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from Tuesday, January29th of the year2008.


  • Nico,
    You may not remember me, but I was in Studio Art with Zach Packer, who I remember raving about your ability to compose music AND write an english essay simultaneously. Anyway, I live in NY and will be at the Kitchen on the 7th and can’t wait to hear you. I make sculptures (often living incognito in the language of product design) that are becoming protagonists in videos you might want to look at (see my website).
    Take care,
    401 935 3071

  • oh no! i’ve noticed that mothertongue has been pushed back a couple of weeks. also, amazon lists the release date as june 3rd, which is waaayy too long to wait.

    why do these things happen? ;_;

  • I’m really excited to be getting this album. It was released on my birthday! 😀

  • I work for a music website which assigned me your album for review. I’m about to buy it, and I just wanted to say thanks for the amazing music.

  • Good god. What a fantastic album. “Skip Town” is the best song I’ve heard since the Bad Plus dropped _Prog_ last year and I heard “Physical Cities” for the first time. Any plans for a tour in Minnesota?

  • Hi, i love Mothertongue. One of my favourite records of 2008. I’ve also written review on my blog in slovak language. i’m very interested, if you could publish the lyrics of Wonders and The Only Tune somewhere, because sometimes I mishear some words :)) thanks!

  • Dear Mr Muhly,

    I had hoped to pose this observation to you in person when you were due to attend Sarasota as part of the “Meet the Composer” season, but the event was sadly canceled for some hidden reason.

    I found your site via a link from a video of the singing of the admirable June Tabor. (I do enjoy the new streams one finds by swimming in unfamiliar waters) Your intriguing setting of “The Only Tune” triggered a few memories. “Two Sisters” is one of the great folk ballads that, I’m sure you know, has resurfaced in many versions. It is curious that the story remains nearly the same in every version although the details vary. I suppose it is much like telling a joke: perhaps you only remember the punchline, but when it comes to retelling, the protagonists become one’s own chosen victims.

    The MudCat Cafe website lists many versions of the song with some intriguing refrains:
    “Binorie, oh Binorie” (surely a place?), “and the swans they swim so bonny”, “bow and balance to me”, “oh the wind and the rain” of course, and perhaps the most puzzling, “hey with a gay and a grinding”! “Grinding” is sometimes replaced by “grandeur” but that seems like a rationalization. Years ago, the “folk” (UK style not US) group “Pyewackett” recorded it very hypnotically with the “grinding” chorus. “Crooked Still” perform a nice version, with a featured cello, of “Wind and Rain” on YouTube.

    If one were so inclined by talent or ambition, “Two Sisters” would make a grimly, gripping operatic moral tale. (Act one: the sisters fateful rivalry (earth); Act 2: the drowning murder; act 3: the fantastical denouement by the harp/fiddle). A sort of antique “who-done-it”. If the younger sister were ever to be tried, as a judge or juror, I would believe the words of magical harp any day!

    The “Wind and the Rain” chorus also summons to mind Shakespeare’s song from King Lear. And to end this ramble, a thread on MudCat mentions an Icelandic version of “Two Sisters”, but I imagine you know of that one.

    Glad you find the song worthy of exploration. I enjoy the results of your delving. Success attend you.

    Best wishes,

    Robert Lovejoy

  • I was fortunate enough to be turned onto Mothertongue yesterday and I have yet to recover! I am a hostage to your creativity.

  • I am new to your music, so I just listened to “Honest Music” on YouTube to get a “taste”. I was very interested to hear this piece you wrote. It was vaguely reminiscient of Aaron Copland’s Piano Variations, though yours is entirely original of course (you’re in good company!). I had the honor of performing the Variations for the composer when I was 17. He uses a 4-note motif for his theme.
    I am a classical/new age composer/pianist (hear my music on my website).
    All the best to you in your music and life!

    Betsy Grant

  • I’m under the spell of “mothertongue” right now. Each listening is a new experience… thank you… and btw, why not come to Finland?