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Made in Austria Made in Austria

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 May 2018 · neubau eyewear
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