GANES: Rai de sorëdl
Ganes - Rai de sorëdl
Maria Moling, Marlene Schuen & Elisabeth Schuen release their own debut album: Rai de sorëdl
The good spirits from the world stream
The demons carefully snuggle up. They shimmer along soulful, catchy melodies. The spirits jump as voices, at times floating like fairies, then down to earth once more, dancing between soft, smooth waves. The little river that leads this music meanders between cosmopolitan and never intrusive ethno and catchy pop elements. On the surface the river of sound does this peacefully, but in the depths develops a powerful undertow. But no worries! The demons and spirits that live within are three good ones. They want to captivate with the beauty of sound. And these spirits are given voice by the sisters Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen and their cousin, Maria Moling. And only when these spirits are stirred, perhaps by the soul depths of the bass, by earthy guitars that take command for brief moments in striking riffs, by a meshwork of danceability and sensitivity with a touch of funk, can they also articulate their enchantments.
In alpine mythology, as in the band name of the three South Tyroleans, these spirits are called "Ganes". Mermaids, or fairies that is. Sacred beings who sing and are to be found near springs and streams. There they wash linen. Sometimes they marry a human. They bring the good so-called "unending gifts", that is eternal things like happiness or good health. They can be hideous old women, or appear as attractive young temptations.
Maria Moling, Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen have known about the legends of the Aguanes, or Ganes, since childhood. The three grew up very close together, though with about two hundred metres difference in altitude. The Rü d' la Gana connects their parents' homes. And from there rose the Ganes in the evening or morning hours - or whenever the parents told the fairytales. In this little stream, in La Val valley, flows some of what in many ways radiates from this album.
Like the region from which the three musicians hail, sweetness and romanticism form only the first impression when listening. As large as the Kreuzkofelgruppe mountains loom over their home village of La Val, they certainly do not meet the fine depths of these songs. There is nothing threatening, nothing intimidating about these songs. At most the memory of eternal softness and the feeling of moving through unnavigated Arcadia that creeps over you when you first listen could obscure all the subtleties with which emotions are explored here, with which the timeless stories of love and loss are told. A finely arranged, sometimes charming, sometimes meditative, but never intrusive harmony lays a false trail into a pure beauty, provoked above all by the language of these songs.
They are sung in Ladin. And listening to how as here - in solo verses as well as a bewitching three-voice harmony - this Romance language fits in rhythm and melody, as it undulates in soft vowels and short, never sharp consonants, one wonders why Maria Moling and Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen are perhaps the first musicians to make insightful and engaging pop music from the warmth of their native language.
The choice of language was not a conscious step. "It comes quite naturally when writing lyrics," says Moling. It is the language of their childhood in which they still speak to one another, dream. Around 30 000 people speak this language. Within the politically and in many cases culturally autonomous region of South Tyrol, Ladins form another cultural microcosm built on myths and memories and in a special case on a clear, though conservative independence. For those who have left, who live elsewhere, music serves as a special form of identification. Even more so when someone has sallied forth to settle away from the places of childhood. Moling and the Schuen sisters left to study music in Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich.
"Singing and playing music were highly valued, they are a part of life," says Marlene Schuen. It was logical that instruments would be learned, because they were laid in the cradle. The Schuen sisters' father was bandleader of the local brass band. Whether he didn't want to conduct his daughters one day remains a secret. In any case he advised his daughters to try stringed instruments. There was singing right from the start in childhood. And because those who come from a special cultural environment take care of their traditions all the more and instinctively, without ever becoming paralysed, the three girls sang and played together time and again on various occasions - and on professional stages sometimes too.
Anyone who has encountered Hubert von Goisern on CD or on tour in recent years will have experienced engagingly the Ladin sound works. Marlene Schuen has played in the Goisern band since 2002 - as violinist and singer. Maria Moling, the youngest of the trio, and Elisabeth Schuen joined Hubert von Goisern's Linz Europe Tour as backing singers. Moling also played percussion. Elisabeth Schuen, a trained opera singer, played violin in the Goisern band, like her sister Marlene.
While rehearsing in the belly of the ship on the three month tour on the Danube, the plan for an album arose from their singing together. "We had a lot of time on the ship and wrote songs and tried things out," says Elisabeth Schuen. "The ship was the place where we had the most time together since we were together as children," says Moling. Between spring 2009 and January 2010 the 14 songs were recorded and mixed in Salzburg and Munich. The plan to "record in different languages" was rejected.
The connection from memories of the close-knit homeland and views of the wide world through which they now travel forms the general sentiment of the album. It manifests in the song ći morvöia. It is one of the songs that the three wrote together. And it is the song in which everything that forms this album comes together. It is about the wanderlust that washes over you while at home, the desire for something new. Against that stands the longing for home that comes when you have arrived outside in the inscrutable, hectic, fast, impenetrable world, the wish for the happiness of security. In this song the demons of the stream that flows past the childhood homes are subdued. These spirits have not been robbed of magical power, but rather it becomes music in which memory resonates, but which effortlessly lets its waves wash in the wide world of pop music.