NEW FOLK MUSIC
Simone Felber’s iheimisch:
Simone Felber, vocals
Adrian Würsch, schwyzerörgeli accordion
Pirmin Huber, double bass
What does one’s “home country” sound like? The musicians of the trio “Simone Felber’s iheimisch” will take us on a musical journey to foreign parts – but they’ve always got a piece of home tucked away in their rucksack. Come and join them on their journey: with Simone Felber (vocals), Adrian Würsch (schwyzerörgeli accordion) and Pirmin Huber (double bass).—
Mani Matter’s songs hold pride of place in the Swiss chanson repertoire. They deal with everyday situations that end in the absurd or in disaster, and often grapple with big issues and philosophical questions as they are manifested in small-scale situations and stories. They tell us of misunderstandings that end in speechlessness, despite their restrained, seemingly harmless language. Matter’s song “Mir het dr Dings verzellt” (“So-and-so told me”), for example, is basically about everything and nothing. It remains completely unclear who told what to whom about what “things”. Yet at the same time, Matter’s words conjure up images that – depending on one’s perspective – are capable of evoking different but nevertheless concrete ideas. The “thing” that’s being told appears to be simplifying something or other, which is probably why everyone wants it; this in turn triggers unease in the narrator, who ultimately concludes with relief: The “things” that so-and-so spoke about aren’t even “things” at all.
But what does this have to do with the “iheimisch” band of the singer and yodeller Simone Felber? She smiles as she explains in her Swiss Radio project “Re-issued: Mani Matter 2022” that she was part of a Matter cover band as a child. “Re-issued” offered a groovy, funny, partly yodelled version of Matter’s classic song, and she’ll also be singing it in Andermatt. But Simone Felber’s “iheimisch” is naturally much more than just a cover band. This trio from Central Switzerland, comprising Simone Felber (vocals), Adrian Würsch (schwyzerörgeli accordion) and Pirmin Huber (double bass) grapples in their music with questions like: What does “home” sound like? How does a “foreign” place sound? Where do the primal, natural sounds of different peoples and cultures originate, and why are they so similar, despite their differing origins? Can a new sound become a “primeval” sound? When does something foreign become “native”, and when does something native become foreign? These three musicians go out in search of foreign musics, but always keep a piece of their musical home – figuratively speaking – in their rucksack. In songs like the eerie “Sträggelenacht” or the longing, indulgent “Mitternachtsjodel” (“Midnight Yodel”), Felber claims that “a mystical Switzerland comes to life that we have all anticipated but has probably never existed before like this”. Come and experience it live in Andermatt.
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