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Stories . Michael J. Schumacher


quecksilber 8
2004. cd . dl

Another milestone album by composer, performer and installation artist Michael J. Schumacher from New York City after the critically acclaimed "Room Pieces", on the XI label, which was rated best of 2003 for "modern composition" by The Wire magazine. Feat. guest musicians Tim Barnes, Charles Curtis, Donald Miller, Peter Zummo, George Bishop and many more.

"Stories" refers to the idea of layering, the process of building a structure by stacking things on top of each other. This procedure is particularly evident in "Room Pieces New York", in which as many as 23 parts play simultaneously. In general, Schumacher's interest is to develop a contemporary form of counterpoint, where each voice maintains its integrity while contributing to a total sound. Listeners are invited to create their own melodies by letting their ears follow the sounds moment by moment, allowing spontaneous pathways linking the various voices to emerge effortlessly.

Michael J. Schumacher

Michael J. Schumacher works predominantly with electronic and digital media, specializing in computer generated sound environments which evolve continuously for long time periods. His sound installations have been heard at Apex Art, PS 1, the Queens Museum and The Kitchen in New York City, at the Technical University and Podewil in Berlin, at the Museum for Applied Arts in Frankfurt, at the Museum of Modern Art in Lyon and many others.

Schumacher has composed extensively for traditional instrumentation, including numerous works for solo piano, pieces for a variety of chamber ensembles, song cycles, and two symphonies for full orchestra. He is also a noted guitarist and improviser, having published music for prepared electric guitar, both as soloist and with Donald Miller. With Miller and cellist Charles Curtis, he has released an lp as The Donald Miller Trio. As a pianist he has given solo piano concerts of his own music, as well as the music of La Monte Young, Terry Jennings and Morton Feldman.

In November 2002 Schumacher founded the group Strata, with Tim Barnes, percussion, Kato Hideki, bass, Toshio Kajiwara, turntables, and Schumacher on piano and electronics. The group's premier concert, at Diapason Gallery, lasted six hours. The group has continued to evolve and presented four 6 hour concerts at Diapason in February 2004. Performers included Joan La Barbara, "Blue" Gene Tyranny and Peter Zummo.

Schumacher has been a close associate of the ground breaking composer La Monte Young since 1989 and has worked as a producer of events at the Dream House, Young's and Marian Zazeela's installation space in Tribeca. He has also worked as technical director of the Dream House and as a recording engineer at Dream House events.

Since 1996, Schumacher has pioneered, first at his downtown gallery Studio Five Beekman and, since 2000, at Diapason Gallery located in midtown, sound art in New York City, by giving over 100 artists the opportunity to present, in environments with high quality multi-channel sound systems and free of outside noise, cutting edge installations with sound as their focus. He has produced premieres by David Behrman, David First, Tetsu Inoue, Ron Kuivila, Steve Roden, Marina Rosenfeld and Stephen Vitiello, to name a few.