And The Winner Is: Sonic Suite!
by Sonic Suite (Germany)
Back home (meaning Berlin, Münster, Hannover and Weimar), still amazed by what we have experienced in Graz:
9 a.m. Münster, Germany. Pouring Rain. Hair looks terrible. We are starting our road trip throughout Germany heading to Graz, Austria, where the vokal.total festival takes place. Most of the time we spend sleeping, while Tilo is driving. The remaining time of the journey consists of oranges, crossword puzzles and nonstop music hits (from the radio, or alternatively directly from us). After a while we enter Austria and our sound technician Kai gets to prove his driving skills. So many mountains and tunnels, not a good time for reading, so we play word games and have intense discussions about the rules (at this point thanks to Nik Grunwald for introducing us to these games).After passing Klaus, Graz can finally be read on the street signs. A little later we are standing in front of a mountain and are happy that the Dom is in and not on top of the mountain! The menu of the restaurant at the bottom of this very mountain has a lot of German words which we have never heard before because it is Austrian German, but in the end we are full and happy.
The place we stay at for the next days is a school located somewhat outside of Graz, which we share with three other a cappella groups. It feels a little bit like taking a school trip and the girls make plans to trick the boys, but we fall asleep too soon. As the next day arrives the school trip is over, it is competition day!
We are leaving for sound check in the morning, everything coming from the speakers to the audience sounds fine. Our monitor sound is not quite perfect yet and once again, we wish for in-ear monitoring (soon, soon!). Afterwards, we take a little siesta, some are reading at the pool, which is followed by ironing, rehearsing and dressing up (in this order) .
The evening comes closer. As we arrive at the venue “Hartmuth und die Hitmaschine” are looping themselves right into the heart of the audience and of Sonic Suite. We are impressed and thrilled by all the creativity, talent and enthusiasm in this room!
Our moment is now coming closer, we are walking towards the stage, taking our mics and switching them on. The host of the evening, Fii, is announcing Sonic Suite and we walk on stage. The moment Indra and Frieder get into the groove of “Weren’t You The One” we all stop thinking about this being a competition and just do our very best. Jury member Kim Nazarian (New York Voices) is clapping along, sweat runs down our smiling faces, Victor and Vinh sing the battle of their life over “Best friend’s Blues” as if they really had a girl to fight about and with the last mellow chord, everything is already over. Now it is time for a beer and enjoying the rest of the evening!
There are many great moments later that evening: Musix, The Boxettes from London, MICappella from Singapore, Maytree from Korea and of course the legendary Fii from Austria. Then finally, the moment arrives when the Jury is walking on stage to announce the diplomas (there are bronze, silver and gold diplomas), the audience favourite award plus the ranking for 3rd 2nd and 1st prize. Each group sends one member on stage as a group representative. Sonic Suite is represented by Indra who takes his place besides Neo from the Boxettes. All members of Sonic Suite feel their heartbeat accelerating. After the announcements for bronze and silver diplomas, it becomes clear that we have a realistic chance to get a golden diploma. Then, for the first time, we have the slight feeling that we might have achieved something. When shortly after that thought we hear “And the winner of this year’s vokal.total 2011 in the pop music category is…-wait for it-…Sonic Suite!”
WOW! Really? What is happening? Luckily the adrenalin shoves aside the tiredness and we perform a joy-infused “Hey Now”, with Lena singing her soul out!
The whole evening, it flashes through our minds that we actually won. After hitting the dancefloor with some brandnew moves we head home and the feeling of a school trip crawls back into our thoughts. But again we fall asleep before we can put some toothpaste onto the boys’ doorknobs.
The prize winners’ concerts the next evening are all absolutely awesome and I am very proud to surprise Hi-Five with a “Je kan met mij ook Nederlands praten, hoor”.
On our way back to the school/hotel we once again sing hits from the 80´s, 90´s and today loudly in the car in various keys, but always from the bottom of our hearts („and so we goo to the eeend ooof the road“, „Heal the woooorld“ , „part time loveeeer“ , etc. ). Our baritone Vinh is singing us to sleep from the shower room and the next morning our intense short trip and adventure in Graz is already over. 8 a.m. Pouring rain. Hair looks terrible. But this time we got a golden diploma and an award in a frame.
We have met so many fantastic groups and people, a lot of them are visiting vokal.total on a regular basis, because of the atmosphere and the feeling. Thanks to the whole team once again for the perfect organization and a huge thank you to all the groups for inspiring us!
Our resumée: vokal.total, it was „legen – wait for it… dary“
Thanks to the winners for this great blog post. And thanks to everybody who makes his or her comment: Because you were in Graz, too. Because you think that Sonic Suite is awesome. Because you want to complain that your group didn’t win. Because you wanted to say something about competitions in general. Because…just go ahead – thanks for joining the conversation.
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