Thursday, December 14, 2006

Artist Profile: Bernhard Gal

:::: Bernhard Gal, Austria: NanoHz No.6

The Austrian artist, composer and musicologist Bernhard Gal has become internationally known as one of the most prolific sound artists of a younger generation. During the past ten years Gal has created around 50 sound installations and media art projects, combining sound, light, objects, spatial concepts and video projections into intense and often site-specific interdisciplinary art works. He also composes music for acoustic instruments and electro-acoustic music, as well as performing live as a (laptop) musician.

Born in Vienna, Austria in 1971, Gal began to nurture his interest in music and (sound) art around 1985. After studies at Vienna's University of Music (Sound Engineering) and the University of Vienna (Musicology), and a year-long residency in New York City in 1997–98, he has focused on his compositional and artistic activities. He runs the record label Gromoga Records and is director of the Austrian art organization 'sp ce'. Together with Ernst Reitermaier, he curates the Viennese Festival 'Shut up and Listen!'. Currently, Gal lives as a freelance composer and artist in Vienna and Berlin where he also teaches sound art at the University of Arts.

An important aspect of his work is the combination of music with other art forms, in solo projects as well as in collaborations, e.g. since 1997 with the Japanese architect Yumi Kori ('audio-architectural installations'). As a (laptop) musician, Gal performs in solo concerts and has worked together with musicians such as Tung Chao-Ming, Kai Fagaschinski and Jennifer Walshe.

Gal's work has been presented in concerts, sound installations, exhibitions, and radio portraits in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and performed by ensembles worldwide. He has been invited to numerous international music and art festivals (including Wien Modern Vienna; ICMC Berlin; MaerzMusik Berlin; Nuova Consonanza Rome; MATA Festival New York; Soundfield Chicago; Mutek Montreal) and frequently gives lectures and workshops.

For his music and art projects Gal has received numerous awards, including the Karl Hofer Prize Berlin 2001, an Annual Grant from SKE-Fonds Vienna 2002, a composer fellowship from the DAAD Artists in Berlin Programme 2003, and the Austrian State Scholarship for Composition 2004. Bernhard Gal's music has been made available on more than 25 audio publications. In 2005, the German publishing house Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg published the comprehensive catalogue book 'Installations', documenting Gal's intermedia installations since 1999.

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