt end indicates the moment Pandoar opens her fabled box...

Puzzle City
(2:28) [lyrics]

An example of layered vocals combining progressive rock and dense jazz harmonies. Newly arranged, edited and remastered version from Audiocracy: Revolution's Son, features Bob Piper (guitars); Anton Mueller (lead vocals); Tobin Mueller (additional vocals, organ, synths); Scott Rockenfield (drums). "Falling angels beyond proofs, like confetti made of stars." This song follows "Pandora's Box" by design.

Lilith's Lament

The residue of Pandora's Box continues in this Trent Reznor inspired experiment combining Industrial Rock, Jazz and Opera. First published under the title Charon's Requiem (see Bonus tracks below), this trancated version includes new additions by Tobin Mueller on acoustic and eletric pianos, in addition to his original glitchy synths, bass and drum programming. Features Alessandra Zwegler, vocalist.

Was There Once A Time
(3:38) [lyrics]

This song was written after 9/11/2001 while Mueller was living in New York City. It was later adapted (altered lyrics) for his 2005 Off Broadway musical drama Runners In A Dream. The original version appears on for tribute album The September 11 Project: Ten Years Later released in 2011. This version, newly arranged, maintains the original lyrics. "Was there once a time when lives went on and on and on? And what we knew as love would somehow shield and conquer all?"

Chaos Is A Ladder

This piece combines two songs Mueller originally wrote for Merlyn, another musical he never finish. The opening organ prelude was originally title Vortigern's Fortress, referencing King Vortigern, the man who grabbed the British throne from Constantine, fathered Ambrosius Aurelianus and Uther Pendragon, grandfathered King Arthur. As a boy, Merlyn's vision helps save Vortigern's fortress and establishes Merlyn as a seer. This version pairs it with with Mueller's Escape from the Crystal Caves underscoring, when, in the story, a grown Merlyn escapes Vortigern's book burning decree and the destruction of the Crystal Cave library. The music's joyousness reflects Merlyn's secret desire to be free of his burdens, how he uses this chaos as a ladder to climb out of his confining life. (It is also an homage to Littlefinger's quote from Game of Thrones.)

Dreams (Awake to Me)
(2:09) [lyrics]

A simple lullaby that doubles as a love song. This is one of Mueller's most successful songs, covered by several singers through the years. Originally composed for Mueller's 1996 Off Broadway musical Creature, it was later repurposed for Runners In A Dream. Emily Rohm's version appears on the Frankenspell Superstar soundtrack. Woody Mankowsky's jazz version appears on If I Could Live Long Enough. This bare-bones version is by Aaron Paul who played the character Amichai in Runners In A Dream. "Tobin Mueller has done it again, crafting an intimate ballad that floats and infiltrates like a dream. Simple yet inventive, it creates a moving narrative of care and hope, sure to touch every mother, father, grandparent and those who seek comfort in this world. Aaron Paul’s gorgeous tenor accentuates the elegance of this lullaby." (BlowYaSpeakers.com)

Out of Toyland

Based on several holiday tunes, including Toyland, Carol of the Bells, She Moved Through the Fair and Auld Lang Syne, this was first released as a Bonus Track on Tobin Mueller's 2013 Christmas album, Midwinter Born. Jim Edwards plays guitars, Mueller plays all other instruments.

What Thou Lovest Well
(4:28) [lyrics]

Composed in 1976 while Mueller was still in college, the title of this gentle waltz is inspired by Ezra Pounds' Cantos (written while he was imprisoned by the fascist dictatorship in Italy during WWII). This version incorporates backing vocals by the L.A. singer Joseph Gray. "So our hearts and our minds gather in treasures that our joy tells us is ours."

Merlin's Awakening

Mueller composed this piece for a friend's wedding processional back in 1994. He then arranged it for his unpublished musical Merlyn) and recorded it in 2004. All instruments are played by keyboard except the hand percussion which Mueller played and recorded by hand. This version includes acoustic piano additions, recorded in 2019 (as have all the piano additions on this album).

Let Yourself Dream
(3:28) [lyrics]

Written as a stream-of-conciousness lullaby for Mueller's 2005 Off Broadway musical, Runners In A Dream, he recorded a version of it for his 2013 release Hard Place To Find. This is a new arrangement. "There’s a vision inside you, that you are something more than what people see: Something holy."

Lady of the Lake

Originally composed for Mueller's unfinished Celtic musical Merlyn, this arrangement features the vocalese of Mystified. Mueller discusses dreams that helped inspire the show in his memoir Book of Dreams, pages 44-50.

Pull Me Home
(4:34) [lyrics]

Mueller wrote the first version of this song in 1980, altering the lyrics and adding the bridge/coda in 2001. This is an all new arrangement adding fretless bass, strings and harp to the original nylon string guitar accompanimenmt. The prior arrangement appeared on Mueller's 2016 release If I Could Live Long Enough. "Let me fall past the notions of the world I know. Past it all. Past this soul. Where wordless senses start, let me reach out beyond the help of God, with no belief to hold, just this love I know."

What I Was Thinking While You Were Talking

The original version of this tune was forged as an experiment through the website MacJams.com in 2006. The late great guitarist Fran 'Ziti' Dagostino from Boston posted an acoustic guitar track. This track was then proccessed, flip, manipulated by 'Deputy Doofy' then passed along to Tobin Mueller. All keyboards are played by Mueller. This version is an edited remastering of the original. The original appeared on Mueller's 2014 release Come In Funky.

Loolay Lullaby
(2:48) [lyrics]

Composed in 1985, this song was written to Tobin's second son, William Francis Mueller (born 1984), father of Nora (who graces the back of the CD). It was first recorded for Mueller's 2007 album A Bit of Light. It is fitting to complete this collection with a lullaby written to the father of one of the grandchildren to which the album is dedicated. "The suppleness of brightening night will soothe and mend, and all the dreams I’ve spun to you will lend."

God Bless America

BONUS TRACK: Tobin's daughter, Dale Mueller, sings this iconic American song learned at school. It was recorded in 1992 just as she turned 3.

All music and lyrics by Tobin Mueller, except: "Before There Were Gods" by Michael Hedges & Tobin Mueller; "Puzzle City" by Bob Pier & Tobin Mueller; “Pandora's Box” by Tobin Mueller & Lennon Loveday; "Toyland" by Victor Herbert; "Auld Lang Syne" (traditional); "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin.
©2019 Tobin Mueller
WONDER is the new progressive rock album by Tobin Mueller. This 28-track tour de force cycles between densely layered vocals and epic instrumentals, ballad anthems and lullabies, providing the listener an imaginative journey. Volume 1 is progressive rock at its finest, with jazz and rock opera influences. Volume 2 focus more on fusion pop ballads, but is full of surprise intensity as well. Neo-Prog meets Neo-Classical. A mind-bending, breathtaking array of music."

- Industry 100

Jump to Volume 1Volume 2

Bonus Tracks
Relentless Chaos of the Ocean

This track was edited and remastered to be on this album but will instead appear on Mueller's upcoming Best of Piano compilation, TOBIN MUELLER: Best Piano Solos.

Queen Crimson

A collaboration that first appeared on MacJams.com. A prelude/etude experiment with GarageBand settings, sounds and live guitars.

Charon's Requiem

Original collaboration between Mueller and opera singer Alessandra Zwegler, uncut, prior to added electric keyboards and acoustic piano.

Out of the Forest (instrumental)

Originally composed for Mueller's 1991 CenterStage musical Robin Hood (which ran Off Broadway from 1994-5 under the title Freedom's First Light), this new arrangement features Mueller on piano, backed by an orchestra in which he also plays every instrument. I did not make the cut for this album.

Borate Zone: Please Eat

Collaboration between the online digital artist Borate and Tobin Mueller. Incorprates the iconic Twighlight Zone quote.

The Chimney Speech

Taken from Mueller's 2005 Off Broadway musical, Runners In A Dream, this speech is recited by Aaron Paul (see "Dreams (Awake to Me" above) playing the character of Amichai. He is explaining the chimnneys to the young Ilse.

When You Awake to Me

An alternative jazz version sung by Woody Mankowski, from Mueller's If I Could Live Long Enough album

Tobin in his D&D Wizard Hat