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Near and far – with home somewhere in-between

16.03.2017 – Pirmin Bossart

Longing and levity meld into folk music that transcends borders on the album entitled “Glisch d’Atun”: it is the work of Albin Brun and Patricia Draeger, who have brought out their first duo album after working together for many years. The music has its essence in the swinging harmony and melodious depth of the schwyzerörgerli (Swiss diatonic folk accordion) and accordion. The sound lends a homely feel while also evoking distance and openness. Nevertheless, a term such as “new folk music” fails to do justice to this album that is as deep as it is playful. Albin Brun: “We are trying to create our very own folk music. It is not restricted to a specific area, but is somewhere between near and far.”

Albin Brun (schwyzerörgerli, soprano saxophone, duduk) and Patricia Draeger (accordion) have always been inspired by the most varied of repertoires ranging from world music and jazz to folk. They packed their musical rucksacks and went on tour to countries such as Russia, Egypt, Qatar, Namibia, South Korea, Italy and Austria, where they honed their skills, gained experience and exchanged with different cultures. They now play in several bands, one example of which is the Kazalpin project with three singers from Belarus. But both of them also play and compose music for theatrical projects, documentaries and radio plays. They played in a quartet with Theater Stockdunkel at Expo.02 as well. Draeger is a former member of Heiri Känzig’s Tien Shan Express and has worked with Mongolian and Egyptian musicians.

You can feel how the music conjures up a multi-faceted world that is artfully magnified and expanded by the duo’s origin and experience. The ten pieces featured on “Glisch d’Atun” comprise wonderful melodies, song-like themes and masterful performances. The influences of folk music go far beyond alpine idioms. One major improvisation is that the pieces transcend the usual norms, in some phrases buoying the emotional side of folk music with an injection of jazz.

Albin Brun & Patricia Draeger: “Glisch d’Atun” (“Ship of Fools”)

Albin Brun and Patricia Draeger have a blindly intuitive trust in each other when it comes to music. Together they achieve a special emotional quality permeated by longing or melancholy that touches so many people.