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    Michael J. Schumacher – Room Pieces

    Michael J. Schumacher - Room Pieces

    In the 1970s and ’80s, Michael J. Schumacher studied composition at places like the University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana and Juilliard in New York. After working for a spell in a rock and improv vein, he began a career in classical music, composing for solo piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra and voice. A stint with La Monte Young in the early ’90s pushed him out onto a minimal limb, where he began to build sound installations. Room Pieces offers up a couple of whole CDs full of two-channel audio evidence of those multi-channel environments. The first contains a CD-filling 75-minute track called “Room Piece XI” in which subtle, ringing, weedling electronic drones and the odd, quavering piano note are rudely interrupted by occasional outbursts of electronics and sampled acoustic instruments.

    Disc two is nearly as long, broken up into four pieces that each approach the 20-minute mark. “Piece in Three Parts” starts of as a long slab of intense, shrill, wailing acoustic improv. About half way through, the chaos subsides as a resonant ambience takes over with occasional outbursts of the former chaos. “Still” lives up to its name with a series of quiet, gently squeaking drones and nearly inaudible ambience. The undulating layers of “Unititled” are just the opposite, as they loudly bristle with a collection of shimmering, metallic power drones that recall Iannis Xenakis’ “La Legende D’Eer,” although not quite as corrosive. Another version of “Still” finishes the set with some quiet keyboard echoes that get rained upon by all sorts of squeaks and skitters. According to the results of a recent ear poll, Room Pieces tastes better than Reese’s Pieces by a long shot, and provides the listener with an excellent example of an aleatoric and active yet ambient drone music that packs a strange, emotional wallop.

    Label: Experimental Intermedia Catalog Number: XI 127 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: Disc 1: 1, Disc 2: 4 Total Time: Disc 1: 75:43, Disc 2: 72:52 Country: United States Released: 2003 More: Artist Direct, Discogs, Forced Exposure, Official

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

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