When the first track of Jurgen Muller’s Science of the Sea begins, you are transported into a deep blue realm, replete with beluga whales and sea anemones.
Muller, supposedly, was a student of marine biology over thirty years ago at the University of Kiel in Germany and was inspired to compose Science of the Sea, an audio expression of his fascination with deep-sea life. Several years later, Muller’s previously unrecognized work of art was rediscovered and has been re-released – perhaps to be better appreciated.
Even if one were to listen to the album with no preconception of the purpose behind it or the inspiration that drove Muller to make, a quiet, peaceful seascape makes itself known, powerful in its weight. The listener almost expects to hear Richard Attenborough’s voice slowly making its way over the whistles and deep tones, describing the mysterious lives of the denizens of the deep. And yet, there is something meditative – even transcendental – about Muller’s creation. Elegant, sophisticated, and innovative, Science of the Sea pushes the envelope.
The album begins with “Beyond the Tide”, with grandiose sounds meant to wash over the listener, interrupted by mimicked dolphin sounds. “Sea Bed Meditation” and “The Elusive Tide” further push the evolution of Muller’s idea, creating a full and complete story through the music.“Coral Fantasy” and “Oxygen Bubbles” are slightly more enthusiastic, so to speak, perkier versions of their forebears.
The true quality of the music, however, comes from its fidelity to the environment that inspired its birth. Music as homage to the beauty that surrounds us, reverential even in its techno-hypnotic surrealness, Muller’s masterpiece is something unique and perhaps even devotional. Thankfully distant from the usual nonsense that markets itself as contemporary New Age, The Science of the Sea is inspired, delicate and a thing of beauty. As an evolving sound, fragile in its own ecosystem, it is strangely entrancing and absolutely worth the time taken to listen to it and experience it.