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 program to commemorate the 7th year of the Viennese International Accordion Festival.
My name is Phillip Lamasisi (you might know me from my programs 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 the accordion - either experimental, traditional or both - adequately fit the notion of winterizing and introducing spring, especially for this region. With individual exciting and innovative projects, the festival provides a forum for networking, communication, discussion and interaction, creating structures for relaxation, focused listening and socializing. In other words, an international gathering is warm and cosmopolitan, underscoring the pertinent features of this special event 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: Bratko 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 of course 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 Bratko 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 Argentina – or as performing musicians collaborating in numerous intercultural and multinational groups and ensembles.

Naturally, it is to expect on the part of the organizers 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 dedication and immense commitment is an incomparable performance, presented in a compact program that is full of exciting but varied events and happenings, as Friedl Preisl, founder and leader of the festival team, said 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 so-called “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 theater 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 Center for the festival, which would be accommodated in the Österreichisches Volksliedswerk, an Institute involved with research and documentation of the Austrian folk music. In addition to festival information, tickets are also sold there for the festival events. 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 Center in Graz, Austrian 2nd largest city south of Vienna.

Track 4: Maria Kalaniemi (Finnland) with “Meadows and Fields” (Meadow Poetry). (her performance is on the 26.February.)

Of course 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 organizing 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).
In any case, he explained the events for which he quoted the cited description of Friedl, which was included in the foreword of the program.

Richard Schuberth > Press Conference

In any case, he explained the events for which he cites the sun: Once again, a colorful, exciting and enduring gathering is expected to greet the accordion. Unlike previous festivals, which focused on stylistic values, almost all styles are represented in this festival. Various fascinating music, fusions through time and space, limitless fantasy and clever reduction, Mediterran, Eastern European, Alpine, Latin American, Celtic-Atlantic, Scandinavian, Klesmer, Musette, Tango, Gypsy, Jazz, Cajun, Zydeco, Chamame, Rhythm and Reel Swing, Latin - these are the mosaic stones that make up the overall picture of 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

In fact, by the end of 1999, at the same time as the accordion's renaissance, he was closely associated with other accordionists and Otto Lechner, who then played gigs on accordion to organize and orchestrate the idea. The Accordion Festival in Vienna was conceived.
Since then, the Vienna Accordion Festival has developed to such a high level and higher standard that the reward is so great that it has found, accepted and recognized a place in international standards - according to the wording of the Vienna International Accordion Festival. He also explains that many other musicians from home and abroad are trying to get involved, but as an organizer you have to be noticed when choosing. Nevertheless, he was self-confident that he was able to maintain the high level of the festival and its success until today.
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 organizing 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 begins to move, with the metal pipe often moving freely. Length, density, shape and elasticity of the reeds determine the distance.
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 traveled 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 tune in directly to live broadcasts of concerts and performances here on EMAP, which will also "stream" into live internet concerts, a service designed exclusively for Emap listeners. In fact, the close collaboration with the organizers of the Accordion Festival over the years, in particular by the director himself, dr. Emil H. Lubej, sustained by media measures 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 a positive role for Emap in this regard, using modern technology breaking through the barriers and limitations of time, space and distance.
So stay in touch with Emap from 25th February. "It's great music to live music that you have at home or elsewhere right from the computer.
And especially for you, detail Infos. will be provided, either in the Event space or released in Emap’s daily programme, of when in particular such concert live streaming would take place.
It's so great and exciting that such a possibility is available and used.
For those who are interested and want to revise what I have presented here in this program (in fact I have presented it with a script), you can retrieve and read the script from the Emap archive.
I hope you have received me "clearly and well" as I have reached you, so give us a hint, a proper feedback.

Thank you for listening and ending with a final accordion number from "C.J.Chenier & The Red Hot Party" with a Zydeco number called "Zydeghost" from the album "Step It Up" - Doing the Accordion Cajun - Blue style.
I wish you all the best, take care and goodbye to 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 Accordion Festival
Emap.FM's Archive of the Accordion Festival