Music that unites, that treats tradition with respect and yet still opens exciting doors to the new. With the release of their new album “Oeo” (col legno), ALMA have proven themselves to be a formation that understands how to redefine folk music in a compelling way.
It was already apparent on their last release in 2015, Transalpin. But now the quintet that set out to redefine traditional alpine folk music has moved into completely new musical dimensions with their latest album. Not that the winners of the RUTH World Music Award would actually deny their folk roots. They still play an important role. But a lot more has been added to their repertoire since the early days.
Julia Lacherstorfer (violin, vocals), Evelyn Mair (violin, vocals, tamburello), Marie-Theres Stickler (diatonic harmonica), Matteo Haitzmann (violin, vocals) und Marlene Lacherstorfer (contrabass, vocals, tamburello) celebrate their very individual form of crossover on “Oeo”. One that goes beyond any stylistic borders and combines a diverse mix of musical genres and epochs.
EMOTIONAL AND COLOURFUL SOUNDS The quintet takes their listeners into a world of perfectly dignified sound. A world in which a 3/4 beat is combined with the melodies of foreign lands into a fascinating whole. The works of ALMA move back and forth, in some works focusing on chamber music influences, in others on folk. Every now and then hints of pop and classical music are obvious. And they combine them with the energy of the waltz or polka, and the elegance of the musette into a fascinating and completely new creation.
With “Oeo” ALMA have proven exactly why they are where they are. Why they enjoy the reputation they have, both here and abroad. The new album is one that really gets to the listener, awakens slumbering emotions, celebrations, and melancholy in a beautiful way. It is truly an extraordinary work. Michael Ternai
(adapted from the German by David Dempsey)