Vaster Than Empires thrives on extremes, seeking/wishing/pretending to cajole music from barren silences and synaptic turmoil. “This peculiar multi-generational trio,” Peter Margasak observes, “generates more than the sum of its diverse parts.” The result is a journey through exotic landscapes, tiny and huge, near and far, above and below, led by players who are comfortable with the discomfort of exploring the nether regions of the space-time continuum.
Violinist Erica Dicker navigates the space between lush, drone-like sound-scapes to brutal, grating textures, subjecting her instrument to abuse with objects such as chains, screws, and battery-powered fans. Percussionist Allen Otte, a founding member of the paradigm-shifting Percussion Group Cincinnati, brings a wild diversity of sounds to the table, employing instruments ranging from bicycle wheel to ‘prepared yangqin’—a Chinese dulcimer turned into a drummer’s prepared piano. “The ever-changing universe of sounds this pair creates in real-time is effectively manipulated, processed, and re-shaped by sound artist and composer Paul Schuette, who masterfully connects the tactile eruptions, scrapes, and thrums with simpatico grace, leaving a full complement of physicality in the ears of listeners.” [-Margasak]
Vaster Than Empires is:
Erica Dicker – violin, baritone violin, various percussive materials
Allen Otte – prepared yang-chin, amplified bicycle wheel, rocks, beer can…
Paul Schuette – laptop, synthesizer