Marcus Schmickler


Photo by Marc Comes

Cologne-based multifaceted composer and producer Marcus Schmickler’s interests revolve around the brain and its adaptation to multiple auditory stimuli. From explorations of difference tones to stimulations of otoacoustic emissions produced by the cochlea, Schmickler’s work exists in the liaison between performance and science.

After his introduction to the sounds of visionary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, Marcus Schmickler went on to study music in Cologne in 1991 under Johannes Fritsch, a prominent Stockhausen collaborator. There he also became a member of the electro-industrial collective Kontakta, an improvisational group whose famous recordings became a standard in future music experimentation. Schmickler has written music for ensembles, installations, theater, and radio. He also produces indie-pop-noise under pseudonyms like Pluramon and Wabi Sabi, participates in laptop improvisation for the 12-piece electroacoustic collective Mimeo, and produces minimal techno under his own name for the Ernst imprint led by Thomas Brinkmann.

Schmickler’s solo projects include two sonically devastating albums on Editions Mego that explore audio-induced mental phenomena. Altars Of Science is a full-on vortex of digital noise and distortion, while the album Palace of Marvels is a reinterpretation of the Shepard-tone, a 1960s discovery that creates the auditory illusion of an infinitely ascending or descending tone. A recipient of multiple prizes and scholarships, including the Ars Electronica, Schmickler held a lengthy seat as a member of the jury for the German Music Council. He is a co-creator of the eclectic label and distributor a-Musik, which is known for its avant-garde and experimental releases. His own output has appeared via the label; he has also released on erstwhile records, Karaoke Kalk, Cathnor, and Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!?, among others.

Un Tune III

HAU2, Wed 28.01.2015, 20:00

Marcus Schmickler, Rose Kallal & Mark O Pilkington

Psychoacoustics in Artistic Practice

Kunstquartier Studio 1, Thu 29.01.2015, 16:30

Marcus Schmickler, Stefan Weinzierl, Alberto de Campo