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Altdorf discards clichéd image of folk music

Musical surprises are in store for visitors to Altdorf during the festival

(Keystone Archive)

For three days (August 17 to 19), the international Alp Tones festival will put the small central Swiss town of Altdorf on the musical map. The festival, in its third year, is dedicated to presenting an updated, at times jazzier version of traditional alpine folk music.

Alpine music covers a surprisingly wide spectrum and is the "most creative, playful, artistic and traditional coming out of the Alps," organisers said.

The critical success of the first two festivals inspired them to continue to challenge the clichéd image of folk music in the town in canton Uri.

More than a dozen groups from across the Alps, from France to Slovenia, will play compositions true to the origins of the traditional music from their homeland, or show the influence of jazz and classical styles on their music.

Groups from Switzerland's Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and big names in Swiss rock like Büne Huber, will join acts such as the popular French big band, ODEJY, onstage.

ODEJY will take audiences on a foray into the variety of styles of alpine folk music.

A special "sound" exhibition, "The flow of glaciers" will accompany the festival during the three days. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to enter a model of the Aletsch Glacier, complete with its icefalls and crevasses.

The festival opens dramatically with a fanfare played from the roofs of Altdorf. In addition to the music and sound exhibition, the three-day event also presents films and talks on music-related topics.



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