Bernhard Gál

composer, artist, musicologist

Bernhard Gál, photo by Bernhard Gál

Born in Vienna in 1971, composer, artist and musicologist Bernhard Gál is active in the fields of contemporary music, installation art and media art. A central concern of his artistic work as well as scientific research activities is the transdisciplinary examination of sound phenomena. As of now, Gál has created around 80 sound installations and intermedia art projects, combining sound, light, objects, as well as architectural concepts and video projections into multidimensional and prevalently site-specific art works. He composes for acoustic instruments and electroacoustic music. Gál has performed on five continents and worked with numerous musicians in the electroacoustic and improvised music scenes, as well as pursuing a variety of interdisciplinary artistic collaborations. Since 2006, Gál has been serving as the artistic director of "shut up and listen!" - Transdisciplinary Festival for Music and Sound Art in Vienna. As a researcher, his main areas of interest are sound installation art, experimental music, and transdisciplinary art practices. Since autumn 2020 Gál holds a teaching position at the Certificate Program in Electroacoustic and Experimental Music (ELAK) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2022 his PhD dissertation ‚HÖRORTE | KLANGRÄUME. Eine transdisziplinäre Topografie installativer Klangkunst‘ was published by Wolke Verlag (sinefonia DIGITAL #3, wolke, Hofheim).



Electroacoustic Composition | Sound Installation (2023)

The electroacoustic composition Vierband (i.e. ‘four cushions’) is designed for an eight-channel loudspeaker environment divided into two quadraphonic ‘circles’ that reflect the two compositional poles of the work: Over the course of the piece, fluctuating sound fields are derived from ‘concrete’ sound events of the inner loudspeaker circle via band-pass filtering and ‘freezing’ effects which are rendered audible via the outer four-channel array. Thus, concrete sounds are ‘played over room-acoustic cushions’ transformed into sonic layers. In other words, this multi-channel sound work is about the spatial-geometric relationship of objects (billiard balls) with one another and with the tetragon of the billiard table surrounding them, and thus about the auditory perception of dynamic processes. The result are communicating, interwoven, dual sound spaces. The title ‘Vierband’ is ambiguous, referring both to specific frequency bands and to a (hypothetical) way of playing carom billiards.