GLOCKENBUCH IV – Spectre Santa Maria dei Carmini

Marcus Schmickler with MFO

2023/24 Immersive Sounds Musik Digital Arts
Foto: Marcus Schmickler

Cologne-based composer Marcus Schmickler presents Glockenbuch IV (Spectre Santa Maria dei Carmini), an installative audio multi-channel performance based on the sounds of the bells of the Venetian church of Santa Maria dei Carmini. Schmickler explores the complexity of the bell sound, its counterpoint and articulation, and develops the potential of the plenum electronically.

GLOCKENBUCH IV is a sound ritual for computer and bells, a live concert of electronic music for 8 to 24 loudspeakers based on church bells of Venice, which have shaped the social and religious life of the Venetian community for centuries. The project creates an immersive experience where the audience can experience a dramatized space and a deep listening perspective, as if listening from inside the crystalline bronze materials of individual church bells.

“The title Glockenbuch IV refers to a directory called Glockenbuch der Stadt Köln, which I discovered a few years ago. It contains the exact cartography of all the bells in the city where I grew up. The document, which runs to about 900 pages, records not only the bells of all of Cologne’s 200 or so churches, but also their entire origins, including bell foundries and acoustic data. It includes all inscriptions and engravings as well as weights. In addition, there is information about the sound of these approximately 700 bells. Interestingly, the bells are not measured in frequencies, but in musical intervals and microintervals.” MS

Duration: ca. 1 h without a break

There are moments of increased music volume and the use of a fog machine and stobe light. 

Marcus Schmickler, composition (1968), studied composition and electronic composition at the Cologne University of Music and Dance, and musicology at the University of Cologne. He received numerous prizes and scholarships, including the Rome Prize of the German Academy, an Honorary Mention of Ars Electronica. He had performances at festivals of new music such as Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musikprotokoll des Steirischen Herbst, at electronic festivals such as CTM and Atonal in Berlin, at media centers such as ZKM, and Recombinant Media Labs SF and at festivals in Asia, South America and Australia. He founded two ensembles and composed for well-known ensembles such as Ensemble Recherche (D), yarn/wire (US), Ensemble Musikfabrik, S Staatskapelle Weimar,. He was Faculty in the MFA program music/sound at Bard College in NY, a guest professor in composi- tion at CalArts Los Angeles and at the Institute for Music and Media at the Robert-Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf.

Marcel Weber / MFO, light, tells spaces, creates sensations and works in light, video and scenography. MFO directs A/V performances, video works and installations and creates scenographies for theater and music pieces. As such, he works as the lighting and visual director of Berlin-Atonal and as a long-time collaborator of the Unsound Festival in Krakow/Adelaide/Toronto.

Composition, Performance: Marcus Schmickler
Sound dramaturgy: Julian Rohrhuber
Lighting project: Mfo
Commission: La Biennale di Venezia
Production: La Biennale di Venezia

Many thanks to: Alberto de Campo and the NESS project at the University of Edinburgh for supporting the project. Note: The NESS codes are the result of the ERC-funded project StG-2011-279068-NESS: Next Generation Sound Synthesis. The NESS web interface is managed by the Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh Thanks to: Parrocchia dei Carmini