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Title: Accordion Tribe

"Music travels"
Film di Stefan Schwietert
DVD prodotto da Maximage / Fischerfilm
Artist: Guy Klucevsek (U.S.A.), Lars Hollmer (Svezia), Maria Kalaniemi (Finlandia), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), Otto Lechner (Austria)
Supplied by: Paolo Picchio
Review date: 22 December 2005


This film gained the "Swiss Film Prize 2005", but in my opinion, it deserves thousands of other acknowledgments. It is not only beautiful, not only well made, but also urges us to reflect, to understand, teaches, transmits and enthuses. For those who think that "on the road" films are sometimes dull because of some moments of silence: here you will find beautiful images and landscapes accompanied with most beautiful music and you will not even notice that an hour and 27 minutes have passed.

In this view of an artists' life the points of reflection are many and this production is without doubt a "summit" of todays musical panorama. Important to note: it is not a self-celebration; the tribe of artists does not think itself above others.

On the contrary, this musical project gushes from the intelligent mind of Guy Klucevsek, inviting us to reflect on the project itself and the possible ways of making music today, in a cultural perspective without any national borders. None of the main characters are presented as professional musicians: no reference in the production characterizes them, nor in terms of their popularity or success, or their present artistic directions.

They are presented as part of the "Accordion tribe" project or conversely - "exposed" and viewed as persons with emotions, desires, feelings, etc. There is a striking scene when the French barkeeper at the motorway inn asks Klucevsek "how did you meet, how did you select yourselves?" She was referring to their geographic order (an American, a Swede, a Finn, a Slovenian and an Austrian). Striking is also the answer, "listening to CD's".

One must also consider that all 5 artists have very impressive characters (personal and musical) and to try to form "the tribe" has been a truly courageous action, an action that has its roots in a mentality not easily found today: to see own "colleagues" (musicians who play my same instrument) not as a rivals, but as artists that I admire and that attract me with the idea to construct something together.

Yes….the "Accordion tribe" has made much more than just a jam-session. They have constructed and completed a project, a project with values and characteristics that will remain historic forever. What was the aim for these 5 accordionists meeting? Creativity - without any doubt.

Everybody has contributed some of their own compositions in the program of concerts of their quintet. Personally, I do not find the idea particularly exciting, to make a large musical plan with an accordion quintet (similarly for a piano quintet, or harps, bugles, xylophones , etc). However, in this case, the element that prevails is the mixture of various styles of playing the instrument, the encounter of various repertoires being performed by five (and that this will undoubtedly touch you) and the encounter of five strong personalities that we have already presented.

To conclude this review I would like to state some important moments of the film that have particularly caused me reflect (inviting also you to do so… if you wish):
Otto Lechner says that the accordion succeeds to render the tuneless "cordially"?
- Kalaniemi Maria says that you are not an accordionist if "you have not got to know and understand" the bellows ...?
- Always Otto Lechner, at another point says, to have searched for "his personal sound" on the accordion...
- Guy Klucevsek discovers that there are no accordion courses at the Conservatory (what happened also to me when I wanted to study accordion at the Conservatory in 1982) and has wondered why.
- The ghosts in the cupboard of Klucevsek: he played the William Tell overture arranged for solo accordion (and his teacher saying, that it just seemed playing Rossini) and Beethovens Fifth performing with an accordion orchestra.
- One fact is worthy of special attention: composing for "Accordion Tribe" Guy Klucevsek wants to repeat or at least search for the sound of an accordion orchestra that was played by Beethoven, even if it could for some reasons seem "improper".
- Lars Hollmer proposes the way of traditional music (like the one of the Accordion Tribe) going towards - "contemporary" music... and at some point says: folk has been transformed.
- Bratko Bibic raises the problem of the accordion image among young people, telling his experience, showing his photos with long hair in the sixties.
- Maria Kalaniemi uses one the most beautiful metaphors: she says "when you listen to music, it is just like, if you would follow a film in your mind; the interesting fact is, that the same music in another persons mind, generates a completely different film". (This for many is the true reason of the art.)

And these are only some of the magical moments of this film….rush out to get this DVD and don't waste any time!


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