With the incredible enjoyment of playing old traditional patterns and by completely leaving behind stylistic borders, Federspiel has no dogmatic bottlenecks and no creative scruples. Mariachi, mazurka, military march, csárdás, volksweise (folk tune / traditional proverb), and folk dance join in a fascinating mixture that brings musical light today as it surely will even in twenty or thirty years.
Creativity, spontaneity, and joy run high on the list of priorities of the brass-band ensemble Federspiel. In 2005, seven young musicians, all students of the University of Music and Performing Arts–Vienna or the Vienna Konservatorium, joined together to form Federspiel. Folk music from Austria, neighboring 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.
Crucial feedback came from Rudi Pietsch, professor at the Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology at the University for Music and Performing Arts–Vienna, who rehearsed and arranged the original folk music for the band. Federspiel’s particular style is defined by the origins and backgrounds of each individual musician and creates the unique sound of the band. The group’s music consists of original compositions with pop elements as well as arrangements of traditional zither and Mexican folk music. Their music cannot be categorized within a single genre but comfortably moves between existing genres such as folk, world, and traditional music.
These guys are conservatory trained, which I think gives them all a very sweet and strong embouchure. Their repertoire reflects interests that range far afield, from Bulgaria to Mexico. It is this combination of musical adventure and classical diligence that creates Federspiel’s strength. They are remarkably controlled, subtle and even spiritual.