Summer's end sonoral; Live electronics and piano

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Posted by Jo Thomas on September 03, 2020 at 14:25:15:

Summer's end Sonoral: Churchill Chapel, Cambridge
Live electronics and Piano

Michael J Schumacher ~ Matt Rogalsky
New York Cambridge

The 31st of August 1999 saw the onset of the new Cambridge-based performance arts society L.E.A.P.S. Live Experimental Arts Performance Society.

To celebrate this occasion New York-based composer Michael Schumacher and Cambridge-based composer Matt Rogalsky provided an hour of intimate, astutely executed and detailed low-gain listening in Churchill College Chapel Cambridge.

There was a clear sense of performance. While Schumacher composed with motionless drama on a laptop, Rogalsky intuitively manipulated live signal processing through his self designed temperature sensitive transmitters.
The whole event was touched by deep sense of minimalism and whispers of Feldman were present as subtle real-time transformations of changing outside environs were taking place.

A small microphone was placed outside the chapel. Utterances from children playing and even a baby's cry were webbed into computer-generated piano motifs and real time drones.

The nature of the work had a compelling faintness. Ever declining murmurs, verged onto shepherd tones and ceilingless Glissandi were nearly always evident.
Upon entering their worlds of live transformations, evolving algorithmic patterns and changing playback speeds it was clear that the musical focus was temporal space rather than cause of the soundings. Low level playing was a fundamental priority to the whole listening experience.

There was a strange ethereal quality to their music and, personally, the spiritual setting of the 20th century chapel reaffirmed it.

Jo Thomas

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