Duration: 13:30 – 18:00
Group size: 20 persons
Language: German | English
Category: Workshop & Hiking
Means of transport: Oberlech cable car
Featuring some 1000 dolines, the Gipslöcher (“limestone holes“) in Oberlech could be called “geological land art“. These conical or funnel-like depressions out in the field are formed whenever water dissolves limestone where it leaches and soil is washed away. We use these fascinating sinkholes as a sound space for our yodeling workshop that is hosted by Evelyn Fink-Mennel from Bregenzerwald. In the presence of this thoroughbred musician, we can throw all our preconceived ideas about folklore and kitsch over board and forget the erroneous belief that we have no gift for singing at all. In former times, farmers used to yodel to communicate when out in the fields. Today, business managers enrol in the courses held by the folk music researcher. Within no time at all, you will forget the ringing tones of your mobile phone.
Ho trialei ho! Du o? Jo, i o! Hadn’t you wanted to try that all along? Hearty yodeling, this unique and socially condoned way of yelling at each other, sounds best when performed out in the open, if the poet Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe is to be believed. This outdoor music tastes best in the mountains. Here yodeling actually makes sense, and by the first Juz (joyful yell) at the latest, you will be able to fathom nature as a sound space. On our hike with master yodeler Evelyn Fink-Mennel, responsible for vocals, violin, accordion and Jew’s harp in the Vorarlberg formation “Zündschnur & Bänd“, we learn how people used their voice as a means of communication long before the mobile telephone was invented. In between, we look out for beautiful spots where we form sounds into tunes, take the time to practice, or let out a joyful yell, hoping that someone on the other side of the mountain will pick it up and respond spontaneously.
With every sound, we brave the risk of making music, we delight in our attempts and successes, but also in our stumblings and failings (every mistake becomes a central element of the concept!). Most of all, it is fun to sing syllables without a meaning or to turn names into a yodel sound. Evelyn Fink-Mennel has even done some scientific research on yodeling. But that is secondary, when we are out and about with her in the mountains. Yodeling in a team is just as inspiring as having a good conversation or playing a game of cards. One player makes a bid, lays down the first card, sets a theme, and then the game takes its own, not always predictable course. Without a foreseeable end and therefore always lively, individual, actionist and contemporary. And if nothing goes for the moment, we continue our hike.