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.

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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!

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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. 

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16 Mai 2018 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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