Albedo is the measure of the reflectivity of surfaces that are not themselves illuminative. The brighter the object, the more of the incident light it reflects.
The themes of light and reflection but also of darkness and absorption are the subject of Federspiel’s new program Albedo. The melodies oscillate between old folk songs, fantastical worlds of sound and virtuoso music experiments.
Sometimes, this can sound calm and soft, like in the piece samtig matt – a piece with little light and hardly any external reflection which in the end opens up towards the world. Or the light is omitted – like, for instance, in Schützentänze. Originating from the Salzkammergut region, those dances are a beaming spark of Austrian exuberance in 5/8 time.
In its most recent program Albedo, Federspiel excels in spirited and joyful playing which the septet’s audience is well used to but is in no way to be taken for granted. On their brass instruments, the musicians effortlessly oscillate between drama and tranquility, fragility and strength, between light and shadow.
text: buero balanka
Von der langsamen Zeit
Christmas is approaching: It is that time of the year in which a casual snowflake can paralyze the traffic, aluminum Santas smirk from the shelves and a cloud of hot punch is floating over the whole country. But it is also the time that makes everything feel a little slower and quieter, in a most pleasant way. And just like this, Federspiel, too, leans back a little bit and puts the Slow Movement into seasonal practice: In their program “On the slow time of the year”, the mixed wind ensemble is interpreting Christmas and winter songs coming from all kinds of traditions without neglecting modern sound experiments. From the local tower brass band classics to rarely performed folk songs and Spanish villancicos navideños, they adopt each and every piece with playfulness and subtle virtuosity. Here and there, the ensemble is getting a little brisker since too much contemplation can be quite drowsy. In its entirety, the program is yet another piece of Federspiel evidence that tradition should not be left to arm-linked swayers and clappers – not even at Christmas. (M. Krausgruber)
A seven-piece ensemble that redefines brass-band music. Utterly incredible skills meet the necessary youthful and charming freshness in playing, musical arrangements. “Creativity, spontaneity and joy is high on the members of the brass-band ensemble Federspiel’s list of priorities. In 2004 seven young musicians, all students of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna or rather Konservatorium Vienna, joined together to form the ensemble Federspiel. Folk music from Austria, neighbouring countries and beyond is the starting point for their concerts. The musicians work on the melodies, improvise over them and let them sound new in their very specific tone – always with a splash of humor and self-irony.” (A. Wolowiec) The group Federspiel was founded 2004 in Krems at the Danube. Crucial impulses came from Rudi Pietsch, who rehearsed from the beginning, especially arranged, for the cast, original folk music. Federspiels particular style is defined by the origins and backgrounds of each individual musician and creates the unique sound of the band. Due to this part of Federspiel`s music are therefore self-penned compositions with pop-elements as well as arrangements of traditional Mexican music or the zither as a solo instrument. Therefore their type or genre of music doesn’t exist as they are unable to be placed within the parameters of existing genres like “folk”, “world”, “traditional” music. So the style of the Ensembles is described best by it´s own name: Federspiel (feather game).
Highlights of 14 years Federspiel!
Creating symphonic worlds - Federspiel & Symphonie orchestra
Creating worlds – first and foremost, this means: Searching, collecting, at times also being dissatisfied with what is already there. Wanting to create new worlds means assuming that there is still something else stuck between all those keys and valves that wants to sound different than it does now. Creating worlds is something Federspiel has always wanted to do: Collecting every note that lies hidden between music for wind and progressive folklore, between polka rhythms and Cossack dances and turning it into something new, something different – maybe even something better.
New worlds, however, want to grow! – this is exactly the idea behind Federspiel & symphonic orchestra: Original compositions of the seven-member brass music ensemble will be performed in new arrangements together with a big symphonic orchestra combining the “non-pigeonholable” Federspiel mélange made up of alternative folk music, dabs of world music and Alpine dream dance with the sounds of symphonic amplitude. The result is a great get-together of sounds where timpani rolls are stirring up natural yodelers, crisp brass riffs are cheekily driving through string section rhapsodies and bassoons, oboes, flutes and violas and anything else that can sound is joining in a sounding frenzy of musical wholeness Where everything that had not been there before, that was stuck and couldn’t get loose but is now free to resonate in this great, newly created world was sought after and collected.
Author: Felix Jurecek
Federspielchen (Little Federspiel)
Anyone who believes that a Federspiel concert is only suitable for grown-up audiences is very wrong. In the specifically designed series “Federspielchen”, the seven musicians host children from the age of 3 as their full-fledged and dearest guests and playfully introduce them to the world of music.
How fast can you dance a polka?
Does a golden trumpet sound just like a silver one?
What does it take for a composer to write a new piece?
Together with the children, the musicians get to the bottom of all those questions. And while doing so, everyone is free to sing, dance, stomp and yell. This is not a problem for Federspiel because their music, folk music, is just as lively as these young people are. And if the grown-up companions have been good, they may also try out all the instruments afterwards – but in this concert series, the children are the ones to call the shots.