“Smaragd” by Austrian band Federspiel won in two categories of the short list 1/2017 at the German Record Critics Award. “Smaragd” won in the Cross border and Traditional ethnic music categories.
The jury issued a statement through Heinz Zietsch about “Smaragd”: “Massive but none the less extremely agile, lively yet elegant – brass ensemble Federspiel, from the Austrian Wachau region, is exceptionally talented.
Alpine Folk Music arranged and played with great humor and a subtle irony, mixed with world music and old Austrian sounds to the beat of Landler and Waltz. Viennese zither and a music box season the sound of the wind instruments and a dash of synthesizer brings refreshing flavors to the table.
The septet radiates wild imagination, enthusiasm and delight in experimenting. Their humming, mumbling and whispering, yodeling and singing, up to the highest reaches of artistic creativity. And then all of it comes down like does a good wine: just like the “Smaragd”, the noble grape produced in the Wachau.”
Austrian act Alma won the 2017 German World Music Award “Festival-Ruth.” The Ruth is one of the four yearly awards from Rudolstadt-Festival, the biggest German World Music Festival TFF Rudolstadt.
Alma (meaning soul in Spanish) includes five musicians from Austria, four women and one man, with roots in Jazz, folk and classical music. Their music crosses boundaries, incorporating Alpine and Transalpine sounds from Central Europe.
The band will release its third album, titled Oeo, in June 2017.
The lineup includes Julia Lacherstorfer on violin, vocals; Evelyn Mair on violin, vocals; Matteo Haitzmann on violin, vocals; Marie-Theres Stickler on diatonic accordion, vocals; and Marlene Lacherstorfer on double bass, vocals.
1er Festival Internacional de Alturas – Lima, Perú, noviembre 2014 (Asociación Arte de Alturas, 2015)
This album features artists from across the globe who participated in the first Festival Internacional de Alturas (Highland Festival) held in Lima, Peru. The festival celebrates the rich and varied musical traditions of the peoples who live in the high mountainous areas of the world.
The selection includes artists from South American countries that share the Andes mountain range: Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Argentina. Europe is represented by artists from countries that border the Alps: Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany. The great Himalayas range is represented by an Indian act from Kashmir.
The diversity of sounds is quite striking. The album opens with Swiss band Alphorn who use the traditional alphorn (a really long trumpet-like instrument) in a contemporary fashion.
Track 2 features Peruvian vocalist Consuelo Jerí accompanied by Ricardo Villanueva, delivering music derived from the Ayacucho region.
Probably the most familiar from the Andes are the pan flute and charango ensembles. Los Jaukas (Perú) perform traditional Andean music using string instruments and flute.
Andrea Capezzuoli e Compagnia deliver an accordion-driven call and response northern Italian folk song combined with a jazz.
Argentina’s Mariana Carrizo performs a passionate Argentine folk song accompanied by a drum.
Freddy Torrealba is a charango virtuoso from Chile who demonstrates his admirable technique. He’s one of the finest charango players in the world.
Peruvians Jean Pierre Magnet (saxophone) and Luciano Quispe (harp) perform jazz-infused Andean music with an unusual instrumentation consisting of saxophone and harp.
Kofelgschroa represents the music of the Bavarian Alps of Germany. The quartet plays brass and accordion music inspired by traditional music.
Rabab Instrumental Group is a quintet from Srinagar (India). They perform traditional music using the rabab lute and clay drums.
Colombian act Dueto Vivir Cantando includes Fernando Salazar and Lucho Vergara. They play a melodic Colombian Andean song using vocals and guitars.
Andrés “Chimango” Lares is an Andean fiddler who accompanies traditional folk dancers. He performs a brief traditional tune.
French musician Laurence Bourdin specializes in the electroacoustic hurdy gurdy. His style crosses numerous boundaries, from medieval music to Occitan folk and jazz fusion.
Marcelo Peña is a quena (traditional Andean flute) maestro. He’s joined by charango virtuoso Wilson Molina. They represent the new vision of Andean traditions of Bolivia.
Peruvian act Conjunto Pancho Gómez Negrón are preservationists of the Chumbivilcas high plains traditional music.
The album closes with traditional yodeling music by Austrian folk band Alma.
The álbum 1er Festival Internacional de Alturas – Lima, Perú, noviembre 2014 presents a fascinating portrait of the diversity of traditional music from the highlands of the planet.
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