In 2012 Nikola Komatina and the cellist Mladen Miloradovic founded the duo Akkcellorando, which has in the meantime appeared in concert halls and at music festivals all over the world. The duo’s programme features music ranging from the Baroque to the present day. The work of both musicians is rooted not only in the folk music tradition of their native Serbia but also in the world of classical music. Among the works that they have arranged for their duo are traditional pieces designed to offer listeners an authentic musical experience. Even today the combination of cello and accordion is an unusual one, but it will surely not be long before audiences realize just how well these two instruments go together.
Fona-Formation Neues Akkordeon is a group of soloists who have all studied under Grzegorz Stopa at the Detmold Academy of Music and the Conservatory that forms part of Vienna’s Private University. As a group, their aim is to explore every facet of the modern accordion and perform music by well-known and unknown composers to the very highest artistic level. Teachers, students, graduates and their fellow chamber recitalists are all united in their desire to bring a new quality to their championship of the accordion, a quality that is the result of their intense and at times experimental engagement with new interpretative techniques and new approaches to sonority. The group’s artistic director is Grzegorz Stopa, who sees himself first and foremost as a fountainhead of ideas and as a motivating force. Central to its philosophy is the friendly exchange of ideas concerning its members’ musical activities. The fact that Fona has brought together young musicians in particular, allowing these very different individuals to pool their resources in a joint project, is almost certainly unique at the present time, and the same must surely be true of the artistic paths on which they have set out in their advocacy of the accordion.
ONE EARTH ORCHESTRA
Volker Staub is the artistic director of One Earth Orchestra. He describes the ensemble’s programme as follows on its home page:
“The name of the ensemble, which was founded in 2012, refers less to the concepts of world music than to the fact that music is only a minuscule part of an enormous organism, sounding and vibrating with infinite facets, an organism we call earth. All life is and creates vibration. Only a portion of these oscillations, which are also within the range of the human ear, are what we call music. Music can be significant and vast when it crosses over the boundaries of both language and nation states, and deeply touches the internal, emotional worlds. Seen from a much broader perspective, the music people create is relativised to one among countless voices in the “Gesamtklang”, the overarching sound of the diversity of life.
The name One Earth Orchestra is dedicated to the life which surrounds us all and of which we are also a part.
Music is an autonomous form of art and at the same time a form of holistic communication from person to person, from culture to culture.
The One Earth Orchestra develops musical programmes, which allow outstanding interpretations of selected works of contemporary music to be heard and furthermore it presents pertinent musical-artistic contributions on the defining issues of our times. These are social, environmental and political issues that concern all people in this and future generations. Art and music make it possible to comprehend these topics and issues not only through the rationale of language, but also as analogies, associatively or emotionally and so to apprehend more fully.
A significant concern is the reinforcement of cultural diversity, such as the continued existence of musical experimentation and innovation beyond the mainstream or the continuation of the music of indigenous cultures which has, in some cases, almost fallen into silence. Cultural diversity is the greatest treasure that the evolution of humanity has produced in the past 40,000 years. It is a reflection of the biological diversity of life, of the greatest treasure that evolution has created on the earth.
The concert venues where the One Earth Orchestra performs are in addition to concert halls or festivals of contemporary music, places of remembrance, international conferences, public spaces and landscapes whose contexts are thematically linked to the pieces. The ensemble has given concerts, among others, at the United Nations’ Biodiversity Conference in Hyderabad (India) with a programme which broached the issue of the close relationship between the biological and cultural diversity of life. The orchestra sought a musical dialogue with the indigenous tribe of the Kadar in the southern Indian jungle in Parambikulam, celebrating their traditional music in order to pass it down to the next generation. Or the orchestra performed in a bunker in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, which was built on the former site of Frankfurt’s largest synagogue after it was torched to the ground and demolished in 1938. Here, together with actors a programme was developed in which music was interwoven with eyewitness texts, creating a dense and sometimes harrowing memorial-collage.” (Volker Staub)