Hubert von Goisern
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INTERVIEW

Miscellaneous: 2003

A traveller

Tiroler Tageszeitung January 2003 | Text: Liane Pircher | Photo: Parigger

Long celebrated as the innovator of folk music Hubert von Goisern remains the
member of the resistance among Austria's musicians

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern is far-reaching in everything he does. When he lifts his arms, it is as if he would like to hug the person opposite him; when he gestures with his hands, nothing more in the world seems to exist other than these hands; when he looks, his eyes demand full attention from the person opposite. It belongs to people whom one notices straight away. Even if they enter a full room. One could say: wherever he is, there is only Hubert von Goisern. But that would only be half the truth and thus wrong. What is right is: It takes the Bad Goiserer a while until he gives himself openly. Naturally he is shy. At least when he meets journalists. At first he makes a distrustful impression, waits, listens exactly to the questions. Almost as if he would say: I only talk if the question suits me.

Everything remains different

Hubert von Goisern just has his iwasig tour behind him and that's why he is living in his own world: "On tour my ties are severed with the rest of life. There is otherwise nothing else. You only get news when you come home again. It is like on holiday, when you roll over the country border in the car and hear the native radio station for the first time again," explains the musician. Hubert von Goisern likes such conditions. Loves getting mixed up with unfamiliar things, improvising. Standing still is a horror for him. That is why he is also a traveller.

"There are artists, who keep out of politics. I don't think that's good, because as an artist you have the chance to stick your oar in, so that you are heard."

Recently he was in Egypt again, to meet the Arabic superstar Mohamed Mounir - a kindred spirit, as he says. He is planning concerts together with him for 2003. Before that - from the middle of January - he will move back into the mountains again, in order to work on the recording for Trad 2. There will be yodelling. Exclusively. "I wanted to accommodate that on the first Trad CD, but that would have been too much then," he says. With that he will again take a step in the right direction of spiritualisation, after his most recent CD Iwasig, a groovy extroverted number. In the meantime his audience is used to the fact that Hubert von Goisern together with his music is unpredictable and plumbs the depths of new things with pleasure. They also know that there is no more Hiatamadl to be heard at his concerts. That is over: "The end with the Alpinkatzen was certainly a considerable break, above all the CD Fön was something quite different after a long break. For the first time with Iwasig I have brought in a few things from that time. I wanted to once again let it really be in colour and crash at the concerts and for the people to really dance along," says the 50 year old. Hubert von Goisern is a member of the resistance. Always has been. Whether he stirs up the folksiness with the accordion, attacks Ö3 on account of its music, or politicians on account of their refugee politics, it makes no difference. He cannot do anything else: I cannot avoid speaking up. I think that there is barely any artist who does not notice what is happening around them. Just not everybody says anything about it. But as an artist you have the opportunity to stir it up. I do it. Politics cannot just be left to the politicians. For me it is like food and drink - I do not want to refuse it," says the musician. That is why time and time again he always meets people when travelling "who are in the politics", as he says. Perhaps Austria's ambassador.

Tibet and Africa

Hubert von Goisern likes Africa and Tibet. He is interested in Buddhism just as he is in the Arabic cultures. But he stands by native ground with just as much pleasure, in the country called Austria, which often makes it so difficult for him.

Two world person

What concerns two worlds as a whole presses more questions from him than he has answers: "When I come back from a journey, again and again I have a separated culture shock which shows itself in total despair. At first everything seems endless to me," he says. But Hubert von Goisern never loses the courage to carry on - one of the most difficult things, he says. He proved a long time ago with his alpine world music that both things go together.

Hubert von Goisern was born on 17th November 1952 as Hubert Achleitner. At the age of 22, he went to South Africa and worked there as a chemistry laboratory assistant. Later he lived with his first wife, a Canadian, in Toronto, where he studied music (then in Vienna). In Austria he succeeded with a breakthrough with the Alpinkatzen (Koa Hiatamadl). 1994: the end of the Alpinkatzen. 2000: comeback with Fön. Among others followed Trad. HvG won the Amadeus Music Award for the Best National Artist Rock/Pop. His new album is called Iwasig. Hubert von Goisern is now married and has two children. He lives in Salzburg.