Michael Pisaro-Liu (born, Michael Pisaro) is a guitarist and composer and a long-time member of the Wandelweiser collective. While, like other members of Wandelweiser, Pisaro-Liu is known for pieces of long duration with periods of silence, in the past fifteen years his work has branched out in many directions, including work with field recording, electronics, improvisation and ensembles of very different kinds of instrumental constitution.
Pisaro-Liu has a long-standing collaboration with percussionist Greg Stuart, with over thirty collaborations (pieces and recordings) to date, including their 3-disc set, Continuum Unbound from 2014 and Umbra & Penumbra for amplified percussion and orchestra premiered in 2020 by the La Jolla Symphony. There are several recent compositions for orchestras of various kinds and constitutions – including commissioned work for the BBC Scottish Symphony (Glasgow), INSUB MetaOrchestra (Geneva) and the Grand Orchestre de Muzzix (Lille).
Pisaro-Liu founded the Experimental Music Workshop in 1994 and the Dog Star Orchestra in 2004. Both groups are intended to help early career experimental musicians – by introducing them to classic and new repertoire and providing a forum for performance of their music.
Recordings of his music have been released by Edition Wandelweiser Records, erstwhile records, New World Records, elsewhere music, Hubro, Potlatch, another timbre, meena/ftarri, Senufo Editions, Intonema, winds measure, HEM Berlin and on Pisaro's own imprint, Gravity Wave. His work is regularly performed throughout the US, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.
In 2005/6 he was a grantee of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. He was Fromm Foundation Visiting Professor of Music Composition at in the Department of Music at Harvard in the Fall of 2014. He has given extended workshops in Greece (EarTalk, 1998), the Technische Universität Berlin (2008), La Casa Encendida (Madrid, 2013), the Syros Film Festival (Greece, 2016) and the Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium, Copenhagen (2018).