debuted on a collaboration with Zbigniew Karkowski,
Disruptor (OR, 1998).
His two recorded sound sculptures,
Environment Soundscapes (Alienation, 2000), containing
Under (30:03) and Turning In (30:03),
and Isolated Irritation (Post-Concrete, 2002), documenting a live 2001
performance, were expressionist nightmares of digital and electronic
He also recorded
Transformed View (Alienation, 2002), a collaboration with Karl Jensac,
and two more collaborations with Zbigniew Karkowski,
Bisskraft (2007) and
Eminent Risk Factor (2008).
Helmut Schafer committed suicide in 2007.
Noise As A Language (Kwanyin, 2009), his swan song, contains two pieces.
Thought Provoking is the
stream of consciousness of a mind that has been profoundly affected by the
dysfunctional post-industrial society. The sounds are neither aggressive nor
chaotic. They follow a quiet but determined logic. The flow remains very close
to an emotional center of mass, and rarely exceed in either noise or silence.
Towards the end the music is stretched to the limit in one long drone. A sort of
romantic violin sonata skates over the thick ominous drone, but cannot sustain
the melody and ends up sounding more like a buzzing bug.
The second piece, Unreleased 12.05, is a more theatrical work that
opens in a dramatic galactic landscape, reminiscent of Klaus Schulze's
Irrlicht, and repeatedly flirts with both silence and extreme noise.
A sense of suspense and imminent death permeates the sonic apocalypse and
does not let go. Eventually a colossal maelstrom devours the whole thing and
leaves behind only a booming pulsation.
Helmut Schafer's posthumous Thought Provoking III
documents a work
for organ pipes, percussion, violin and electronics
originally premiered in his home town
of Graz (Austria) in 2003.
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