Marcus Schmickler


"Palace of Marvels [queered pitch]"

LP, Editions Mego, 2010.

A special listening room broadcasts Marcus Schmickler’s singular Editions Mego release, Palace of Marvels [queered pitch], to devastating effect. The album explores the phenomenon of the Shepard tone, a 1960s discovery that creates the auditory illusion of an infinitely ascending or descending tone that never reaches a limit. Some describe this phenomenon as the sonic equivalent to M.C. Escher’s illustrations. Schmickler dives into individual Shepard tones, arpeggiating, dissecting, accelerating, or slowing them down, creating intriguing sonic spaces and psychoacoustic illusions.

Schmickler's interest in the field was sparked by Ernst Gombrich's essays on "Art And Illusion," which questions the foundations of our understanding of the history of the image and its representation of our world. Fittingly, Schmickler's work can be seen as a disintegration within the very fundamental parameters of rhythm, sound, and pitch.

Cologne-based multifaceted composer and producer Marcus Schmickler’s interests revolve around the brain and its adaptation to multiple auditory stimuli. His work exists in the liaison between performance and science. 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 and has also released on erstwhile records, Karaoke Kalk, Cathnor, and Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!?, among others.