Michael Schumacher (Washington, 1961) is a musician who bridges Cage's
dadaism and LaMonte Young's droning minimalism.
His installations often start with field recordings or accidental events
that are then processed at the computer to produce long spatial tones, as
documented in the three compositions of
Fidicin Drones (Colorful Clouds, 1999),
in the four guitar pieces of Guitar Electrica (Quakebasket, 2000),
and in the Four Stills (Sedimental, 2002).
The first disc of Room Pieces (XI, 2003) contains the 75-minute
title-track and four shorter compositions.
Room Piece XI is one in a series of background music conceived for
Cagean indeterminacy is here replaced by a complex computer algorithm which
generates the sparse sounds that populate the piece. The real protagonist
seems to be silence, as the sounds mainly amplify the underlying silence.
Sudden bursts of sound patterns simply increase the sense of loneliness
and chaos. The outcome recalls glitch music rather than concrete music.
Piece in Three Parts (2002) uses violin and percussion in a violently
dissonant and chaotic manner. After seven minutes it becomes purely percussive,
and then fades into gong-like echoes.
Still (2002) harks back to Alvin Lucier's droning minimalism,
and Untitled (2002) to Gordon Mumma's catastrophic noise.
Stories (Quecksilber, 2004) has to do with reinventing a new symphonic
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