The vibraphonist and composer, Pascal Schumacher has made a name for himself in a variety of collaborative endeavours. From quartets to symphonic orchestras, jazz tunes to classical chamber music, he has built a unique relationship with his instrument and has been relentless in assuring his position as a versatile and adventurous musician. Now he launches his first solo album, SOL via Neue Meister label. SOL captures Pascal’s newfound passion for solitude in all its magnetism. Yet, it remains true to a relationship’s main characteristic; intimacy.
First imagine empty space. Darkness, then a spark, a central light. A lone figure stands revealed by in a strange ambience of purple and blue and white. In front of him, the metallic edifice of a vibraphone. The figure bows, he gazes forward. When he strikes the bars with two blue-tipped mallets in each hand, the notes chime and ring out through the darkness like signals through the cosmos. Shimmering, the volume of the notes pulsates, dilating and swelling in darkness, twinkling and dissolving.
A revery is born of the otherworldly quality of the solo vibraphone, pulsating in space, with Pascal Schumacher caught in a hollow square of light, a lonesome figure behind a bank of instruments. There is in intimacy illuminated within the profound darkness circling around the central tableau puts you into a unique, personal one-to-one interaction. This isn’t just solo music because it is performed by one person, it is solo because it insists on a direct one-to-one intimacy with the listener. Other forms of music—terrace anthems, party hip-hop, funeral dirges—are experienced as a shared group activity, but this is intimate music that directs the listener to listen personally and intently.
There is a paradox in ‘solo listening’ and ‘solo playing’ as if there were just one of you—the paradox leads you to question what it means to be alone with music, or even what it means to be ‘alone together’ with another person, whether happily or in misery. Noone is ever really alone, yet we are all essentially solo artists. Significantly, solo is always solo plus something or someone else. Because, thankfully, we are never completely alone.
Bookings for Switzerland
Phone: +49 1772756128
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (D)
MUDAM, Luxembourg (L)
Jazzkaar, Tallinn (EE)
Like A Jazz Machine, Dudelange (L)
Jazz & the City, Salzburg (A)
Sunnyside, Reims (F)
Orania, Berlin (D)
Nordsternturm, Gelsenkirchen (D)
Hemmersdorf Pop - Les Nuits, Hemmersdorf (D)
HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT (D) :
(...) Der Luxemburger Vibraphonist war eine echte Entdeckung, seine verträumten, sphärischen Klangflächen waren natürlich niemals luxemburgische Folklore, aber, umso besser, ein schöner supranationaler Rahmen für eine Grenzen überwindende Angelegenheit. (September 24th 2020, Thomas André)
CITIZEN JAZZ (F) :
(...) Tout y est retenu, comme suspendu, rien d’injurieux, rien de clinquant. Des mélodies légères et liquides. Des arrangements limpides et voluptueux. On plane en haute altitude. Et pas besoin ici des effets de l’alcool ou d’autre substance psychotrope. La musique se suffit à elle-même. On savoure et on est bien. (September 6th 2020, Julien Aunos)
JAZZNEWS (F) :
(...) De mélodies intimes en profondeurs spectrales, cette oeuvre sonne commeune invitation à respecter la fragilité de la vie en son essence. Sublime. (Juillet-Août 2020, Alice Leclercq)
LE SOIR (B) :
(...) il nous mène avec amabilité dans un voyage cosmique au sein des étoiles, où leur scintillement fait oublier le noir de l’espace. (September 6th 2020, Jean-Claude Vantroyen)
DELANO (L) :
(...) Nevertheless, “Sol” is a beautifully calming record that over 15 compelling tracks provided comfort during the first confusing week of lockdown. Now, in more relaxed times, it is aural balm on a sunny afternoon, as exemplified by the title track. (May 30th 2020, Duncan Roberts)