Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble | Don't Abandon Your Baby

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Classical: Contemporary Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Don't Abandon Your Baby

by Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble

Improvised Contemporary Art Music
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Audio Logo
0:11 $0.99
2. Hard To Say
7:47 $0.99
3. Brain Drain
3:11 $0.99
4. Slippage
4:40 $0.99
5. Second Thoughts
4:49 $0.99
6. Big Noise From Philly
4:50 $0.99
7. No Way Out
5:03 $0.99
8. Don't Abandon Your Baby
3:11 $0.99
9. The Odd Get Even
6:18 $0.99
10. Rhapsody In Gray
5:48 $0.99
11. Free Us From All Anxiety
7:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

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 . . . .

Steven Eversole

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.



to write a review

Gerald Plain, Composer, LaGrange, Kentucky

Eating ice cream with small spoons!
“. . . .Your ensemble is really great at performing improvised music. . . .I tell my ol’ buddy to visit me and we will listen to Robert Ashley’s ‘Wolfman’ and eat ice cream with small spoons. Now, I will tell him that we will listen to Stanley Schumacher’s ‘Don’t Abandon Your Baby’ and eat ice cream with small spoons.”

Steve Siegel, The Morning Call (Allentown, PA)

Slap this disk into your CD player and you might think someone left the asylum door unlocked. Be prepared for a wild improvisational ride somewhere between the mental anguish of German expressionism and the anarchy of Dadaism at its peak, circa the 1920’s……Trombonist, composer, and vocalist Stanley Schumacher, who currently lives in Bethlehem, founded the Music Now Ensemble in 2003. Joining Schumacher on this angst-filled disk, the group’s third self-released recording, are violinist/vocalist Rosi Hertlein and acoustic bassist Evan Lipson. The collective specializes in highly improvisational contemporary art music, that at least in this case has a strong leaning toward the nihilism of Max Ernst and the minimalism of Anton Webern……Like Alban Berg’s opera “Wozzeck,” this is very bleak, stark stuff. The pieces often contain improvisational riffs identifiable as jazz, but are highly minimalistic, reduced to basic sounds both acoustic and electro acoustic. In “Brain Drain,” Schumacher’s trombone fires out rapid, staccato passages against a growling bass and vocals that run the gamut from soft sighs to tortured moans. The extremely chromatic “Hard to Say” includes the text of a poem, its lines alternating between German and English, composed and recited by Hertlein……The range of sonic color that Schumacher and Hertlein obtain from their instruments – and voices – is both remarkable and frightening. In “Slippage” the trombone mimics slurred human speech while the violin buzzes around it like an angry, murderous wasp. Many pieces are highly vocal, sometimes with lascivious whispers, heavy breathing, and gasps and that reach an undeniably erotic climax……There is an all-round creepiness to nearly every cut, akin to being trapped alone in a dark, haunted house with creaking doors, unearthly screams, and things that go bump in the night……….Welcome to the Bauhaus, but keep the lights on.

Lloyd Kaplan, Community College of Rhode Island

Excellent Technique
“. . . .the playing technique was truly excellent.”

Phil Minton, Vocalist, London, England

Nice One
"nice one stanley"

John Stringer, International Trombone Association Journal

Steven Eversole describes Schumacher’s music as German Expressionism in the program notes to the recording. Aleatoric bursts and free improvisation convey a twenty-first century journey into a century-old artistic philosophy. Schumacher’s juxtaposition of expressionism and contemporary compositional techniques create an avant-garde atmosphere. . . . . . The uncommon combination of instruments and voices provides an eclectic medium to convey the dark, expressionistic emotion. All the performers execute difficult angular melodies, whether improvised or composed, with skill and agility. Their adept ability to respond to each other’s spontaneity holds together compositions that a lesser group would leave in a mass of confused sounds with no message. The Music Now Ensemble listens with acuteness, a trait often passed over in music depending on chance. . . . . .Besides vocalizing bizarre grunts, moans, and indeterminable pitches, Schumacher’s technical prowess as a trombonist is impressive. He performs a vast array of articulations in all registers and dynamics with flexible ease. The artist’s extensive use of the plunger mute adds an appropriate obscurity to the CD’s dark themes. . . . . .DON’T ABANDON YOUR BABY is a worthy investment for those interested in extended modern trombone technique in a contemporary setting of dark, emotional, expressionistic philosophy.

Kenn Michael, WDIY Radio

Love your CD
love your cd have had occasion to play it several times on my sun night improv jazz show. . . . love it sounds great

Massimo Ricci,

....... my focus instantly fell upon the superlative technical eminence of the involved parties. The notes shine, growl, talk and exclaim, the listener inclined to fuse the distinct personalities into a sole entity to appreciate the consistency of the collective interrelationship, which generates several episodes that connote the model of a sophisticated chamber trio (case in point the excellent “Second Thoughts”)........ In particular, Schumacher’s playing sounds as modest as it does intelligent, privileging the highlight of selected nuances and connective fragments to the necessity of playing forcibly front and centre, his presence fundamental to furnish the music with a peculiar class of dissonance. The strings are a spectacle in themselves, vivid examples of authoritative idiosyncrasy in somewhat heretical talent. Hertlein makes us forget about the lenitive virtues of violin, depriving her charm of any residual saccharine in favour of a enviously irrefutable skill, whilst Lipson easily stands among the best bassists I’ve heard lately, his terrifically strapping tone epitomising the decision to “really” learn how an instrument works.……As far as technical deftness and transparency of intents are concerned, Stanley Schumacher is unquestionably a name to consider. Amidst an ever-growing number of posers, he is a craftsman who “plays” his instrument instead of disemboweling it, an artist who ceaselessly looks for new collaborative methods. I’m quite sure that fans of the late, great Paul Rutherford will be eager to give this disc a serious try.