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Artikel Tagged ‘Acappellazone’

Africappella – German eye- and ear-witness report

Michel Peters - Acappellazone

Michel Peters – Acappellazone

by Michel Peters, booker at Acappellazone Freiburg, February 19, 2016

It was almost over before it had even started. When reading all the e-mails concerning visa issues and travel preparations between Josh Pule (Africappella’s founder and band leader) and Florian Städtler (Acappellazone CEO) nobody would have thought that in about two weeks’ time a memorable journey between two cultures would take place. Let alone, that within this trip the South African perspective of Germans and also the German perspective of South Africans would be fundamentally changed to the both side’s astonishment.

In many aspects the arrival of Africappella must have been a shocking experience. In – for South African terms – freezing cold 10°C the six members disembarked in Frankfurt after a 16-hours flight. Acappellazone’s booker and artist manager Oliver Adamczyk picked the group up at Frankfurt Airport and brought them down to Freiburg. The German “Autobahn” probably was the next shocking experience. Two of the group had to take the German high speed train ICE (Intercity Express) which brought the next shock for our South African friends: German train ticket prices.

With Cluster after the Freiburg showcase

With Cluster after the Freiburg showcase

While the rest of the Acappellazone team was preparing for the “Internationale Kulturbörse Freiburg 2016” one of the biggest promoter and artist fairs in Germany the group arrived. The first gig on this fair was already scheduled on the next day. This is possibly the toughest crowd in whole Germany (70% promoters and other music business professionals) – so the pressure was on right from the beginning. In a double show of roughly 30 minutes Africappella were the first to perform before the second act of the day came on: Italy’s vocal music stars Cluster from Genova. It was a remarkable double bill under challenging conditions in which a first glimpse of that unique African vocal music spirit started to spread.

Later that day the whole team was scheduled to have a first get-to-know dinner at a close by restaurant. It became clear very quickly that this special group of people fit in perfectly with our team.  Within two hours the remaining days of the group’s stay was planned out in detail. The program included travels through the world famous Black Forest, sightseeing tours through Freiburg and dinner parties.

However, even though the group looked desperately for their first ever snow experience they couldn’t make out one bit of white landscape. Germany was enduring one of the warmest winters of the last decade. It wasn’t until their next concert in Herdwangen when they finally saw and touched snow for the very first time. And it wasn’t just snow. Robert Franz, tour manager and sound engineer with Acappellazone drove the group into the heart of the Black Forest when a sudden snow storm hit South-West Germany. But while Robert was freaking out and desperately tried to get the group to their destination in one piece, Africappella had a very different perspective on the situation. The results were several snowball fights and giant snow angel marks on the side of the road. Clearly, it’s all a matter of perspective.

When they had arrived in the small town of Herdwangen, all thoughts of the winterly cold were melted away by the warmth and hearty atmosphere that arose between the audience and Africappella. In the end, several cheering spectators climbed the stage, gave hugs to the band members and handed over flowers. For sure one of the lasting memories of Africappella’s first trip to Germany, just as special as discovering Feierling’s “Brunhilde” dark beer and enjoying delicious homemade Mexican food.

Saying goodbye with souvenirs and a gift for the soon-to-be-born Africappella baby

Saying goodbye with souvenirs and a gift for the soon-to-be-born Africappella baby

The farewells were spoken with the certainty that this must not be the last time that we welcomed these great singers and wonderful people here in Germany. As a special souvenir they got something for their playful spirits and their children back at home as well.

Farewell, Africappella. And see you soon in Germany and many other European countries.

Michel Peters is a booker and project manager at the Acappellazone headquarters in Freiburg, Germany. He has sung with Jazzchor Freiburg, is a big football fan and a “totally together guy”. (Florian Städtler)

You can book Africappella for future tours via Acappellazone, Oliver Adamczyk, oliver@acappellazone.com, phone +49 621 40 76 01. You can find more information about the group by clicking on this link or going to their website www.africappella.com.

 

Take the A Cappella App Poll

by Florian Städtler, Artist & Repertoire at Acappellazone

DSC_2330A cappella and choral music is alive and kicking. More and more people sing together in groups. They come to know each other in choirs, vocal groups, festivals and workshops. They exchange ideas, concepts and experiences – face-to-face. However, one thing is missing: True, systematic interconnectedness and attractive services for singers, choir conductors, agents and fans. That’s why the idea of the Acappellazone app was born: A mobile application for the whole world of vocal music.

Acappellazone, the Vocal Music Portal got a project team ready, but before they will start working, those guys need your knowledge as a musician and music lover. If you give us 15 minutes of your time, you can help us to create something unique and valuable for the international vocal music community.

Take part in the Acappella App poll!

In less than a week, more then 500 a cappella fans and professionials have already taken the poll. By spending 15 minutes with the questionnaire linked below, you’ll be part of the project from day one. Thank you very much for your support!

Take the poll!
[English questionnaire]      [Deutscher Fragebogen]

And how about sharing the questionnaire with your musical network? Thanks for passing on the link  to conductors, singers, arrangers, composers and a cappella fans.

 

P1180947Participate, share and win twice…!

Among all participants we will give away 10 CDs of the Acappellazone webshop, e.g. 2 limited edition copies of the album “London A Cappella Live 2014” featuring The Housejacks, The Swingle Singers, The Real Group, Slixs, Vive and many more. Those who shared the poll with the biggest number of friends will have the chance to win 5 x 2 complimentary tickets + meet & greet for shows of international a cappella top acts. The poll will be closed by August 30, 2014.

Contact 

Andreas W. Zehent – Project Leader, andreas@acappellazone.com

Florian Städtler – Head of Artist & Repertoire, florian@acappellazone.com

 

 

 

Acappellazone c/o SpielPlanVier EventMarketing

Contact: Tel. +49 761 38 94 74 | info@acappellazone.com

Shop: www.acappellazone.com

Pro Lounge: http://pro.acappellazone.com

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7 Last-Minute Tipps for London A Cappella Travelers

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog on tour (#VBontour)

Travelling abroad is a wonderful thing. But we all know these terrible hours before we actually leave. Packing your bags last-minute, checking your bus, train and flight connections and of course: Trying to get as much done on your real world or virtual desk as the clock ticks mercilessly.

This January has been particularly busy and getting all my things together for my fourth London A Cappella Festival trip was an incredible rush. But the stress of getting away from „normal life“ for a couple of days is absolutely worth while. Because of 7 things that no London A Cappella Festival visitor should miss:

 

  1. A proper English pub – LACF has an official (?) meeting place called „The Fellow“ (26-30, York Way), quite close to the festival venue „King’s Place“. There are two more fantastic places friends showed me on earlier London trips: The Princess Louise (208, High Holborn, tipp by Jes Sadler) and The Antilope” (24, Eaton Terrace, tipp by Costa Peristianis, Ikon Arts)
  2. The King’s Place foyer – the venue of Britain’s finest vocal music festival is a stylish and inspiring place only 8 minutes walk from King’s Cross. Its foyer, that during the first and second festival was a rather calm place has become a buzzing place of open singing, international encounters, workshops and a cappella networking. We recommend coming rather early before concerts and events: You might bump into people like Bill Hare or Amanda Aldag or see the occasional Swingle or King’s Singer talking to their audience in an extraordinarily relaxed and friendly way,
  3. Workshops – if you want to learn from your singers in some of the best vocal groups in the world or if you simply want to come to know these people a bit better, LACF festivals are a great opportunity to broaden your horizon. There’s plenty of information on the website and seminars from „Complete Vocal Technique“ (Tine Fris/Postyr, DEN) to „Melodyne“(Erik Bosio/Cluster, ITA)
  4. High Tea – you and your friends should book have a VERY British „tea ceremony“, preferably around Covent Garden. London prices, but – according to most LACF 2012 High Tea participants, an unfogettable experience,
  5. Shoes – you may ask how shoes became so important at LACF. Well, first of all, there are two very different kind of shoes: Fashionable, mostly ladies’ shoes (extreme high-heel competition included) and running shoes (see further below under „Vocal Jog“). Always promoting the LACF shoes catwalk are high-heel afficionados Clare Wheeler (alto and party planner with The Swingle Singers), Tine Fris (singer, composer, arranger, teacher, booker etc. etc. etc. with Postyr Project) and Annemarie Homann (co-founder of The Single Singers).
  6. The Single Singers – Annemarie Homann and Emily May t’Hoen are the driving forces behind an incredible international project of planned spontaneous collective singing. They planned to visit LACF 2012 and somehow didn’t want to just listen, but sing themselves. And so they looked for more singers who wanted to do the same…and had a spectacular premiere at the King’s Place foyer in January 2012.  They did it again at The Real Group Festival in Stockholm in August 2012 and there have been similar projects at US a cappella events lately.
  7. The LACF t-shirt – look at the beautiful people at King’s Place who sell merchandise and help you out if you have any questions about LACF. They wear the official LACF shirt, which can be ordered online via www.acappellazone.com

With The Exchange – from Baltimore 2012 to London 2013

As a matter of fact, there are at least 77 more things you shouldn’t miss at LACF, e.g. the London A Cappella Festival iPhone app, now available via iTunes, Swingles Bass Edward Randell’s „Woofer“ project, a choir consisting of more than twenty basses, the 2nd LACF VocalJog on Saturday morning AND: Seeing my dear friends and US acappella shooting stars The Exchange again, supporting the Swingle Singers on Saturday night. Woohoo!

Stay tuned via the London A Cappella Website, via Vocal Blog’s Facebook group and fanpage and on Twitter, hashtags #LACF2013, #LACFextra, #VocalJog.

And now I have to run to get some smuggled Swiss goods to Islington: The Ikon Arts ladies need some doping for the upcoming challenges!

I’m Florian „Superman“ (quote all the Swingles Ladies), „The Hugh Hefner of A Cappella“ (quote FORK), „Uncle Flo“ (quote The Boxettes), „He runs Europe“ (quote Dave Sperandio) Städtler and I am a very modest man giving my humble thoughts via my global vocal music communication baby, the Vocal Blog. Call me maybe, baby.

BigQ #0: The Ultimate A Cappella Life, The Universe and Everything Project

24. Dezember 2012 2 Kommentare

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder – inspired by Andrea Figallo (Wise Guys)

Andrea Figallo

Andrea Figallo is one of the most active, communicative, polyglot and sometimes provocative vocal music pros in Europe. His singing and beatboxing with The Flying Pickets and the German vocal supergroup Wise Guys (to name only a very few of his activities) has made him travel the world. His having Japanese in-laws even more opened up his eyes for different mindsets, habits and intercultural differences. No wonder, he reacted promptly when I tweeted about his new group’s relationship (or should I say non-relationship?) to the so-called a cappella community. It only took minutes and we were in the middle of discussing the ever-present “Big Questions” that always come up when we try to reflect on “vocal music”.

Andrea took the question of the relevance of original music to Facebook and in a few minutes again, nerds and “normal people” from Italy, Germany, Hungary and elsewhere started to add interesting points and opinions on multiple topics. I personally find the real time thread technique on Facebook fascinating, on the other hand, sometimes confusing and unefficient. So, having the luxury of a blog of my own, I decided to dig the nugget topics (“BigQs”) out of the mud of spontaneous interaction, reflect on them in order to create a starting point for a discussion and then invite both experts and the “John & Jane Doe” music listener to give their opinions on clearly defined questions.

I’ve gathered 9 basic questions as of today and would be delighted if you would add more or more specific questions to complete the debate. I hope to end up with something fascinating and priceless as “The Great A Cappella Debate” two years ago, when a Facebook post by Californian aca-fan Nate George about the wrong impression The Sing-off (season 1) gave about US vocal music caused one of most insightful discussions about a cappella I’ve yet come to see. We had people from more than 15 countries and members of Take Six, The Swingle Singers, The King’s Singers, The House Jacks as well as Deke Sharon and other people involved in The Sing-off giving their opinions and thoughts. Let’s hope this draft list will trigger something similar – it’s up to you!

How about a proper crowdsourcing project (bring on your opinions, your thoughts and theories!) combined with a serious attempt to research what has been said/blogged about these matters before and then summing it up in the first white paper/ebook? This digital summary will present the possible answers to the BigQs of a cappella and could be updated annually.So here is a first BigQ list of what from my experience most of us have discussed with different people and different outcomes more than once:

  1. What exactly is a cappella?
  2. How important are originals for vocal music?
  3. What makes (a cappella music) innovative?
  4. Does being innovative say anything about quality?
  5. Is there any connection between being innovative and being a mainstream success?
  6. What is mainstream success from the a cappella point of view?
  7. What would mainstream success mean for the a cappella community?
  8. Does the community want this kind of success (and its consequences) after all?
  9. Do vocal music nerds suffer from an a cappella reality distortion field?

Those who have read Douglas Adams’ clever, extremely funny and thoughtful book(s) “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” remember that the adventures of his heroes are closely connected to the hilarious quest for the answer to “The Ultimate Question – The Question of Life, the Universe and Everything”. The people who desperately wanted to know this answer waited 7.5 million years until a supercomputer their ancestors had programmed came up with the answer, which went like this: 42. That’s when they had to build another, even bigger computer to figure out what the actual question was.

So please, before I’m going to start the discussion with presenting the results of my research and some humble thoughts by myself, give me more, better, more precise and more inspiring questions. Questions which, once being answered, give you more certainty, energy and time to concentrate on what really counts: Doing things, implementing plans, writing music, composing originals, pushing your act, getting things done.

Good work and a better life starts with clear thinking. Let’s clarify a few things here during the next two weeks.

I’m Florian Städtler, age 42 (!) and passionate about a cappella. Being founder of my own artist booking agency SpielPlanVier, of my global vocal music conversation baby Vocal Blog and the first professional special interest online shop for all things a cappella, Acappellazone as well as Chairman of the Board of The European Voices Association (EVA), I have decided not be satisfied with my current status quo of half-knowledge. And so 2013 is the first of probably many years on the way to true mastery and insight in that peculiar music business niche we call a cappella, vocal or rhythmic choral music. Looking forward to an exciting journey, come on board!

 

 

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Wise Guys – Germany’s top-selling vocal group is looking for new bass

by Eddi Hüneke, Wise Guys

you may or may not have heard of us, the German a-cappella band Wise Guys. We perform mostly in Germany; our current album “Zwei Welten” just entered the German album charts at No. 3.

Our bass singer Ferenc will be leaving us at the end of the year and we would like to ask you for help. Is there anyone whom you know who might be interested and suitable? Our genre is vocal pop and we need a full-time professional bass singer who can lay a reliable foundation as far as tuning and groove is concerned, and do a bit of vocal percussion too. Also this man would have to be prepared to move to or near Cologne, Germany, from 2013 (but the pay is quite good ;)).

We would really appreciate if you could help us at all. Thanks a lot in advance, best wishes to you all. Application details can be found under http://wiseguys.de/news/details/wir_suchen_ab_sofort_fuer_2013_einen_neuen_bass/, if you don’t speak German simply apply to bewerbung@wiseguys.de with a picture and a link to a recording of your voice.”

 

Note from the editor (FSt): The Wise Guys are a German vocal music phenomenon. Their marketing, fanbase management is as impressive as their touring and talent for “Ohrwürmer”. If you want to have one of the five best-paid and busiest a cappella job in Europe (and can sing like a real bass ;) – try to get this job!

There’s tons of Wise Guys sheet music available at www.acappellazone.com