Contemporary folk music: A chat with Austrian band ALMA
Hailing from Vienna these five musicians are changing the perception of traditional folk music one song at a time
The Austrian band ALMA plays Folk Music in a contemporary way. Using traditional violins, accordeons and basses combined with beautiful vocals and jodeling, the band proves that traditional music can be modern. We talked to the five members Julia, Evelyn, Matteo, Marie-Theres and Marlene about handling professionality and friendship at both times, emotions, their biggest achievements and their inspiration.
How did you all meet?
Well, Julia and Marlene are siblings, so they met pretty early. But generally we met at folk music workshops when we were little. Julia and Marie met the first time, when they were 10. So I’d say it was destiny.
How did the idea to form a band come about?
That was easy – Julia sent an Email. Done.
Alma means soul in Spanish. Why did you choose that name?
Since we work a lot with traditional Austrian folk music it seemed like a perfect match for us using ALMA as our band name. We grew up with folk music, and even if it annoyed us sometimes, it’s definitely a part of our being.
What do you want people to think/feel when they listen to your music?
Emotions. We love to see smiling faces, tears or tenseness. We think it’s the most important thing, of doing music, to make people feel something and to transport them to another place.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
There are a few challenges on different levels. There is the personal level – we are working now together for nearly 7 years. Finding the right balance of a working relationship and our friendship is one of the most important things. And we managed it quite well.
What’s your favorite part about doing music?
Searching for new soundscapes, being on stage with people you trust, composing.
What music do you usually listen to?
I’m mostly listening to early music, baroque and orchestral music. Sometimes to Whitney Houston or Toto, too.
What’s been a highlight of your career as a band so far?
We played with Tonkünstler Orchestra at the golden hall of Musik Verein Vienna. That was quite something!
What would you like to achieve as a band?
Getting invited to the big concert halls like Carnegie Hall or Elbphilharmonie, but mostly to stay fresh and awake music wise.
Music is an international language, and in yours you mix influences from traditional music from different countries and try to give them a modern twist. Where do you get your inspiration?
Well, we only choose music of countries where we have a strong bond to. So, there for the things we associate with the chosen country, are really strong inspirations. And in general our daily life – it directly reflects our music.