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Balmorhea presents: Movements for Piano

Balmorhea cofounder Michael Muller  shares a personal and poignant collection of piano compositions in the latest edition of Spotify Essentials. 


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Posted on Jan 25, 2013   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 2:46 am CDT

In Spotify Essentials, the Daily Dot curates custom playlists created by some of our favorite artists, staff writers, and Web community leaders.

In this installment, Michael Muller, cofounder of the Austin-based instrumental outfit Balmorhea, shares a personal and poignant collection of piano compositions. The band’s critically acclaimed new album, Stranger, is available now on Western Vinyl.

I am interested in the pairing and subsequent magnetism of physical and emotional sensations. Music has the bizarre ability to transcend these two realms and cause a great overlap. Within this folded-over region we may often experience some strand of elation. It’s this sensation that is the coal behind music’s vigor and grandeur. When we hear a certain song a distinct memory of place, emotion, relationship or even specific smell may be conjured.

Exploring and uncovering these connections is something I fail to do often. Amidst the frenetic pace of this age, it’s rare we slow our scanning eyes or typing fingers long enough to truly engage in a single collective movement.

The following is a collection of modern composers that predominately use the piano as their chosen tool of speech. This music implores the listener to pause, to pay attention to the negative space. Each piece, I think, fits quite squarely in accompaniment to the milieu of the winter season. The musicians range geographically from the United States and Europe and are seemingly woven into a similar fabric of sonic aesthetics.

I hope this collection allows you quietude in your day or night. 

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2013, 1:00 pm CST