Who says Austrians aren’t whimsical?
- the first viennese vegetable orchestra was founded in January of 1998. since then, nine people who are active in various artistic areas have worked together on conceptualizing and carrying out this project: instruments are developed; compositions selected or created with particular value being placed on the plurality of the musical styles. the musical spectrum ranges from traditional african pieces to classical european concert music through to experimental electronic music.
the instruments consist exclusively of vegetables although additional kitchen utensils such as knives or mixers are employed where necessary. this creates an autonomous and totally novel type of sound which cannot be compared with conventional sound conceptions. the preliminary work for practices and concerts is elaborate as all instruments must be bought and produced anew.
the amplification – a mixture of microphone types – condenser, voice and contact microphones – is constantly reworked and improved together with the ensemble’s sound technicians. this makes the amplification of the often very delicate and soft tones of the vegetabile-resonating bodies possible.
the first viennese vegetable orchestra therefore offers an exciting mixture of performance and concert. ten musicians in black suits play a concert program … on vegetable-instruments. in doing so, the social structure of a traditional orchestra is reflected, imitated and adjusted to the stylistic necessities of the individual pieces.
after the concert, the stage is left to the cooks who then work the instruments into a tasty vegetable soup which the audience and musicians consume together. the concert’s audience thereby has the possibility of once again enjoying what they have just heard, examining any remaining instruments more closely and conversing with the musicians.
You can imagine some of the questions a vegetable orchestra would be asked:
- are you all vegetarians or vegans?
no we are not. don’t ask again. we’ve heard this question 2 million times.
are you serious about your music?
yes we are. this is not a just-for-fun project.
is the soup you prepare of your instrument tasty?
we employ a chef for the preparation of the soup so it is indeed tasty and very special.
how long does it take to prepare a vegetable instrument?
it depends which instrument. some are ready made. you take a vegetable and make sound with it. some are more complicated like a hollowed celery for example. and some can be longer work like the carrot recorder, one of our most elaborate instruments.
how much of the sound depends on the quality of the instrument?
a lot i think. it is hard to play on bad or non-fresh vegetables as
they prove to be unreliable. if instrument breaks just before or during
a solo for example it is often because of low quality vegetable.
is there another vegetable orchestra in holland, u.k., usa, mars, alpha centauri etc.?
what a strange question…
as far as we know there is only one vegetable orchestra in this small world. there’s a guy doing music with vegetables in australia (his name is linsey pollack) but i guess none in holland, u.k., usa, mars, alpha centauri etc..