freistil sampler #1
freistil sampler #1, featuring:
Cordula Bösze, Angelica Castello, Judith Unterpertinger, Elisabeth Flunger, Petra Stump, Carla Kihlstedt, Katharina Klement, Susanna Gartmayer, Ilse Riedler, Manon Liu Winter, Maria Frodl
The patriarchy, even in its cultural expressions, is dominated by male societies. In music, this is by no means confined to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now with the younger generation the glass ceiling is starting to crack, in particular in the fields of electronic music, contemporary composition and improvisation, and to a lesser extent in jazz and rock music. But even these categorisations become increasingly redundant, as social background or mental and political environments become more important – especially now, since the creation of an open society as practised in improvised music with all available means is no longer the issue anymore. In the face of “Me PLCs” and the dumbing down of the masses our dissident appetite for enlightenment, empowerment and critique continues to grow.
As a result, Hannes Schweiger, percussionist, journalist, and long-time editor of Jazzlive magazine, started a series of portraits in freiStil three years ago, giving it a name we borrowed from an old Nina Hagen song: “beschreiblich weiblich” [describably feminine]. He has spotlighted 17 female artists, whose musical qualities were and are in inverse proportion to the media’s indifference to them. The freiStil sampler #1 features eleven of them with one track each. Its title, DAMN!, can be read both in English and German – or in American and Austrian, because these are the countries where these damning dames come from, with gentle tendrils reaching over into Luxembourg and Mexico.
When asked about her chief motive for founding the IMA Institute of Media Archaeology, Elisabeth Schimana said in freiStil #20: “The central question was: Whom can I refer to as a female musician? Men refer either to Cage or Coltrane, whom do we refer to?“ It will probably be easier for later generations to answer this question. Until the knowledge now being generated is accumulated and extended, an older assessment is still valid: Austria is a men’s singing club, living and letting live, going and letting go. This is the judgement Karl Kraus made in his gorgeous satire “Fahrende Sänger” [Itinerant Singers] about 100 years ago. Let them go. Let’s listen to the signals of solidarity, emancipation and feminism. The music is playing out in front.
Andreas Fellinger, aka Felix
freiStil, Magazin für Musik und Umgebung
freistil sampler #1