Mendocino/Sonoma Coast musicians Tim Mueller and Harrison Goldberg of the group duo'Xplore
Goldberg relates that "the inspiration behind the mixed media aspect of the project came after Tim had viewed samples of my visual art and showed me a copy of a CD titled the fawn, by the group the sea and cake. The album's understated bone-white cover features several horizontal rows of small vertical white and earth-toned, book-shaped panels. Not only did I feel that my work could showcase well in this format, but the idea of including visual art to accompany our music was appealing, particularly as a way of engaging the listener in a parallel artistic experience. Hence the innovative concept of dream smuggler came to life."
By virtue of the daring improvisational spirit conveyed in its band name, duo'Xplore typically offered Mendonoma coast audiences in the area's popular venues a "guitar and saxophone adventure" focusing primarily on the spontaneous, imaginative and unpredictable reworking of popular jazz tunes and Great American Songbook Classics. With dream smuggler, musicians Mueller and Goldberg have embarked on a new, equally satisfying sonic journey that features their original music, without sacrificing any of the unmistakable energy and groove of the duo's years-long creative collaboration.
Goldberg describes the creative process for this new artistic venture: "Recording live in Tim's rustic Studio Oisette in a remote corner of Mendocino County, the relaxed and laid back atmosphere encouraged our creativity and engendered a dialogue of soft but energetic restraint that informed our musical conversations. We would begin each session with a brief discussion of the proposed groove, including a key signature to be considered. Once this was established, Tim would begin building his parts of the composition. Combining organic drums with electronic rhythm tracks and then looping them, he would add live electric bass, guitar, some keyboard, sometimes wind chimes or perhaps more synthesized sounds, these all subject to additional looping.
The clever arrangements that developed along the way were further augmented during subsequent mixing, while carefully preserving the sense of freshness, only heightened by the brevity of each musical 'sketch.' This interesting roux that Tim had concocted thus created a tantalizing opportunity for me to introduce a sax melody line or motif that would enhance and add spice to the emerging recipe. Besides the familiar musical flavors of tenor, soprano and alto saxophone, I introduced a selection of novel and exotic voices using my recently acquired Roland AE-10 G Aerophone wind synthesizer.
"Tim's incomparable guitar artistry then drew on his diverse musical influences and performance experience to further enrich the music, adding extra textures and energy to the already exciting compositions. An inspired interplay throughout, and reflecting our signature duo'Xplore sound, the music successfully conveys the high energy and immediacy of our live performances."