Starting point and sole audio source of Bernhard Gál’s sound installation are preexisting sounds which were found and recorded at the vestibule of a lift: the whir of the emergency light, the buzz of the elevator’s electrical cabinet, the opening and closing of adjacent doors, the vibrations of metallic surfaces, etc.
‘To lift’ also means ‘to elevate’ – in earlift, whirs and buzzes move upwards in continuously ascending or descending frequency spirals, yet they never reach the limits of our auditory sensorium (quite analogous to Maurits Cornelis Eschers infinite loops within the visual realm). The underlying psychoacoustic phenomenon became known as ‚Shepard Scale‘, named after the cognitive scientist Roger Shepard, who was the first to describe this illusion of infinitely ascending tonal scales in 1964.
Photos: B. Gál
earlift is featured in Gal's Book & DVD video Zwischenbrücken, edition spce | Gromoga, Austria 2015.