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Risen Cathedral


by

TobinMueller

 Genre: Piano

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Description
This is a fantasy based on Claude Debussy's "The Sunken Cathedral." I saw Frank Sinatra on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson many years ago. With an impish grin, Johnny asked him, "So, when you're entertaining a young lady in your home, do you play Sinatra (to try and seduce her), like the rest of us?" "No," Frank replied, "I put on something classy, like The Sunken Cathedral." It got me thinking.

La cathédrale engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral) was published in 1910 as the 10th prelude in Book I of Debussy's Préludes. This piece is based on an ancient Breton myth in which a cathedral, submerged underwater off the coast of the Island of Ys, rises up from the sea on clear mornings when the water is transparent. Incorporating Debussy’s melodic theme into a jazz groove made me feel like I was walking the streets of Rouen, synthesizing everything around me. I have renamed this fantasy "Risen Cathedral," imagining the cathedral already risen as I pass, my present distractions contrasted against its ancient magic (when the chordal section arrives at 2:48). Check out Claude Monet's "The Rouen Cathedral" series, great stuff, like musical variations for the eyes. I used "Morning Effect." I thought the contrast of colors best fit the music.

Risen Cathedral is the 12th track on my 13 track piano CD, Impressions of Water & Light. I interpret some of my favorite Impressionist composers, including Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Sati and others. It was a most nourishing project. I felt like a student again, and it felt good. Some tracks are quite different from the original, like this one; some are much the same, with slight variations to the chords and inserted passages of my material inspired by the music on the page. Please check out my Impressions Project page, or the album on CDBaby or iTunes (use search function). Impressions of Water & Light is my fourth solo piano album.
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Song Stats
Hits: 1835
Comments: 24
Fans: 14
Plays: 71
Downloads: 12
Votes: 0
Uploaded: May 29, 2014 - 12:23:40 PM
Last Updated: May 29, 2014 - 12:29:27 PM Last Played: Mar 24, 2017 - 07:31:59 PM
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Comments
Bubowski said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
Outstanding
Beautifully written and played. One of my favorite Debussy pieces. I love the little snatches of the original that pop up periodically. Great job.
Check out my latest song called Drumbeats off Jupiter
TobinMueller said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
little snatches
Thanks! I played the piece for a couple days before the simple base groove popped into my head that let me play the opening section "melody" as a chord progression over the top. The Sunken Cathedral is a perfect song. Perfect. I had to get over the sense of awe before I could really tear it apart and rebuild it. Glad, as a fan of the original, you liked this variation. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Bowman said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
A sweet
and funky piece filled with strikingly lovingly carved and thoughtful sections. Lots to savor here.
Cheers,
Charlie
Check out my latest song called NIGHT OF THE WITCH
TobinMueller said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
lovingly carved
Very cool way of putting it! I did spend about a week carving this piece. And,m if I recall, it was around Thanksgiving last year, as well. Coincidence??
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Narad said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
Risen Cathedral
Very personal and attentive to each detail. The colors are warm and powerful, reflecting extremely well lights and shadows of the risen cathedral.
Take a bow ! :)
Check out my latest song called Earthquake
TobinMueller said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
lights and shadows
I love that you understand this as a visual piece. Thanks! Debussy's original is such a perfect Tone Poem, so very visual. I wanted to to follow that lead and achieve the same thing, in a more contemporary, urban way. Yes, personal and attentive, I try to always be. Love your comments. Much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Skean said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
Pro stuff
Thanks a lot for sharing, peace.
Check out my latest song called Deep through the forest / W-particledots
TobinMueller said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
Pro stuff
Thanks. The best place to share is MacJams!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Vic Holman said 1292 days ago (May 29th, 2014)
spunky
besides the great piano playing, what i found very interesting was the cool timing is on this piece.... tricky stuff
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TobinMueller said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
spunky
I haven't been called "spunky" in a long time. Made me feel young again! Love it!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
gadzooks said 1292 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
Risen Cathedral
What a nice recorded piano sound you are getting ... so pure. Wonderful timing in this piece ... I love the bass notes ... lovely playing and Monet's piece is the perfect image of warm and cool to go with this very cool rendition. That one bass note at 2:48 that takes you into that dreamy chordal section....
Check out my latest song called Emoji
TobinMueller said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
2:48
My first draft had bass notes on each chord during that section. But then I could make the chords both as dense and light. And I wanted them to float. So I dropped the bass notes except for that first sustained one, and it made the section stand out even more. Thanks for noticing!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
Ostinato bass...
...is the perfect underpinning for your jazz improv of this great Debussy classic. Among the 13 tracks on this CD (just out...way cool!) this is one of the most peaceful and pleasing. You bring a good deal of restraint to the re-interpretation, something not easy in the jazz arena. You kept the reins pulled back and have created something quite special here. (It would be interesting to hear what Claude were to do with YOUR "Sunken Cathedral" were he to hear your before conceiving his. Ha.)
Check out my latest song called 185
TobinMueller said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
What Claude would think...
I wondered that for the past year, the entire time I was working on this project. I imagined both Claudes, Debussy and Monet, sitting against the wall (too intimidating when I imagined them standing over my shoulder) as I reshaped the waters of the original Impressionists' scores with the light in the room. We stand on the shoulders of ghosts, or they sit on ours like little angels and devils whispering. I think they would love the idea of being re-interpreted. I hope they'd both like this one. It was the second arrangement I did, after Claire de Lune. Debussy was such an innovator. I loved going back to those pieces, after spending most of my career forging original works and kind of ignoring the masters, and becoming a student again...

I truly appreciate your time and thoughtful comments. I love that we have found each other here, in this space. Too bad we don't live closer!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
rok41 said 1291 days ago (May 30th, 2014)
Risen Cathedral
So, so classy - your style is direct, purposeful - I always enjoy how you let your personality shine through, whether you wrote it or not. True artistry. great listen.
Check out my latest song called Kilimanjaro - 2017
TobinMueller said 1289 days ago (June 1st, 2014)
your style is direct, purposeful
Thanks. Love that comment. It is what I strive for. Humbling praise. Much appreciate.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 1291 days ago (May 31st, 2014)
risen cathedral
I love this dancing of the high notes in contrast to the hooky bassnotes.
very visual stuff, just like Debussy :-)
very much enjoyed
KC
Check out my latest song called Love the one you're with
TobinMueller said 1289 days ago (June 1st, 2014)
Visual stuff
Thanks. I almost always imagine things when I'm arranging/playing. In the case of ever song in my latest project, Impressions of Water & Light, I not only imagined settings and emotive motion, but Impressionist artwork that I matched to each piece. (It was great fun researching the art of the period. I thought I knew a lot, but had no idea how much I had yet to discover.) So, the songs all convey a visual, sometimes a collage of visuals, in the more complex pieces. But this piece had one image, a single gentle action, and I could focus on it with more precision. I'm glad you noticed this!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 1291 days ago (May 31st, 2014)
risen cathedral
I love this dancing of the high notes in contrast to the hooky bassnotes.
very visual stuff, just like Debussy :-)
very much enjoyed
KC
Check out my latest song called Love the one you're with
thetiler said 1290 days ago (May 31st, 2014)
Tobin
I LOVE your description of Frank Sinatra about his statement in regards to what he plays. Quite interesting and a few I didn't know about him. He had a great effect on a lot of musicians, but I like how you speak about the era that I was influence by though a bit more when I was very young. But I miss those little statements as I get older. I enjoy typing when I hear your music. For some reason I get a feel of walking on a city street late at night after just a rain. A classical feel for the advanced listener in a delight and Jazzy way. Nobody I can remember plays jazz the way you do Tobin. What a delightful and PROFESSIONAL feel.

Truly a tune that deserves 70 fans and more. When I hear music this good I just have to tell that artist "please remember" it is not just the fans. This is OF HIGH PRO CALIBER! Like a skilled Jazz surgeon :)
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 1289 days ago (June 1st, 2014)
walking on a city street late at night after just a rain
That is a great image. So much of Impressionist music is Pastoral, dreamy. So much of Jazz is Urban, city rhythms, the complexities of claustrophobia. Walking on a city street late at night in the rain is a great compromise, something I was shooting for, actually!

I like to think of some Impressionist music as Pastoral pre-Jazz. Sophisticated modal harmonies and playful improvisation give shape to fluid dissonance, yet avoid the twentieth century agitations and displacements (syncopation) that energize much of modern jazz. Many Impressionist pieces flip from idea to idea without conformity, like a catbird scatting. Idyllic, illusive running brooks pervade many of it's melodies. Still meadows, gardens in full bloom, a sunrise over drifting waves, and the exultations of springtime give much of this music dreamy context and inspiration. Sensual music, mythic yet tactile. This poetic essence is what I've tried to illuminate in each of my interpretations, regardless of the genre they (almost) fall into.

I appreciate so very much your support. Thank you again for checking in and giving such thought to your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Philip18 said 1287 days ago (June 3rd, 2014)
Risen cathedral
I love the feel of this and the different elements in the arrangement. Excellent, Tobin. I hope the album goes well for you!
Check out my latest song called Silk and Honey
Franciscus_Henri said 1287 days ago (June 4th, 2014)
BRAVO
Music like a tapestry.
Silk.
PeterB7858 said 1281 days ago (June 9th, 2014)
Risen Cathedral
Would love to hear this live, Tobin. It maintains a finger-clicking, loose jazz vibe within a wonderfully creative web of sonic vignettes. Excellent. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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