Gig Seeker Pro



Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Goodbye Absentee"

[Prior to June 2005, Son was known as Absentee]

A few months ago, I had no idea that a young man from Newport News[, Virginia,] was making strange, artistically ambitious recordings under the name Absentee. Then a CD appeared in my mailbox.

Listening to Christopher Schiel's disc "Like Rasputin" was refreshing to say the least, a sonic Hai Karate slap. The bad news is that Absentee is leaving.

"At the end of May, I'll be moving to Washington state," Schiel wrote in an e-mail. Last night, Absentee was scheduled to play a farewell show at Relative Theory Records. Let's hope he comes back to visit soon. - Sam McDonald, Daily Press

"Relative Theory Records"

His passion is equal to Jeff Buckley and his voice is strong like bull... His album features the accompaniment of 2 friends playing the cello and violin, some electronic influence of the digital persuasion, and the visual breadth of the Grand Canyon. This man will carve out your heart and you will let him.
- David Hausmann, Owner

"Live review"

[Prior to June 2005, Son was known as Absentee]

What surprised me the most about this solo act, Absentee, was his powerful, haunting voice. - Chris Seeley, The DoG Street Journal

"Absentee in the House"

[Prior to June 2005, Son was known as Absentee]

By Absentee, I mean Christopher Schiel, a young musical scientist at work right here in Newport News. His new CD, "Like Rasputin," is unlike anything I've heard from these parts. Schiel mixes computerized beats, found-sound snippets, keyboard washes and acoustic guitar drones to create an eerie sonic universe. His singing - akin to that of Jeff Buckley or a more mellow PJ Harvey - is nothing if not evocative. Schiel said he's been making homemade discs and distributing them among friends for years. "Like Rasputin" is his first attempt at reaching a larger audience. It's to be released Tuesday on Schiel's own Reap/Sow label.

While not exactly easy listening, the six songs on "Like Rasputin" reveal a serious and ambitious artistic mind. I wouldn't be surprised if Absentee is around for a long time to come. - Sam McDonald, Daily Press

"Like Rasputin review"

The 6 short tracks create a sonic atmosphere where voice, sparse electronic sounds and acoustic guitar are the airy tension hovering above the fluid subject, like fog over a quiet lake on a cold misty morning. This is a must for fans of the 4AD label. - Jeff Maisey, NineVolt


The following things will be released in the future:
A number of old songs from Son 7" on reap/sow
split 7" on Pop Faction records
a remix for the band Grizzly Bear
full-length LP in Q1 2006

Between 2001 and 2005, a barrage of discs were made and distributed under a variety of names.

as Absentee:
Like Rasputin CD EP
Sound of Music SXSW 2005 Comp ("It's alright! I'm young.")
It's alright! I'm young. CD Single
Impudent Songs CD EP
Defiled (split with Environs) 3" CD
Covers Environs & Nix MP3 set
Lackluster CD
The Invisible Mixtape

as cfs:
Audit CD compilation
Workmen's Comp 3" CD
Keys 3" CD
Reference Tracks 3" CD
Typewriter Tape CD

as Terminaire:
Demonstration 2003 CD
Bowlderized CD Compilation
Orpheus & Euridice CD Single
Prospectus CD EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


Beginning with his birth at a Revolutionary War battlesite, Christopher's life has been an extended bout of perceived schizophrenia. He has been a member of high school orchestras, a blues band, a middle eastern music ensemble, and a free improv group, but feels most effective covering all these bases at once on his own. As a natural loner and exemplary autodidact (read: college dropout), Christopher obsessively constructs intricate backing tracks to complement his moody and abstruse vocal ruminations.

Christopher began the label reap/sow in March of 2005 to release Like Rasputin under the name Absentee.