Muse – Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 (Redemption) Piano solo with sheet music
are an English rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of Matt Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Wolstenholme (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Dominic Howard (drums).
Muse released their debut album, Showbiz, in 1999, showcasing Bellamy’s falsetto and a melancholic alternative rock style. Their second album, Origin of Symmetry (2001), incorporated wider instrumentation and romantic classical influences, featured their acclaimed cover of “Feeling Good“, and earned them a reputation for energetic live performances. Absolution (2003) saw further classical influence, with strings on tracks such as “Butterflies and Hurricanes“, and was the first of six consecutive UK number-one albums.
Black Holes and Revelations (2006) incorporated electronic and pop elements, displayed in singles such as “Supermassive Black Hole“, and brought Muse wider international success. The Resistance (2009) and The 2nd Law (2012) explored themes of government oppression and civil uprising and cemented Muse as one of the world’s major stadium acts. Rolling Stone stated the band possessed “stadium-crushing songs”.
Topping the US Billboard 200, their seventh album, Drones (2015), was a concept album about drone warfare and returned to a harder rock sound. Their eighth album, Simulation Theory (2018), prominently featured synthesisers and was influenced by science fiction and the simulation hypothesis.
Muse have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards and eight NME Awards. In 2012 they received the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. As of June 2016, they have sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
Described as an alternative rock, space rock and progressive rock band, Muse mix sounds from genres such as electronic music, progressive metal and art rock, and forms such as classical music, rock opera and many others. In 2002, Bellamy described Muse as a “trashy three-piece”. In 2005, Pitchfork described Muse’s music as “firmly ol’ skool at heart: proggy hard rock that forgoes any pretensions to restraint … their songs use full-stacked guitars and thunderous drums to evoke God’s footsteps.”
AllMusic described their sound as a “fusion of progressive rock, glam, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation.” On the band’s association with progressive rock, Howard said: “I associate it [progressive rock] with 10-minute guitar solos, but I guess we kind of come into the category. A lot of bands are quite ambitious with their music, mixing lots of different styles – and when I see that I think it’s great. I’ve noticed that kind of thing becoming a bit more mainstream.”
For their second album, Origin of Symmetry (2001), Muse wanted to craft a more aggressive sound. In 2000, Wolstenholme said: “Looking back, there isn’t much difference sonically between the mellow stuff and the heavier tracks [on Showbiz]. The heavy stuff really could have been a lot heavier and that’s what we want to do with [Origin of Symmetry].”
Their third album, Absolution (2003), features prominent string arrangements and drew influences from artists such as Queen. Their fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations (2006) was influenced by artists including Depeche Mode and Lightning Bolt, as well as Asian and European music such as Naples music. The band listened to radio stations from the Middle East during the album’s recording sessions.
Queen guitarist Brian May has praised Muse’s work, calling the band “extraordinary musicians”, who “let their madness show through, always a good thing in an artist.”
Muse’s sixth album, The 2nd Law (2012) has a broader range of influences, ranging from funk and film scores to electronica and dubstep. The 2nd Law is influenced by rock acts such as Queen and Led Zeppelin (on “Supremacy“) as well as dubstep producer Skrillex and Nero (on “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” and “Follow Me“, with the latter being co-produced by Nero), Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder (on “Panic Station” which features musicians who performed on Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition“) and Hans Zimmer.
The album features two songs with lyrics written and sung by bassist Wolstenholme, who wrote about his battle with alcoholism. It features extensive electronic instrumentation, including modular synthesisers and the French Connection, a synthesiser controller similar to the ondes martenot.
Many Muse songs are recognisable by vocalist Matt Bellamy’s use of vibrato, falsetto, and melismatic phrasing, influenced by Jeff Buckley. As a pianist, Bellamy often uses arpeggios. Bellamy’s compositions often suggest or quote late classical and romantic era composers such as Sergei Rachmaninov (in “Space Dementia” and “Butterflies and Hurricanes“), Camille Saint-Saëns (in “I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S’ouvre a ta Voix)”) and Frédéric Chopin (in “United States of Eurasia“).
As a guitarist, Bellamy often uses arpeggiator and pitch-shift effects to create a more “electronic” sound, citing Jimi Hendrix and Tom Morello as influences. His guitar playing is also influenced by Latin and Spanish guitar music; Bellamy said: “I just think that music is really passionate…It has so much feel and flair to it. I’ve spent important times of my life in Spain and Greece, and various deep things happened there – falling in love, stuff like that. So maybe that rubbed off somewhere.”
Wolstenholme’s basslines are a central motif of many Muse songs; the band combines bass guitar with effects and synthesisers to create overdriven fuzz bass tones. Both Bellamy and Wolstenholme use touch-screen controllers, often built into their instruments, to control synthesisers and effects including a Korg Kaoss pad or Digitech Whammy pedal.
Most earlier Muse songs lyrically dealt with introspective themes, including relationships, social alienation, and difficulties they had encountered while trying to establish themselves in their hometown. However, with the band’s progress, their song concepts have become more ambitious, addressing issues such as the fear of the evolution of technology in their Origin of Symmetry (2001) album. They deal mainly with the apocalypse in Absolution (2003) and with catastrophic war in Black Holes and Revelations (2006). The Resistance (2009) focused on themes of government oppression, uprising, love, and panspermia.
The album itself was mainly inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Their sixth studio album, The 2nd Law (2012) relates to economics, thermodynamics, and apocalyptic themes. Their 2015 album Drones, is a concept album that uses autonomous killing drones as a metaphor for brainwashing and loss of empathy.
Books that have influenced Muse’s lyrical themes include Nineteen Eighty-Four, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins, Hyperspace by Michio Kaku, The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs and Trance Formation of America by Cathy O’Brien.
|Matt Bellamy – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, piano, synthesizers Dominic Howard – drums, percussions Chris Wolstenholme – bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional keyboards and guitar||Touring musicians Morgan Nicholls – guitars, keyboards and synthesizers, backing vocals, samples, bass (2004, 2006–present) Dan “The Trumpet Man” Newell – trumpet (2006–2008) Alessandro Cortini – keyboards, synthesizers (2009, substitute)|