Projects

“Capsule” a Low Key Trampoline album

Artwork by Kgaogelo MAd Mafofo, South African Branding Designer and Illustrator 

“Capsule” is an ambient sci-fi short instrumental short story about a person dreaming of a new home (“Terra Nova”) and boarding a time/space travelling vessel (The Capsule) in search of his future home. Told in 9 songs, Low Key Trampoline uses synthesizer, bass guitar, banjo, acoustic guitar, and spoken word to convey this timeless tale of hope, loss, and the search for new beginnings.

“Time to Fly” a Mark Schirmacher single

Artwork by Julie Wervey

“Time to Fly” is an Indie/Folk song recorded by producer Christian Andrews (he also plays acoustic guitar on it), with the gorgeous one-of-a-kind artwork by visual artist Julie Wervey. Written after my daughter left for 2nd year of college, “Time to Fly” addresses the emotions of becoming an ’empty nester’ (pun intended) and confronting feelings of loneliness, while wishing and hoping the best for your children as they spread their proverbial wings and make their way through the world. Recorded simply at my house in Minnesota, it feels and sounds intimate, matter of fact, and honest – which any good song should be. As my long-time collaborator Patrick Hennessey once told me when I was struggling with songwriting, “Just tell the truth and you’ll be okay”.

The Immigrants ride again

The Immigrants at our inception, 1993
Chriss Mester, Mark Schirmacher, Glenn Olson, Patrick Hennessey are The Immigrants. We played a reunion show this past summer (2023) at Broken Clock Brewery Cooperative, and shredded our little hearts out, playing through our catalog of Rock-n-Roll x Indie bangers.

The Immigrants formed in 1993 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and started playing bars, clubs & parties, electrifying audiences with our charged-up Alt-rock sound, borne out of guitar rock, strong vocal harmonies, and hard-hitting drumming. We never disbanded, only taking time off to raise families and “do life”, and were so honored to get together again this past summer to celebrate our 30th anniversary as a band. to celebrate, we’ve released some rare live show performances and unreleased studio tracks that give the listener a taste of the hard-hitting, runaway-train vibe of our live shows. More music to come in 2024 – 🙂

“Spaces Away” a collab album with Some Tones & DC the Beatmaker

“Spaces Away” artwork by Italian graphic designer, Manuela T.

“Spaces Away” is a collaborative lofi album by Some Tones (Ryan Henley), DC the Beatmaker (Demetrius Cabrera) and Low Key Trampoline (Mark Schirmacher). This 7-song collection of instrumental lofi music explores the idea of taking a sonic trip through our galaxy and what sounds might be heard whilst visiting Venus, Mars, or just cruisin’ through the cosmos. How does a ‘collaborative album’ work? Well, Somebody usually starts of the song exchange (in this case it was Some Tones) and the next guy adds instrumentation to it (Low Key Trampoline’s turn) and then sends it onto the next guy for final instrumentation & mixing (enter DC the Beatmaker). We composed the entirety of the record this way, with Some Tones sending me synth and guitar parts, I then added additional guitar, synth, and bass parts, and finally sending them to DC for drums, keys, and final mixing. In this way, we created a truly cooperative project with each of us contributing our “special sauce” and best skill set to a project that is far more interesting and diverse (jazz, lofi, experimental/ambient) than any of us could have made on our own. We then commissioned Italian graphic designer Manuela T. to conceive our artwork, putting the “trippy, experimental, & fun” visual stamp on this rewarding project.

Corner Booth – a prog rock duo

Mat Levine & Mark Schirmacher are Corner Booth. Yes we are.

Corner Booth is Mat Levine & Mark Schirmacher, musicians living in different parts of the United States. Both members are prolific, multi-genre producers with a sweet spot for Prog, Jazz, 70’s Rock and Jamming. The ‘sound’ of Corner Booth sprung from work we undertook months earlier, while collaborating using our lofi aliases (Jay Mocking and Low Key Trampoline) and our aim is to create authentic, pan-genre, uniquely visceral musical soundscapes that transport the listener to nooks and crannies in their minds’ eye. Dreaming & scheming from the corner booth, our band is all about embracing musical diversity, sonic exploration, audio fidelity, and preserving the spark of enthusiasm glowing at the heart of creative expression. Corner Booth has released one full-length album (2023’s “Wormhole Junket”), an EP of live material recorded together in Chambersburg, PA (“Live Jams Vol. 1”), and a handful of singles. Come see us live someday, but until then dip into our catalogue.

The Ida Haze Band – Folk Rock w/a hint of Jazz x Alt

Music From The Big Woods debut album by The Ida Haze Band (releasing in January, 2024)

Welcome to The Ida Haze Band (THIB). Playing a blend of Alternative Rock and Acoustic Folk, TIHB is Christopher “Kosh” Koshiol, Glenn Olson, Chriss Mester, and Mark Schirmacher. Playing together since the early 2000’s (originally calling ourselves “DueNorth”), our sound is warm, acoustic-based, lyric-driven, and sometimes jazz/alt veering. Our first album is due in January, 2024, despite having already performed dozens of shows, parties, and live events together for the past 20 years. I guess we’ve been taking our time.

“Napping In Paradise” a Low Key Trampoline album

Released March 20, 2023

Artwork by Kgaogelo MAd Mafofo, South African Branding Designer and Illustrator 

“Napping In Paradise” is a full length solo album from Low Key Trampoline, producer-artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most known for his collaborations with various artists from around the world – Portugal, Spain, Germany, Australia, Sweden, France, Japan, Ireland, South Africa and the U.S. – this is his first solo project since 2021’s “Yellow String Memory EP” with the Ambient & Lofi record label, Tsunami Sounds.

“Napping In Paradise” is an Ambient / Minimalist exploration of melodic folk ideas from late 2022, threaded together with impressionistic piano vignettes. 

Brian Eno meets Keith Jarret. 

Low Key Trampoline (Mark Schirmacher) creates an atmospheric & moody pastiche of melodic concepts painted by natural grand piano recordings which are augmented by bass guitar and banjo, two seemingly disparate influences that evoke a folksy, nu-classical feel that leaves the listener part curious and partly heartbroken.  

These brief piano-driven “interludes” thread throughout the record, appearing in between longer-form songs that are solidly “ambient” in their genre, bearing the hallmarks of Low Key Trampoline’s solo ambient work: reverb-laden electric guitar phrases, watery synth pads, defined melodic sensibilities, and sophisticated interplay between sparse, intentional instrumentation.

Of the vibe of the record, Low Key Trampoline elucidates: 

       Napping In Paradise is meant to evoke the feeling of light sleep, those moments when you think you might be drifting away, but some internal disturbance of the mind & soul or external irritation pulls you out before complete sleep immersion can occur.  The album is a complete artistic statement, made with 9-songs over a brief 17+ minute listening  length. It should be listened to at once, the arc of the storytelling being completed and best digested in a single sitting.

As for the title,  I’m commenting on the fact that I’ve been blessed with a wonderful life – family, music, purpose – but I don’t always live into that, day-to-day. Sometimes it feels as though I’m ‘napping in paradise,’ choosing to drift off into the imaginary world of dreams, art, or music creation, or what-have-you, rather than face & embrace the tangible obstacles and hard work of living.

Find “Napping In Paradise” everywhere music is streamed & downloaded, and follow Low Key Trampoline on Instagram at @lowkeytrampoline.

“miles + minutes demos” a Mark Schirmacher album

Releases March 5, 2023

A collection of creative, imaginative demos for songs that eventually would comprise 2021’s “miles + minutes” album. These versions are loose, breathing with possibility, and far from polished. Welcome to the process…

Stripped down vocals and guitar with percussion are always my favorite. These songs, gently lyric and thoughtful, are also the perfect antidote to my too-fast mind and life.” – Amy Overby