June 1989, Gene Santoro, Pulse!
Aural Theater – A Genre All Its Own
Heiner Goebbels’ The Man In The Elevator is a brilliant collage of music and drama in a surrealistic package
„Goebbels himself describes his work as an ‚aural theater‘, and as classifications go it’s a useful one. With this recording, Goebbels and his cohorts attempt to create a proscenium arch in your head, in effect making you both protagonist and audience – the hero’s problems, fears, situations, are/aren’t yours somehow simultaneously. More than identifying with him, you in some senses are meant to become him: your confusion and panic about how to react parallel his difficulties in the plot. Maybe it’s the best to think of the piece’s discontinuities as breaches in the arch that usually walls off actor from audience; those breaches musical, verbal, and dramatic, act as doorways where performers and observers meet.“ „As each piece of the mosaic falls into place, the overall picture that emerges, complete with its conscious gaps, paints human alienation in the face of authority and its flip side, the irony and humor that helps us make it through. For in some ways, The Man In The Elevator is the aural equivalent of a cubist collage: by radically redefining space and our relationship to it (and hence to the world around us), it forces us to question both our actions and our very perceptual apparatus.“
on: Der Mann im Fahrstuhl (CD)