NORTHERN LIGHTS! 2014’s festival theme saw KLANGSPUREN SCHWAZ – Tirol New Music Festival present music and musicians from the three West Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, in juxtaposition and in dialogue with music and musicians hailing from Tirol, Austria and beyond. A captivating additional theme focused on the adaptation and use of traditional folk music instruments and idioms from Nordic countries and the Alpine region, such as the Hardinger fiddle, accordion, joik, zither, hammered dulcimer and cimbalom.
28 well-attended concerts that included 15 world premieres and also special events were exceptionally well-received by audiences and press alike, whose favourable reviews affirmed the festival programme. 38 young musicians from 22 countries took part in the 11th KLANGSPUREN INTERNATIONAL MODERN ACADEMY. They presented the fruits of their collaboration with the masterful musicians from Ensemble Modern and the two Composers in Residence, Hans Abrahamsen from Denmark and Wolfgang Mitterer from East Tirol, to an impressively high standard in two final ensemble concerts as well as in short performances in small chamber ensembles as part of the popular series “Rent a Musician”. 17 families invited the young talent to perform in their living rooms and in their gardens or on their patios in the sun: such a special treat! The festival’s opening concert provided the first artistic highlight: the Tiroler Sinfonieorchester Innsbruck, conducted by their young principal conductor Francesco Angelico, performed world premieres by Danish composers Hans Abrahamsen and Christian Winther Christensen, complemented by works by their “Austrian” contemporaries Joanna Wozny and Bernhard Gander. Equally impressive was Ensemble Modern’s concert that featured four Austrian premieres by Hans Abrahamsen and the “young guns”, Lars Petter Hagen, Wolfgang Mitterer and Bernhard Gander. From the wealth of excellent concerts, standout performances included Wolfgang Mitterer’s monumental, breathtaking organ performance in Innsbruck’s dome of St. Jakob; Oslo’s Cikada Ensemble in Kirche St. Martin in Schwaz with a mini portrait of the Australian-Chinese composer Liza Lim; a powerful world premiere by Norway’s Jon Øyvind Ness; zither trio Greifer’s wholly successful concert in Kirche der Burg Freundsberg high above Schwaz; the song cycle “Rules of Love” at Viehversteigerungshalle Rotholz, written by Arnt Håkon Arnesen and Sergej Newski and brilliantly performed by AJO ensemble from North Norway and the vocalists Natalia Pschenitschnikova and Silje Marie Aker Johnson; a fantastic festival finale with a double concert by TENM – Tyrolean Ensemble for New Music – including the world premiere of the moving music theatre piece “luce near” by Hannes Kerschbaumer – and the Esbjerg Ensemble performing an Icelandic-Danish programme. Also worth a mention are the two successful Late Nite Lounges: the pulsing, driving electronic beats of <SØS> Gunver Ryberg and quirky electro performance duo NMO: Morten J. Olson & Ruben Pateño at p.m.k. in Innsbruck and, at Eremitage in Schwaz, the trio BOA from Oslo with subtly simple songs, sung by the exceptional singer Tora Augestad.
This year’s musical pilgrimage led the way from Arzl i.P. to Landeck-Perjen in the Inn Valley and provided exhilarating encounters with traditional music on the richly ornamented Hardanger fiddle, with original sami joiks and with new music, played on the accordion, on the hammered dulcimer, the zither and the cimbalom. In 2015, the pilgrimage will last two days (!) and reach it’s literal climax at St. Christoph am Arlberg, at the western end of the Tyrolean world.
The prelude of the utopian vocal chain that is “Entropy Symphony”, conceived by the American artist Zefrey Throwell and composed by Wolfgang Mitterer, was a real experience with around 400 singers at the Franzensfeste Fortress. Next year, we hope to bring more than 6,000 (!) singers together over a distance of 250 kilometres from Kufstein in the north and Ala in the south to finally convene at the Franzensfeste Fortress. We need you all to join in and sing! Please register for this unique event either directly with us or with the choral societies of Tirol or Trentino!
Klangspuren 2015’s concerts will present a rich spectrum of surprising and beguiling sounds on the basis of alternative tonal systems, unusual intonation, micro-interval tuning and unorthodox playing techniques. We look forward to seeing you!