ALPENGLOW – Styria meets UK (24. – 26. September 2010, London)

Alpenglow is an international improvised music summit mixing leading players from Styria in Austria with a wide range of top-draw musicians from the UK. Embracing a true spirit of experimentation, this extended weekend of performance will mix many artists who, until now, have never shared a stage together to create unexpected and unpredictable results.

What’s it about?
Styria meets UK

Emerging from late 60s US and European free jazz and contemporary classical music scenes, freely improvised music has at its disposal the full spectrum of sonic experience from total noise to near absolute silence, from frenetic activity to glacial stillness and from focused solo performance to large group freakout.

Just as in relationships between groups and individuals, there is the potential for danger and conflict as well as for concord and harmony. First time encounters can be particularly unpredictable. Alpenglow is conceived as a volatile experiment: a meeting of players speaking many musical tongues, some sounding with Apollonian poise, others convulsing in Dionysian ecstasy. Setting forth with the ecumenical verve of an interstellar missionary collaboration between the Society of Friends and the Ranters, the fate of this expedition will be resolved before the public gaze.

As well as suckling comedy politician and seven-time Mr Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger, Styria (the Austrian state surrounding Graz), has produced a dynamic breed of experimental musicians as yet unknown in UK circles. Alpenglow will bring these players en mass to London for a head-to-head with the best of our free improvisers. This event celebrates the common bonds this band of players share through the creation of spontaneous music.

Alpenglow takes place in Dalston, North London at the city’s hub for experimental music Cafe Oto, and the capital’s world-renowned jazz club The Vortex. British pianist and composer Veryan Weston and Austrian vocalist Annette Giesriegl, two of the leading figures in improvised music in their respective countries, have selected the artists performing over the weekend. The event will bring together 30 players drawn from across the spectrum of current approaches to improvised music performance in small group contexts and a large improvising orchestra led by the celebrated UK musician Steve Beresford.

Alpenglow is produced by Sound and Music, VNM, The Vortex and Cafe Oto and supported by The Austrian Cultural Forum London, The Cultural Department of the Styrian Government, the Cultural Department of The City of Graz, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, SKE Fonds.