I am now developing a documentary for Notations 21 that will feature Michael J. Schumacher. Michael is a composer, performer and installation artist based in New York City.
Working predominantly with electronic and digital media, he creates sound environments that evolve over long time periods. He imbues these generative, algorithmic structures with an abundance of sonic material, resulting in forms that flow through a wide range of moods, timbral combinations and textural densities. In their realization, Schumacher uses multiple speaker configurations that relate the sounds of the installation to the architecture of the exhibition space. Architectural and acoustical considerations thereby become basic structural elements.
Schumacher’s sound installations have been heard at Art in General, Apex Art, PS 1, The Kitchen and Sculpture Center in New York City, CCNOA in Brussels, Singuhr Gallery and Tesla in Berlin, the Museum for Applied Arts in Frankfurt , the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, Triskel Arts Center in Cork, Ireland, Transmissions Festival and ESS in Chicago, Tone Deaf Festival in Kingston, Ontario, The Sound Art Museum in Rome, )toon Festival in Haarlem, RADAR in Mexico City and others.
His “Living Room Pieces” is permanently installed in an apartment at the Chelsea Hotel, and runs 24 hours/day, continuously generating new forms. XI Records has just published a set of five sound installations as computer applications, playable on up to eight speakers, that may be installed on a computer to create sound environments in the home. Schumacher’s composition “Grid”, a computer generated score that unfolds in real time, was part of the exhibition “Between Thought and Sound” at the Kitchen, as well as group exhibitions in Barcelona, San Francisco and Houston.
Schumacher has composed for traditional instrumentation, including works for solo piano, pieces for a variety of chamber ensembles, song cycles, and two symphonies for full orchestra. He has been commissioned by the pianist Tomas Baechli, Sally Silvers Dance Company, and the Zeitkratzer Ensemble of Berlin, among others. Schumacher is the composer in residence for Liz Gerring Dance Company, with whom he has worked since 1984.
He is also a guitarist and improviser, and has published three CDs of music for prepared electric guitar, both as soloist and with Donald Miller. 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. He has performed with cellist Charles Curtis and guitarist Donald Miller, with Tom Chiu, David First, Phill Niblock, Dean Roberts, Matt Rogalsky, with the pianist Tomas Baechli and poet Bruce Andrews.
In August 2007 Schumacher and Nisi Jacobs began DRAW, an audio-video performance group. Joined by Tim Keiper, Alex Waterman, Bruce Andrews and others, they create immersive live sets based on collaborative compositions. DRAW’s website is http://drawnyc.com.
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 150 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. A complete listing of past presentations and upcoming events is viewable online at www.diapasongallery.org.
Schumacher has published six solo CDs, as well as collaborative recordings with Stephen Vitiello, David Tronzo, Donald Miller and Charles Curtis. He is on the Sub Rosa anthology of noise and electronic music and the lower case 2002 compilation, as well as on an LP of remixes of music by Oren Ambarchi on Touch. Schumacher’s CD “Room Pieces”, on XI Records, was rated best of 2003 for “modern composition” by The Wire magazine.
Schumacher has lectured at Bard College, The New School, The School for Visual Arts and Juilliard. He taught electronic music at the Center for Media Arts in New York City in the mid 1980s. He has taught piano, composition, theory and ear training privately since 1983. He currently teaches at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.
Schumacher was awarded the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Grant in 2001. He has also received awards and residencies from NYFA, Harvestworks, Rennsellaer Polytechnic Institute, Meet the Composer, DAAD and others. Schumacher has degrees in music composition from Indiana University, where he won the composition prize in 1982, and the Juilliard School, where he earned the doctorate in 1988. His teachers have been Stanley Applebaum, Seymour Bernstein, Bernhard Heiden, John Eaton, John Ogden, Shigeo Neriki, La Monte Young and Vincent Persichetti. Born in 1961 in Washington, DC, he has lived in New York since 1983.
If you are interested in how the documentary is going please write me. Theresa