“ . . . . A PROGRAM WHICH REVIVES GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM AND MAKES IT RELEVANT TO TODAY’S WORLD.”
Alone and oppressed by poverty, she did not listen when others told her “Don’t Abandon Your Baby.” Now she is having “Second Thoughts.” The guilt and anguish are so great that she feels there is “No Way Out.” Finally, in desperation, she turns to God. Does He not “Free Us From All Anxiety”? Or can some sins never be forgiven?
Welcome to the world of German Expressionism. A world which is dark, subjective, and highly emotional. A world where you will pay for your sins. German Expressionism was a movement in the arts from the first half of the twentieth century which, in music, reached its zenith in the operas of Alban Berg. Operas which explored the dark, subjective side of our existence.
Who better to bring this to us than Musikmacher Productions, the company that not only allows but encourages Professor Musikmacher to give “instructive lectures” on various social issues? Issues which are often filled with angst. Here the Professor is joined by the Music Now Ensemble in a program which revives German Expressionism and makes it relevant to today’s world. This is both easy and difficult. Easy because our world is filled with an abundance of moral degradation and angst and yet difficult because of our self-absorption and propensity for moral ambiguity.
Caution! Professor Musikmacher has informed me that today you live in a world of abundance and indulgence. In your self-absorption, you care little for moral clarity. Although you usually employ denial as a problem-solving technique, you may begin to feel that something is not quite right. This could lead to “Second Thoughts” which in turn could lead to angst and “Brain Drain.” Suddenly you come to the realization that there is “No Way Out.” “Free Us From All Anxiety”? No Way . . . . No Way . . . .
MUSIC NOW ENSEMBLE: This ensemble is a collective of improvisers and composers of exceptional musicianship and imagination. The members of the collective perform in various combinations of players in order to offer a kaleidoscope of instrumentations consistent with the philosophy of free improvisation. Stanley Schumacher founded the ensemble in 2003 to present performances in both acoustical and electroacoustical formats and to promote the diversity and spontaneity of contemporary art music.
STANLEY SCHUMACHER: Trombonist, vocalist, and composer Stanley Schumacher is director of the Music Now Ensemble and president of Musikmacher Productions. He has an established resume in improvised music, having performed with Ricardo Arias, Gary Hassay, Rosi Hertlein, David Hofstra, Evan Lipson, Hans Tammen, Todd Whitman, Nate Wooley, and many others. In addition, Stanley composes contemporary art music. Most of his compositions are for small ensembles and combine pre-planned, aleatory, and improvised elements. Several of his works employ narrative texts, which often exhibit a humorous theatrical element. Both his compositions and improvisation have been featured on New Arts Alive, a television production of the New Arts Program in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His improvisation can be heard on the first two releases from Musikmacher Productions, Sound Textures (MM001) and Uber Brass (MM002).
ROSI HERTLEIN: Violinist and vocalist Rosi Hertlein’s musical background is divided equally between the worlds of improvised and composed contemporary classical music. She has collaborated with Kristen Norderval, Monique Buzzarte, Warren Smith, David Arner, and Newman T. Baker. She has recorded with Joe McPhee, Ivo Perlman, and Joe Giardullo, and she records and performs with composer Pauline Oliveros’ New Circle Five. In June 2002 she premiered Cecil Taylor’s “With Blazing Eyes and Open’d Mouth” with the Sound Vision Orchestra with Mr. Taylor on piano. She also performs with her band The Improvising Chamber Ensemble (ICE) and with Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble.
EVAN LIPSON: Bassist Evan Lipson draws on his varied experience as a performer to create imaginative free improvisation. Evan has performed in a variety of alternative ensembles. His improvisation credentials include participation in the NoNet Festival and performing with Stuart Dempster, Andy Hayleck, Rosi Hertlein, Matthias Kaul, Lukas Ligeti, Toshi Makihara, Pauline Oliveros, Stanley Schumacher, Todd Whitman, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, and many others. Evan has received both the American Composers Forum SUBITO grant and Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections grant. He studied string bass with Michael Formanek and Robert Kesselman and attended Peabody Conservatory and Temple University.
PROFESSOR MUSIKMACHER: A long-time associate of the State Mental Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Professor Musikmacher performs exclusively with Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble, which provides a platform for his “instructive lectures.” He was educated in Berlin at the Moravian Academy and at the St. Ursula School for Delinquent Girls where he completed his theoretical studies. A man of catholic interests, Professor Musikmacher is well known for his essay “Oral Arts and the Negative Space Continuum.” Included in the venerable Journal of Oral Arts, this essay explores the metaphysical relationship of sound and reality. His recent book, Altered States: A Comprehensive Investigation of Reality, published by Didactic Press, has received high critical acclaim.