Emap.FM - Internet Radio for World Wide Ethno Music and Reports
7th International Akkordeon Festival - Vienna
presented by Phillip Lamasisi (Feb, 25th 2006)
Track 1: Martin Lubenov (Bulgaria): rec. Live during Accordion Press Conference
Hello listeners; welcome to Emap and to this special and extraordinary programme to commemorate the 7th year of the Viennese International Accordion Festival.
My name is Phillip Lamasisi (you might know me from my programmes on the Music of Oceania).
Well, its Festival time again and around this time from the end of winter into spring, Folk Festivals are held almost everywhere around Europe, many of them associated and connected with an interesting folk musical instrument called the Accordion.
And likewise such an accordion festival is also held in the Danube metropolis of Vienna, the capital city of Austria in central Europe.
This year 2006, Vienna is hosting its 7th International Accordion Festival, which will take place for over 1 month, beginning on the 25th of February till the 26th of March.
Since its inauguration 6 years ago this festival has become an institution in itself and a secret international tip.
The warm and passionate sounds of accordion – either experimental, traditional or both – fits appropriately to the notion of expelling, particularly for this region, the winter and introduce the spring. With individual thrilling and innovative projects, the festival offers a forum for networking, communication, discussions and interaction, thus creating structures for relaxation, concentrated listening and socialising. In other words, an international meeting cordial and opened to the world, thus underlining the relevant characteristics of this distinguished occasion as a festival of accordion.
Once again, this year’s festival is offering again a variety of targets (we shall hear more about this later ) with supplementary but related events, all closely connected in one way or another with and to the accordion.
For the fact that it is a music festival, a multitude of renown local and international accordion musicians, in diverse group compositions from Duos to bands and ensemble formations, with diverse musical directions and genres, from different musical backgrounds – national and cultural – will hereby contribute to make this festival a memorable occasion for everyone.
So as planned, there will be concerts held and performed in locations spread throughout the city of Vienna, there will also be open music sessions, workshops, literature sessions and an event specially prepared for children.
Track 2: Otto Lechner & Arnaud Methivier with “Arnottodrom”
Track 3: Bratco Bibic & The Accordion Tribe (Guy Klucevsek, Maria Kalaniemi, Otto Lechner playing “Tangocide”
In the evening of Saturday the 25th of February this 7th International Accordion Festival kicks off with an Opening Gala, with Live music performances ofcourse by two popular prominent accordionists from the region whose music you have just heard namely 1st Otto Lechner from Austria with the company of the French accordionist Arnaud Methivier and 2nd from Slovenia Bratco Bibic & The Accordion Tribe. As in previous festivals the tradition has been maintained that the festival’s Opening be celebrated, so as this year, in the Jugendstil Theater.
From then on almost 140 Artists/Musicians of nearly 28 different nationalities will take part in this month long festival, either as invited guest artists from overseas – even from as far away as New Zealand and Argentinia – or as performing musicians collaborating in numerous intercultural and multinational groups and ensembles.
Naturally, it is to expect on the part of the organisers the excitement and the inner tension that what they have exhausted in way of time and energy should finally pay off. And the result of their endeavour and immense engagement is an uncomparable achievement, depicted in the compact programme, full of exciting but diverse events and happenings – as Mr. Friedl Preisl, the founder and head of the festival team, expressed at the Festival Press Conference.
Friedl Preisl > Press Conference
Friedl said that apart from music performances and concerts, the programme also includes Film brunches with film shows on Sundays at 1pm and later at 3.30pm Literature salons, where readings and music/text collages take place – hereto Friedl made mention of Otto Lechner together with a Swiss Artist, Anne Bennent.
Friedl also spoke of the socalled “Quetschen- Freitags” – quetschen meaning squeeze in Austrian German – is foreseen for local accordion players. In AERA, the planned venue for this event, musicians and the public can gather there on the respective Fridays and take part in music making or simply participate in accordion sessions.
Friedl also spoke of a new event added to this year’s festival for children, planned for the 18th and 19th of March. Its called “Abenteuernacht” (ie. Adventure night)
to take place in “Dschungel Wien”. Children from the age of 9 years on, would be animated into theatre making and introduced to the accordion as a music instrument, its technical aspects and then after dinner they would spend the night there, for which they have to bring sleeping bags etc.
Further still, regarding new programme additions, Friedl made mention of a general Information Centre for the festival, which would be accommodated in the Österreichisches Volksliedswerk, an Institute involved with research and documentation of the Austrian folk music. Apart from festival informations, tickets for the festival events will also be sold there.
At the same time, an exhibition of accordion collection by the 80 year old Hannes Tannheiser, will be shown in the Institute.
Further still lectures on the history and development of the accordion – (a subject which I shall come to later) – will also be held in the Institute. It’s a contribution from the Harmonica Centre in Graz, Austrian 2nd largest city south of Vienna.
Track 4: Maria Kaliniemi (Finnland) with “Meadows and Fields” (Meadow Poetry). (her performance is on the 26.February.)
Ofcourse the general aim of the festival on the whole is to provide the Viennese public and visitors experiences with the musical, stylistic and cultural diversity of the accordion.
Mr. Richard Schuberth, member of the organising committee and responsible for the textual content of the programme booklet, in his accounts of the events during the press conference, underlined the fact that this 7th accordion festival has taken on such a magnitude, with double concerts and events taking place nearly everyday. Overwhelmed with satisfaction and gratitude, his remark about this year’s festival – in view of his constant involvement since the festival was founded – was simply, “spitze “ (meaning excellent).
Anyhow, he went on to clarify the events for which he chose to quote reading Friedl’s concised description given in the foreword of the programme booklet.
Richard Schubeth > Press Conference
So he quotes: once again a colourful, exciting and enduring meeting encompassing the accordion is expected. In contrast to previous festivals where emphasis was given mainly to stylistic merit, almost nearly all styles are represented in this festival. Music of varying concievement, fusions through time and space, boundless fantasy and clever reduction, Meditaranean, East European, Alpine, Latin-American, Celtic-Atlantic, Scandinavian, Klesmer, Musette, Tango, Gypsy, Jazz, Cajun, Zydeco, Chamame´, Rhythm and Reel, Shwing, Latin – these are the mosaic stones which thus result in the overall picture ACCORDION FESTIVAL.
Track 5: Frank Marocco Quartet (U.S.A.) with “Freedom Flight”
Track 6: Dr. Bajan and Band (Russia) with “Meine Frau”(my wife)
(F.Marocco is appearing as guest musician with Klaus Paier Trio on 2.March; Dr. Bajan on 12.March.)
And to answer the questions who, when and why the Vienna accordion festival was founded, I have mentioned above that the man behind the whole thing, Mr. Friedl Preisl, as the actual founder. Here is what he has to say in this regard:
Friedl Preisl > Press Conference
Infact it was quite coincidental, back then towards the end of 1999, simultaneous to the Renaessance of the accordion, he was closely affiliated with, among other accordionists, Otto Lechner who was then performing gigs on accordion, that the idea to organise and stage an accordion festival in Vienna was conceived.
Since then the Vienna accordion festival has grown to such a high level and with greater demands respectively, so that the fulfilling reward is such that it has gained a place in international standards, accepted and recognised – thus the formulation Vienna International Accordion Festival. He also justifies the fact that many more musicians, locally and internationally, crave for a possibility to take part, nevertheless as organiser, one has to be perceptible in making choices. Still, with self-confidence, he expressed that he has managed to keep and maintain the high level of the festival and its success untill now.
Since the very first festival of the year 2000, Mr. Friedl has accomplished his vision with the help and support of friends, who with him make up the festival organising team. To name some:
1.Claudia Gang, responsible for the Press and Public Relation
2.Ruth Schwarz, for Stage Managing
3.Richard Schuberth, as Text Designer
4.Tom Sebester, for Graphic and Layout.
and others more who cooperated in one way or another.
The overall success is also and surely attributed to the assistance and cooperation of the Vienna City Council’s cultural department, the suburb representatives and not to forget the numerous private and official sponsors.
Track 7: Beefolk (Austria) with “Ships are sailing” (Orka). (performs 7. March, 2006)
Until now I have spoken of the accordion in relation to its role in this festival. However, I would suspect that many of you listening might still be curious about this musical instrument, for example about its technical elements and how it functions and its historical background and development.
The accordion actually is portable free-reed wind instrument. The classical type consists of rectangular bellows which are expanded or pulled and contracted or squeezed by the hands. Buttons or Keys laid out as a keyboard operated by the player open valves, allowing air to enter or escape . The air sets in motion free reeds, frequently made of metal. The length, density, shape, and elasticity of the reeds determine the pitch.
The first free reed instrument ever known was the Chinese Sheng, which is mouth-blown. The Sheng is played by blowing air into a wooden mouthpiece that attaches to a gourd and into which are fitted various numbers of bamboo shoots of different lengths. It is believed to have existed in China 2000 years ago.
Track 8: Sheng Music demonstrated by Wang Zheng-Ting, Institute of Musicology, Vienna; 23.January, 2006
Europeans who travelled to China brought the idea and the instrument back to Europe, where bellows were used to substitute blowing by the mouth.
In short the historical developments of the accordion in Europe:
The preliminary existence of accordions in Europe began with the invention of the Harmonica in 1822 by a German named FRIEDRICH BUSCHMANN.
Seven years later in 1829, a Viennese, CYRILL DEMIAN, developed it further inventing the first basic version, calling it the Accordion, after the French term for chords called “Akkord”. His accordion had 5 buttons, whereby each button played 2 chords (not single chords) – one chord when squeezing thee bellows and one chord when pulling them. His musical instrument was to be the first DIATONIC ACCORDION.
Later in France alterations were made to Demian’s chord playing accordion to allow playing single notes, such as in Cajun accordion.
In 1897 however, the modern accordion was eventually achieved by an Italian named PAOLO SOPRANI, when he developed the CHROMATIC ACCORDION.
In the late 1800s then the Piano Accordion was developed and has remained to be the most common type till nowadays.
The playing technique involves laying the right hand out on piano keyboards, and the left hand play by pressing an array of buttons which produce Bass notes.
In contrast to Diatonic accordions which progress in seconds within the octave, the Chromatic accordion, which by enlarge, constitutes buttons instead of keys, plays a 12-tone scale.
Track 9: Lizzie Cook (New Zealand) with “Derwish” (Letter from my heart)
Track 10: KTU – Pohjonen (Russia/U.S.A.) with “Absynthe” (Thirsty Ear)
(Lizzie`s concert is on 27.February; the band KTU on 23.March)
Back to the festival again, I shall no longer make detail account of every event taking place, but only remind you, if interested, to link on to the website of the festival, whose address is given herein (www.akkordeonfestival.at). There you can check the whole month’s programme of the festival.
On the other hand you can also directly tune in, so to say, to Live Broadcasts of concerts and performances here on EMAP, which is also going to `stream’ into internet live concerts, a service seclusively intended for Emap listeners.
In fact, close coorperation with the accordion festival organisers has since been maintained over the festival years in particular by the Director himself, Dr.Emil H. Lubej, through medial undertakings such as recordings, broadcasts and Internet Live Streaming.
So whether you are in America, Africa, Australia or Alaska, and can so to say receive Emap Internet Radio, keep in mind that you can listen on a 1 to 1-basis to Live concerts performed as far away in Vienna, Austria, Europe, anytime you want in this month long accordion festival.
And that is one positive role of Emap in this respect, exploiting modern technology and in the process break through barriers and boundries of time, space and distance.
So keep in touch with Emap from the 25th of February on, ‘cos there’s going to be great music brought to you Live and direct to you at home or elsewhere computerwise.
And especially for you, detail Infos. will be provided, either in the Event space or publicised in Emap’s daily programme, of when in particular such concert live streaming would take place.
It so great and exciting that such possibility is available and made use of.
For those who have the interest and want to revise what I have presented here in this programme – (in fact I did present it with a script) – you can retrieve and read the script from Emap’s archive.
I hope that you have received me `clear and well´ just as I have reached you, so give us a hint, a feedback proper.
So thankyou so much for listening in and would want to leave with a final accordion number from >C.J.Chenier & The Red Hot Party” with a Zydeco number called “Zydeghost” from the album called `Step It Up`- doing the accordion Cajun-Blues style.
I wish then all the best, take care and goodbye for now from me Phillip Lamasisi and the Emap Team.
Track 11: C.J.Chenier & The Red Hot Peper –“Zydeghost” (Step I up). (performing the 1st Final concert on 25. March,2002)
Listen this Program
Website of Akkordeon Festival
Livestream of the Concerts
Emap.FM's Archive of the Akkordeon Festival