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, the album is called Solo+… because solo is always solo plus something or someone else. Because, thankfully, we are never completely alone.
09.10.2020Solo +Mannheim, Germany Planetarium Space Nights
Pascal Schumacher - Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Organelle
Musée Dräi Eechelen (L)
Jazz & the City, Salzburg (A)