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Nora-Louise Müller Beyond the Horizon Review

by May 7, 2020

Nora-Louise Müller Beyond the Horizon Review

Nora-Louise-Müller-cdNora-Louise Müller is a classical clarinetist that completed her degree in instrumental pedagogy at the Hanover University of Music and Drama. She continued her studies at the University of Music Lübeck in the class of Reiner Wehle and Sabine Meyer, where she earned her performance degree. She received further inspiration for several years from courses at the Scuola Internazionale di Perfezionamento Musicale in Bobbio, Italy, with Hans Deinzer. Müller is also passionate about researching playing techniques and musical possibilities of the Bohlen-Pierce clarinets, which is her topic for her Ph.D. dissertation, to be published in 2020. The Bohlen-Pierce clarinet uses an alternative harmonic tonal system, and Müller is one of the very few clarinetists worldwide who play this unusual instrument. In 2018, she won Second Prize in the Research Competition of the International Clarinet Association.

About the Album

Beyond the Horizon is Müller’s latest release on the Genuin label. The album offers ten fascinating tracks that are compositions based on the tonal system of the Bohlen-Pierce scale. This system uses a twelfth instead of an octave and is divided into thirteen tonal steps, taking the listener into magical-archaic tonal worlds that transcend all listening habits. Müller and Ákos Hoffmann, two outstanding clarinetists, and their fellow musicians play their own compositions on instruments specially made for this scale system, as well as music by Georg Hajdu, Todd Harrop, and others.

Our Favorite Tracks

“Burning Petrol (After Scriabin)” is the opening sounds for the project. The Bohlen-Pierce alternative harmonic tonal system is instantly Nora-Louise-Müller-2noticeable. Written by Georg Hajdu for 2 Bohlen-Pierce clarinets, 1 Bohlen-Pierce tenor clarinet, 41-tone electric guitar, double bass, and electronics/synthesizer. The ensemble is just as diverse as the sonorities. The focus is on the BP clarinets with much of the other instruments acting as support and coloring. The mood is exotic, but still Western European in nature. There is a definite melodic development and harmonic flow. Once the ears adjust to the system, the resulting harmonic and melodic colors are very stimulating.

“Bird of Janus” is a Todd Harrop composition for solo BP-clarinet, which is performed solo by Müller. Here one can hear the beautiful tone and expressiveness that Müller speaks with through the instrument. Again, the Bohlen-Pierce alternative harmonic tonal system adds character and an unusual element, but the music is still remarkably familiar. The name aptly describes the overall effect of the piece in that it is like bird calls. The playing and cohesiveness of sound and character by Müller really brings this composition to life.

In Conclusion

Müller’s study and exploration of the tonal system of the Bohlen-Pierce scale is presented with many moods, ensembles, and composers onNora-Louise-Müller Beyond the Horizon. Her playing on both BP clarinet and traditional clarinet is superb. Each of the composers handles the Bohlen-Pierce scale in creative and musical ways, and the performances are top-notch. If you are a fan of Scriabin and company, your ears will find the Bohlen-Pierce scale exciting and thought-provoking. This is for anyone that appreciates a new aesthetic in contemporary music.

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Overview
Materials

Bohlen-Pierce clarinet

Artist

Nora-Louise Müller

Album

Beyond the Horizon

Features

Bohlen-Pierce alternative harmonic tonal system

Label

Genuin

Release Date

May 1, 2020

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