It’s fascinating to hear the sounds the young Swiss didgeridoo virtuoso, Matthias Mueller, creates with his primal Australian wind instrument. Listening to his concerts and his two CDs “Didgeridoo & Dreamtime Pipe” (1994) and “Passion” (1997), he is obviously an explorer of the sound world, seeking what yet might be possible with the instrument. His performances prove that his passion has paid off, as he has turned his avocation into a profession.

The music is thoroughly enjoyable whether we decide to visit the sound spaces through meditation with our eyes closed or by focused, alert attention. The performances offer entertainment for the eyes as well as the ears. During concerts Matthias often moves through the audience with the dreamtime pipe (the lighter, American version of the didgeridoo made of cactus) and fills the room with sound from all directions. His instrument moves along people’s feet, slowly wanders through spaces bordered by heads, shoulders, and arms, passes close to ears, only to suddenly turn and continue in another direction. The music becomes a physical experience, which intensifies its colors, spaces and rhythms.

Not merely modeled after Australian examples or an imaginary Aboriginal world, Matthias’ music is inspired by sounds in his own environment and expresses emotional and physical states. The titles in the second CD “Passion” reflect his own habitat, the city (“Earthly Power”, “Energy”, “Freestyle”) and impressions of the mountains to which he is often drawn (“View from the Mountains”, “Sunrise”).

Matthias is especially interested in sounds created with similar instruments in different cultures. Such similarity exists between the didgeridoo and the alphorn, with which Matthias has worked with intensively (the composition “Alphorn”). Matthias includes the Swiss native instrument in his concerts and gives it an unusual and touching voice with his didgeridoo playing technique.

In addition to his solo work, Matthias forms ensembles with musicians and artists of other disciplines like dance. We look forward to hearing more from such a creative musician.

Portrait 1998