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  Michael J. Schumacher
Room Pieces

Disc 1
  1. Room Piece XI (2002)
Disc 2
  1. Piece in 3 Parts (2002) - (with Jane Henry, violin and Tim Barnes, percussion)
  2. Still (2002) - (with bowed friction sounds by Charles Curtis, cello)
  3. Untitled (1999
  4. Still (2002)
 

Much music has been written to guide listeners through the course of a preconceived form. Although Michael J. Schumacher's music is distinctly his own it has been inspired by David Tudor and Morton Feldman as well as La Monte Young. Like their music it is about hearing sounds in themselves, about allowing the ear to register sonorities and then the hearing imagination may go to work, navigating amongst temporal realities and imaginary spaces, negotiating between a sense of control and perceived randomness, stasis and movement, finitude and limitlessness, Schumacher thrives on those creative tensions. At its most personal and expansive his singular music has the capacity to convey "intimate immensity." (Julian Cowley, from the liner notes).

Room Piece provides a unique solution and musical experience in reference to "the room." Generated by a specific method and possessing a decidedly emotional character, Room Piece is not merely "ambient music" but creates a bridge between the "eventfulness" herad in Cage-ian and serial music, and the new American drone music that has arisen intuitively to create the sound of a vibrant universe with rich interior activity. Piece in 3 Parts uses two 30-second samples of violinist Jane Henry improvising and a 40-second sample of percussionist Tim Barnes playing a gong. The samples are then processed by computer. Part I is a dense and passionately executed body of layered mutations of the source string sounds. Variations on the gong source begin Part II with bass tessitura resonances that fold into each other. The sounds gradually accumulate into a surreal polytextured mobile. The first Still is an exquisite and static density with interior movement, a quiescent and serene soundscape that "the listener can explore in his/her own rhythm." The second Still presents wonderfully crafted sounds compacted of different internal rhythms as constant and and fixed and thus ultimately "still" in their effect. Untitled offers a musical image where the "still" is now a drone consisting of multiple frequency-modulated sine tones beating against each other to create a richly dynamic rhythmic counterpoint. ("Blue" Gene Tyranny, from the liner notes)


 
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