Strong together

22 June 2018: it’s that time of the year again. As a member of the Cooperative Society SUISA entitled to vote you will be able to decide on the future of your copyright society and to take stock with respect to the past business year at the General Assembly in the Bierhüebli in Bern. By Andreas Wegelin, CEO

Strong together

Voting at SUISA’s General Assembly: The umbrella of the co-operative joins the collective weight of authors’ and publishers’ votes. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

Cooperative societies are usually alliances of persons or institutions who have the same or similar goals and interests. The idea behind such associations is as simple as it is effective: Together, we are strong! Economic, social or cultural issues that are presented in a unified manner often gain more momentum and impact than just the voice of an individual.

As your Cooperative Society for authors and publishers of music, we can support your interests. The main objective is to generate fair conditions and guarantee a fair remuneration for music creators. Collective management of rights has become an ever more significant aspect: These days, SUISA negotiates with some corporations which act globally. The market power of such negotiation partners may only be faced with the support and strength of a unified community.

Under such circumstances, it is even more positive that 2017 has been the best year in SUISA’s history from a financial perspective. An overall amount of CHF 131.4m in copyright remuneration can be paid out to rightsholders and sister societies. That is more than ever before.

SUISA annual results: online usage of music exceeds physical formats for first timeSUISA annual results: online usage of music exceeds physical formats for first time
Authors and publishers of music will receive CHF 131.4 million from SUISA this year. Last year the collecting society received CHF 150 million in copyright from domestic and international sources – CHF 2.9 million more than the previous year. In particular, reimbursements from private copying and the online sector contributed to this growth. For the first time, revenues from online music recordings exceeded those from sales of physical formats. But there is still a pressing need for action in the area of streaming. The internet platforms continue to benefit almost exclusively from this growth market, rather than composers, lyricists and publishers of music. Read more

During the coming GA, a revision of SUISA’s Articles of Association is planned for ratification. This has become necessary because a Directive at EU level has been passed with new provisions, especially regarding the transparency of our work. And this is something that affects SUISA, too: SUISA is responsible for Liechtenstein and operates for online usages on an European market level.

Exploitation rights in the EU and review of SUISA’s Articles of AssociationExploitation rights in the EU and review of SUISA’s Articles of Association
Liechtenstein has been – other than Switzerland – a member of the European Economic Area since 1995 and must, as such, accept a major proportion of the European Union legal provisions. What do EU exploitation rights have to do with the revision of the SUISA Articles of Association? Read more

During the GA, you are also going to have the oppoertunity to meet the President of Swissperform. She is going to report on the cooperation among the Swiss collective management organisations.

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORMWhy SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM
Composers and lyricists who are SUISA members and are also active as artists and/or producers and whose performances are broadcast by Swiss or foreign radio and TV channels are entitled to receive a remuneration from SWISSPERFORM. For all those authors-composers-artists/producers, a membership with SWISSPERFORM is thus a necessary addition to their SUISA affiliation in order to safeguard their rights and the full remuneration they are entitled to. Read more

FONDATION SUISA also has got some news on its support activities, and its foundation Director is going to elaborate on that. Finally, the ongoing copyright law revision is expected to be a topic for discussion, since hearings took place among the parliamentary committees last April and May.

New support strategy: “We want to look ahead”New support strategy: “We want to look ahead”
FONDATION SUISA reinforces its activities regarding the support of music in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein: Each year, four music projects shall be launched under the motto “Get Going!”, and every other year, a bigger amount shall be allocated to works under the slogan “Carte Blanche”. Read more
Copyright law revision: work starts in the parliamentary committeesCopyright law revision: work starts in the parliamentary committees
On 22 November 2017, the Federal Council presented its Message on the revision of the Federal Copyright Act (FCA), and referred the copyright bill (FCA-B) to the two houses of Parliament. The bill reflects the compromise reached by the AGUR12 II working group at the beginning of March 2017. Parliament has started working on the bill, and SUISA was invited to present its point of view on 12 April 2018 at a hearing organised by the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the National Council. SUISA also had the opportunity to state its views before the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, first in writing and then orally on 18 May 2018. Read more

All of these topics will be covered by our SUISAblog and SUISAinfo, one of which you are currently reading. Of course, you’ll find out more information and more details if you travel to the GA in Bern. I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible in person then.

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22 June 2018: it’s that time of the year again. As a member of the Cooperative Society SUISA entitled to vote you will be able to decide on the future of your copyright society and to take stock with respect to the past business year at the General Assembly in the Bierhüebli in Bern. By Andreas Wegelin, CEO

Strong together

Voting at SUISA’s General Assembly: The umbrella of the co-operative joins the collective weight of authors’ and publishers’ votes. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

Cooperative societies are usually alliances of persons or institutions who have the same or similar goals and interests. The idea behind such associations is as simple as it is effective: Together, we are strong! Economic, social or cultural issues that are presented in a unified manner often gain more momentum and impact...read more

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

On Saturday 25 August 2018, the Festival Murten Classics and SUISA extend an invitation to immerse yourself into the world of contemporary music for one day. Three concerts with works by 13 composers of various generations, origins and aesthetics will be performed. The supporting programme will provide the audience with a possibility to learn more about being ‘on the way’ in today’s musical environment or to talk about the new compositions. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

Composer Cécile Marti spent time for her musical studies in Zurich, Lucerne and Basel and worked on her dissertation in London. Her string quartet “Trapez” is one of 13 works which will be performed on 25/08/2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” at the Festival Murten Classics. (Photo: Suzie Maeder)

The Festival Murten Classics is celebrating 30 years of existence this year. Its anniversary event takes place between 12 August and 2 September 2018. This year’s festival programme is under the motto “On the road – en chemin” and intends to facilitate musical time travel through five centuries. It intentionally places terms with a negative connotation such as flight, migration and emigration side to side with inspiring travels and journeys of composers and artists.

For quite some time, the Festival Murten Classics has been curating contemporary music repertoire in its concert series “Open for new things”. The artistic director of the festival, Kaspar Zehnder, states in an interview with the ‘Freiburger Nachrichten’ that “these concerts appeal to the curiosity of the audience, and the audience is usually not disappointed”.

In collaboration with SUISA, the Festival programme offers an entire day of encounters this year: In the course of the concert series “Open for new things”, three concerts with works of 13 different contemporary composers will be performed in the cultural centre in the Beaulieu Park in Murten between the morning and the late afternoon on Saturday, 25 August 2018.

The audience can, as part of a supporting programme including the opportunity to have lunch, find out more from experts and artists about today’s life as a music creator and current music creation, or discuss these items. Apart from an introduction at the kickoff in the morning, chaired discussion groups with the attending composers are held during the day, where the audience may also ask questions on the creation and the journey of the works.

True to this year’s festival motto “On the road – en chemin”, the works performed on this day will be by authors who are “on the road” yet related to Switzerland. These composers have emigrated from Switzerland, migrated to Switzerland, but always been in another spot or fled from place to place.

Visitors on that day of the musical encounters can find out what kind of soundscapes develop based on these life paths and life experiences. Day tickets for this event on 25 August 2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” can be acquired inclusive or exclusive of lunch on the website of the festival.


Programme: “Open for new things”, a day of encounters at the Murten Classics

25 August 2018

Event venue
The Kleintheater KiB (Kultur im Beaulieu)

Motto: On the road – en chemin.
Various interpretations of a festival theme
Emigrated from Switzerland
Migrated to Switzerland
Always on the road
On the run

10 o’clock – INTRODUCTION
Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret
Presentation: Dr. Roman Brotbeck

Concert 1 (approx. 11.00 – 12.00)
WAVES FROM ANOTHER WORLD

Giorgio Tedde (*1958): Atlas (2005) for flute and string trio
Katrin Frauchiger (*1967): Mare nostrum (2015) for flute and string trio
Aram Hovhannisyan (*1984): Litanies I-IV (2008/09) for piano
Jean-Luc Darbellay (*1946): Waves (2011) for flute and alto flute
Fritz Voegelin (*1943): Dual (2009/10) for alto flute and string trio

Ana Ioana Oltean, flute
Gilles Grimaître, piano
Ensemble for four: Kaspar Zehnder, flute / alto flute; Charlotte Zehnder, violin; Dorothee Schmid, viola; Urs Fischer, violoncello

Concert 2 (approx. 13.30 – 14.30)
IMMIGRATION – EMIGRATION

Maria Niederberger (*1949): Mountain visions (2009/10) for solo violin
Maria Niederberger (*1949): Hommage à Frédéric Chopin (2008/09) for solo piano
Thomas Fortmann (*1951): Burlesque “Elena e Greta” for two flutes and piano
Jan Beran (*1959): “Strange words the wind tossed” for violin and piano
Jan Beran (*1959): “Leis wie eine Märchenweise” for solo piano
Wael Sami Elkholy (*1976): “Skies’ Calls“ (2011) for voice and tape

René Kubelik, violin
Patrizio Mazzola, piano
Ana Ioana Oltean, flute
Kaspar Zehnder, flute
Wael Sami Elkholy, voice

Concert 3 (approx. 16.00 – 17.00)
ROOTS AND GREAT PLACES

Daniel Schnyder (*1961): 4th String quartet “Great places” – Shanghai 1928, Havana 1952, Paris 1901, Casablanca 1933, New York City 1964
Cécile Marti (*1973): Trapez (2012)
Iris Szeghy (*1956): Aria (2007/16)
Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez (*1964): Primitive Dream (2009)

Belenus Quartet: Seraina Pfenninger, violin; Anne Battegay, violin; Esther Fritzsche, viola; Jonas Vischi, violoncello

www.murtenclassics.ch

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On Saturday 25 August 2018, the Festival Murten Classics and SUISA extend an invitation to immerse yourself into the world of contemporary music for one day. Three concerts with works by 13 composers of various generations, origins and aesthetics will be performed. The supporting programme will provide the audience with a possibility to learn more about being ‘on the way’ in today’s musical environment or to talk about the new compositions. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

Composer Cécile Marti spent time for her musical studies in Zurich, Lucerne and Basel and worked on her dissertation in London. Her string quartet “Trapez” is one of 13 works which will be performed on 25/08/2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” at the Festival Murten Classics. (Photo: Suzie Maeder)

The Festival Murten...read more

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

Composers and lyricists who are SUISA members and are also active as artists and/or producers and whose performances are broadcast by Swiss or foreign radio and TV channels are entitled to receive a remuneration from SWISSPERFORM. For all those authors-composers-artists/producers, a membership with SWISSPERFORM is thus a necessary addition to their SUISA affiliation in order to safeguard their rights and the full remuneration they are entitled to. Text by David Johnson, SWISSPERFORM/SIG antenne romande, guest author

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

It is recommended that SUISA authors such as Seven (pictured), who are also artists and whose performances are broadcast on radio and TV become SWISSPERFORM members. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Are you a musician and do you contribute to recordings which are used commercially or in music videos? Do you perform your own musical compositions or those of other composers on the radio or on TV? Are you a performing producer in the case of recordings? Do you perform music which is used in films, commercials or as main themes of broadcasts?

In that case, you do hold neighbouring rights and are entitled to receive a remuneration for the transmission of your performances. In order to receive such remuneration, you must be a member of SWISSPERFORM.

Neighbouring rights

The reason neighbouring rights carry their name is that they are in close ‘vicinity’ to copyright. Neighbouring rights do not protect the work itself but the performance of the work.

Artists, whether they are musicians, singers or conductors can at the same time be composers, lyricists and/or arrangers of a work that they perform. The performance of their works is therefore protected independently of the work that they perform.

In cases where artists finance their own recordings, they are also economic producers and therefore hold two different types of neighbouring rights, whose owners are remunerated by SWISSPERFORM in separate distributions for the relevant usages and which require artists to enter into a second membership type (producer). The term of protection in a recorded performance is 50 years. For the calculation of the expiry of the term of protection, the date of the first publication is authoritative, provided that the recording has been published for the first time within 50 years. Should this not be the case, the recording date is authoritative as a calculation basis for the expiry of the term of protection.

SWISSPERFORM

Switzerland is the only country in the world that has a collective management organisation which unites all rightsholders in the neighbouring rights realm under one roof: apart from artists and producers from the music and film sectors, broadcasters are also rightsholders within SWISSPERFORM. Members can pursue various activities and therefore belong to several rightsholder categories, for example musicians whose recordings were produced by themselves, played by their band and broadcast on the radio.

SWISSPERFORM’s activities are similar to those of SUISA. Musicians and producers assign their rights to the society for management purposes. SWISSPERFORM then collects the licence fees from the users based on the statutory tariffs and pays them to the entitled parties on the basis of its distribution rules which have been ratified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (supervisory authority).

SWISSPERFORM collaborates with SUISA when it comes to the collection of the licence fees. They are usually invoiced on the basis of the Common Tariffs which are set for each type of usage if exploitations affect the areas of activity of more than one collective management organisation and simultaneously affect copyright and neighbouring rights.

On behalf of SWISSPERFORM, SUISA collects, among other income streams, remuneration from private radio and TV stations as well as the levy on blank media and storage media integrated into hardware.

Ten percent of the entire tariff collections of SWISSPERFORM are allocated for the support of various autonomous legal entities with socio-cultural character. One part of these subsidies is used to co-finance the Swiss Artists’ Foundation, SIS, which supports professional musicians by providing them with means for concerts and tours in Switzerland and abroad.

Distribution of radio and TV usages

In the case of artists in the phono (audio) category, i.e. musicians, singers, conductors etc., whose performances were broadcast on the radio and on TV, a distinction is made between several distribution models.

SWISSPERFORM directly distributes the licence fees collected for the usage of commercially released sound recordings (sound recordings that are available in the marketplace) and from videoclips used on radio/TV. The income is allocated in proportion to the actual usage of the recordings. Main criteria for the distribution are the duration of the broadcast of a recording as well as the value of the roles of artists who contribute to a broadcast.

The following distributions are made on behalf of the Swiss Artists’ Cooperative Society, SIG, subject to a mandate from SWISSPERFORM. Licensing fees from the following areas are distributed:

  • the direct exploitation of performances and the usage from non-commercially released sound recordings (sound recordings that have not been commercially released or made available). This manual distribution is based on a declaration system and takes into account transmissions of concerts on the radio/TV, own productions of recordings by the radio/TV channels, musical performances in radio plays, commercials, jingles, ident tunes, theme tunes etc.;
  • the usage of music in films: This distribution is based on a declaration system at the same time as on an automatic system (depending on the broadcast on TV) and takes into account the music on sound tracks of films (score music), music from commercial sound recordings on sound tracks of films, music from non-commercial sound recordings (library music) on sound tracks of films, music from TV commercials as well as jingles etc.;
  • the usage of other audiovisual performances. This distribution is based on a declaration system and takes transmissions of concerts and artistic performances in TV shows into consideration, among others.

Please note: If you do not make a declaration to SWISSPERFORM and SIG that you have contributed to sound recordings or the transmission of your artistic performances, in order to receive your remuneration, the amounts that have not been claimed by you will expire after a limitation period of five years and will be re-distributed.

This is how you become a member of SWISSPERFORM

Membership with SWISSPERFORM is free. You can request your membership agreement online:
www.swissperform.ch/en/service/order-an-agreement.html

How do I declare my contribution to commercially available recordings?
www.swissperform.ch/uploads/media/Discography_01.xlsx
www.swissperform.ch/uploads/media/Explanations_on_the_discography_form_02.pdf

How do I declare direct performances, non-commercially released sound recordings, the usage of music in films and other audiovisual usages?
www.interpreten.ch/de/verteilung-ab-2017/info/

Further information:
www.swissperform.ch, SWISSPERFORM website
www.interpreten.ch, Schweizerische Interpretengenossenschaft SIG (Swiss Artists’ Cooperative Society) website

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Composers and lyricists who are SUISA members and are also active as artists and/or producers and whose performances are broadcast by Swiss or foreign radio and TV channels are entitled to receive a remuneration from SWISSPERFORM. For all those authors-composers-artists/producers, a membership with SWISSPERFORM is thus a necessary addition to their SUISA affiliation in order to safeguard their rights and the full remuneration they are entitled to. Text by David Johnson, SWISSPERFORM/SIG antenne romande, guest author

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

It is recommended that SUISA authors such as Seven (pictured), who are also artists and whose performances are broadcast on radio and TV become SWISSPERFORM members. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Are you a musician and do you contribute to recordings which are used commercially or in music videos? Do you perform your own musical compositions or those of...read more

Exploitation rights in the EU and review of SUISA’s Articles of Association

Liechtenstein has been – other than Switzerland – a member of the European Economic Area since 1995 and must, as such, accept a major proportion of the European Union legal provisions. What do EU exploitation rights have to do with the revision of the SUISA Articles of Association? Text by Bernhard Wittweiler

Exploitation rights in the EU and review of SUISA’s Articles of Association

Copyright developments in Europe are of importance for Switzerland’s SUISA, too: The image shows CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre on 06 March 2018 handing a petition to the European Parliament. It had been signed by 14,000 authors and composers requesting fair rules in the digital marketplace in order to stop the “transfer of value” on the internet. (Photo: CISAC / Iris Haidau)

The European Union (EU) had, for quite some time, established rules for the collective management of copyright and neighbouring rights via the collective management organisations. Initially, individual decisions were passed by the EU Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which were derived from EU Competition Laws. The EU bodies thus managed to break up the strict territorial demarcation between the collective management organisations (CMO) and the exclusivity of the rights assignment, to facilitate rightsholders’ switching to another CMO and to create more competition between the CMOs in general.

In the nascent age of online exploitation of music, the EU Commission set another milestone with its Recommendation of October 2005. It wanted to achieve the biggest possible competition between the CMOs regarding online rights management as well as improve transparency and equal treatment of all rights holders in the CMOs. The Recommendation resulted in the complete freedom of rightsholders to choose which CMO in Europe they wish to entrust with their online rights, in the creation of one-stop-shops for online licences and multi-territorial online licences.

Rules for collective management

But it didn’t stop there. Over the years, the needs grew for a comprehensive and standardised regulation of the collective management organisations’ activities in the EU and for a harmonised internal market as the basis for collective management. Thus, on 26 February 2014, the Directive on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market (CRM Directive) was issued. Directives are paramount to laws in significance, but do not take direct effect; instead, they have to be implemented by individual EU member states into their national laws.

The CRM Directive has the aim to set minimal standards regarding an orderly mode of operation of collective management organisations (corporate governance), their finance management, transparency and accountability vis-a-vis members, sister societies and the public, the right of co-determination of members, equal treatment and non-discrimination of rights holders, sister societies and users, settlement of disputes, management and licensing of online rights as well as the supervision of CMOs by the authorities.

EU Directive authoritative for Liechtenstein

The CRM Directive of the EU was declared to be authoritative for the States of the European Economic Area (EEA), and thus also Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein therefore had to adopt the Directive and implement it into its national laws. For this purpose, a new, distinct law was created, the Liechtenstein Collecting Societies Act (VGG), which was passed on 29 March 2018 by the Landtag (Parliament). Previous provisions for the collective management in the copyright laws of Liechtenstein were taken over into the VGG.

SUISA has been active in the Principality of Liechtenstein for decades, since 1999 with its own state licence and under the supervision of the respective authority, the Office of Economic Affairs in Liechtenstein, as the supervisory authority. Authors and publishers from Liechtenstein are SUISA members, SUISA collects licence fees for copyright in Liechtenstein based on its tariffs for the music usages that take place there. Just like in Switzerland, the tariffs and the distribution rules valid for Liechtenstein require a state licence and SUISA has to be accountable to Liechtenstein’s supervisory authority each year regarding its business activities.

Adaptation of SUISA Articles of Association

With its activities and licence to operate in Liechtenstein, SUISA is subject to the provisions in Liechtenstein regarding collective management. We are therefore obliged to fulfil the specifications and requirements of the new VGG – and thus also the CRM Directive of the EU. The new provisions do not entail no earth-shattering or major innovations, we already adhere to the majority of the provisions which have been a matter of course for us for a long time. Nevertheless, there are still some areas that require adaptation.

The necessary changes of the SUISA Articles of Association will be presented to the General Assembly on 22 June 2018 for ratification so that they may enter into force from 01 January 2019.

The most important of the proposed changes to the Articles of Association are the following:

  • SUISA membership is no longer dependent on nationality, residence or any other link to Switzerland or Liechtenstein (authors) respectively a presence in Switzerland or Liechtenstein (publishers) (item 5.1);
  • extension of the competence of the General Assembly (item 9.2.2);
  • preparation and publication of a transparency report which shows various information and key figures in addition to the annual report (item 9.2.3);
  • facilitation of electronic participation at the GA, provided that the statutory provisions (in the Swiss OR, the Swiss Federal Code of Obligations) allow us to do so (item 9.2.10, new);
  • declarations by the Board and Management to the GA regarding conflicts of interest (items 9.3.11 and 9.6.4, new);
  • creation of a Complaints Committee (item 9.5, new).

Revision of the Articles of Association for online business

One important strategic business sector of SUISA that depends on the revision of the Articles of Association is the following: SUISA has been licensing music of SUISA members at pan-European level since 2013 in the online sector, partially even far beyond Europe’s borders. Pursuant to the EU Directive, collective management organisations must meet certain standards in order to be able to carry out cross-border licensing within the European Union.

So that SUISA may continue its pan-European licensing in the online sector, the provisions of the EU Directive must be adhered to. The online business is a focus of SUISA’s strategy for the immediate future. By way of revising the Articles of Association, the conditions will be met that SUISA can directly negotiate with and collect from online providers such as iTunes or Spotify regarding exploitations outside Switzerland and Liechtenstein, too.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Liechtenstein has been – other than Switzerland – a member of the European Economic Area since 1995 and must, as such, accept a major proportion of the European Union legal provisions. What do EU exploitation rights have to do with the revision of the SUISA Articles of Association? Text by Bernhard Wittweiler

Exploitation rights in the EU and review of SUISA’s Articles of Association

Copyright developments in Europe are of importance for Switzerland’s SUISA, too: The image shows CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre on 06 March 2018 handing a petition to the European Parliament. It had been signed by 14,000 authors and composers requesting fair rules in the digital marketplace in order to stop the “transfer of value” on the internet. (Photo: CISAC / Iris Haidau)

The European Union (EU) had, for quite some time, established rules for the collective management of copyright and neighbouring rights...read more

Copyright law revision: work starts in the parliamentary committees

On 22 November 2017, the Federal Council presented its Message on the revision of the Federal Copyright Act (FCA), and referred the copyright bill (FCA-B) to the two houses of Parliament. Text by Vincent Salvadé

Copyright law revision: work starts in the parliamentary committees

Revision of Swiss copyright law: work has started in the Federal Palace in Berne. (Photo: Simon Zenger / Shutterstock.com)

The bill reflects the compromise reached by the AGUR12 II working group at the beginning of March 2017. Parliament has started working on the bill, and SUISA was invited to present its point of view on 12 April 2018 at a hearing organised by the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the National Council. SUISA also had the opportunity to state its views before the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, first in writing and then orally on 18 May 2018.

Each time, SUISA acted in association with Swisscopyright, the entity which brings together the five Swiss collective management societies in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights. SUISA started by underscoring that the main objective of Swisscopyright was to ensure fair remuneration for cultural creators, including in the digital age. For this reason, the five collective rights management societies supported the compromise achieved at AGUR12 II level and, consequently, the Federal Councilʼs proposal. However, the societies asked for changes in the provisions governing the new entitlement to remuneration for video on-demand (VoD) with a view to ensuring that the new regulations better reflect the AGUR12 II compromise and secure fair remuneration for creators.

1. General appraisal of the FCʼs bill

Swisscopyright welcomed the Federal Council’s intention to introduce an “extended collective licence” (Article 43 FCA-B). Collecting societies could thus grant blanket authorisations for certain uses, including on behalf of rightholders they do not contractually represent; this would foster cultural projects while assuring remuneration for entitled parties. The blanket authorisation would apply to uses which cannot be individually controlled by rightholders; collecting societies would act as an “insurance” (of a sort) for users. The extended collective licence is perfectly consistent with the function of a collective rights management society, which is to facilitate and simplify rights management for all stakeholders.

Generally speaking, Swisscopyright welcomes all the measures designed to improve collective rights management: according to the FCʼs proposal, users would be required to communicate their declarations to collecting societies in electronic form to facilitate automatic processing (Article 51 FCA-B); collecting societies would be authorised to exchange the data delivered by users (Article 51(1bis) FCA-B); accelerated tariff appeals procedure (Article 74(2) FCA-B); and the Federal Arbitration Commission in charge of tariffs would be permitted to hear witnesses (see draft of new Article 14(1) lit. g of the Administrative Procedure Act). These new rules are designed to increase efficiency, reduce management costs and ensure more money is available for distribution to cultural creators.

“Swisscopyright believes these new anti-piracy measures are necessary to foster legal offers ensuring fair remuneration for creators.”

Swisscopyright also supports the Federal Councilʼs proposals for new anti-piracy measures since they contribute to improving the situation. According to Article 39d FCA-B, platforms presenting significant piracy risks would be obligated to actively combat copyright infringements (stay down obligation). The possibility of processing data for criminal prosecution purposes (Article 77i FCA-B), must be included in the FCA since the Federal Supreme Court ruled that collecting information on pirates and hackers (in particular their IP addresses) is not currently admissible under the Law on Data Protection (ATF 136 II 508). Swisscopyright believes these new anti-piracy measures are necessary to foster legal offers ensuring fair remuneration for creators.

Swisscopyright accepted the proposed copyright exception for the use of works for scientific research (Article 24d FCA-B), but only in the context of the AGUR12 II compromise. The fact that – conversely to what had been proposed in the original draft in 2015 – this exception is not accompanied by a claim to remuneration is indeed problematic for rightholders in the literary field. Swisscopyright underscored that no further concessions to the scientific community would be accepted on the backs of cultural creators.

2. Right of remuneration for VoD

Online platforms making available feature films (cinema and TV) have replaced DVD rental. Whereas, under Article 13 FCA, authors and artists used to receive a share of DVD rental revenues, this is no longer the case for online availability. The revised legislation must ensure that authors and performing artists, as the primary creators of value, participate in this new economic model: Swisscopyright welcomed the introduction of a right to remuneration in Articles 13a and 35a FCA-B. The collecting societies underscored that the right to remuneration must be supplemental to the fees paid to the creators by producers (for the commissioning of works, the performances therein and the corresponding rights). The FCʼs proposal is not clear in this respect; Swisscopyright argues that the parliamentary debates must make it clear that the right to remuneration is supplemental to, and not in lieu of, such fees.

“The composers and publishers of film music entrust their rights to collective rights management societies like SUISA which act directly vis à vis the VoD platforms. The contractual system for music assures composers more favourable financial conditions than they would have under a statutory remuneration right.”

Moreover, the exclusion of music works from the new right to remuneration was an essential element of the AGUR 12 II compromise; regrettably, the FC has not included this exclusion in its proposal. Since the voluntary collective management model functions well in the music sector, we should come back to the solution advocated by AGUR12 II. The music and the audiovisual sector diverge significantly in this respect. The composers and publishers of film music entrust their rights to collective rights management societies like SUISA which act directly vis à vis the VoD platforms (alongside the aggregators who handle all other rights in the film). The contractual system for music assures composers more favourable financial conditions than they would have under a statutory remuneration right.

In the field of music, however, it is necessary to ensure that the revenues distributed by collecting societies are properly apportioned between the composer and the publisher. The composer must in any event receive an equitable share. Article 49(3) FCA already guarantees this for concerts, radio broadcasts and recordings. But this rule only applies to areas under federal regulation, and therefore not to VoD. As a result, Swisscopyright proposes rewording paragraph 5 of Article 13a FCA-B to stipulate the composerʼs right to a fair share of the voluntary collective management revenues, in line with SUISAʼs current practice.

The plenary debates in the National Council (expected in autumn) will show whether the parliamentary committees were sensitive to the argumentation put forward by Swisscopyright.

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On 22 November 2017, the Federal Council presented its Message on the revision of the Federal Copyright Act (FCA), and referred the copyright bill (FCA-B) to the two houses of Parliament. Text by Vincent Salvadé

Copyright law revision: work starts in the parliamentary committees

Revision of Swiss copyright law: work has started in the Federal Palace in Berne. (Photo: Simon Zenger / Shutterstock.com)

The bill reflects the compromise reached by the AGUR12 II working group at the beginning of March 2017. Parliament has started working on the bill, and SUISA was invited to present its point of view on 12 April 2018 at a hearing organised by the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the National Council. SUISA also had the opportunity to state its views before the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, first in writing and then orally on...read more

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least one can say is that their influences are at opposite ends of the spectrum: Katharina Rosenberger draws her musical references from the Renaissance, namely Willaert and De Rore in particular, while Michael Pelzel willingly avows that, in his piece he used Indian and African techniques to create a contrast between western and non-European music, and between tradition and innovation. The range of their activities does not, however, stop at composition; one teaches in the United States, the other plays the organ.

This means that neither of them have to rely solely on composing for their livelihood; they agree that the surge in streaming, is eliminating – or strongly eroding – CDs and live shows, which are an important source of income for them. Fortunately for the composers, SUISA is committed to safeguarding their copyrights, and makes sure they are remunerated when their compositions are performed.

Swiss creations and international creations

After the interview, the concert was ready to start. Four pieces are on the programme: two Swiss creations, namely “Tempi agitati“ by Katharina Rosenberger and “Ante Litteram“ by Oscar Bianchi, and two international creations, namely “Etüdienbuch zu Diabelli“ by Michael Pelzel and “Präludien Buch 1-4“ by Mischa Käser.

The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, a German vocal ensemble, performed a customised repertoire composed especially for them. They had already performed the piece by Oscar Bianchi in 2012 and that by Katharina Rosenberger in 2016.

In “Tempi agitati“ – performed in an abridged version that evening – Katharina Rosenberger creates contrasted settings thanks to alternating aesthetics and a staging based on the acoustics and architecture of the concert hall. The performance starts in the dark. The soloists are sitting among the audience. Suddenly, one of them starts a dialogue of onomatopoeia. With precision, the vocalists answer, wait for and interrupt one another. They then come together on stage and strike up a polyphonic song in Renaissance style, with a nod to Adrian Willaert and Cipriano de Rore.

In revisiting the music of the Renaissance, the composer is seeking the natural sound of the voice. The voices of the soloists are pure, linear and without artifice – but not without emotion. The beginning of “Tempi agitati“ is characteristic of the piece; the singers move about the room, alternate and juxtapose the aesthetics, tempi and characters, and finish like they started: in the dark, offstage and non visible to the audience.

Each musical effect has a meaning

In “Ante Litteram“, Oscar Bianchi is inspired by David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest“ and Nietzsche’s “Antechrist“ where he finds “the same empathy and lucidity in the exploration of the reasons preventing man from achieving deeper self-knowledge and self-awareness”. The piece has three underlying themes: evil, morality and salvation, and each musical effect has a meaning.

After a beginning spoken in homorhythm, the voices stagger out slowly, adopting different rhythms and renditions, like clear and coherent thought which becomes lost in the meanders of the mind. The dissonance between the sopranos, for example, evokes pain, the imitated laughter tends towards absurdity, while the variations in pace run parallel to the variation of our own internal agitation.

Diabelli, in the work of Michael Pelzel, refers neither to the composer Anton Diabelli, nor to Beethoven’s “Diabelli variations“. “Etüdenbuch zu Diabelli“ for six voices a cappella is based on a story by Hermann Burger in which a magician decides to put an end to his life as an artist. The studies, which can be sung in random order, play on the rhythms provoked by the synchronisation and desynchronisation of the voices. Moreover, the tempi are sometimes superimposed, with the female and male voices beating to different pulsations so that the voices enter into opposition.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to expectations

To end the evening, Mischer Käser’s “Präludien Buch 1-4“ was rich in musical elements: superposed effects – spoken voice, operatic cell, rhythmic cell – rendering the voices independent from each other, dramatisation, with sighing, breathing and perfectly synchronised surprise effects. The composer wanted “exotic song techniques to cohabit with familiar sounds and make them alien”. Surprise and originality are the characteristic features of the work, as well as the dichotomy between the western form of the prelude and the “exotic techniques” used.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to our expectations; the apparent ease with which they performed the virtuoso repertoire was disconcerting. There is no question about their versatility in mastering the works, effects and even the aesthetics. The performance highlighted the perfect understanding and osmosis between the members of the group which enables them to grasp every aspect of these virtuoso works and transcend them in their interpretation.

www.archipel.org

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By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least...read more

New support strategy: “We want to look ahead”

FONDATION SUISA reinforces its activities regarding the support of music in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein: Each year, four music projects shall be launched under the motto “Get Going!”, and every other year, a bigger amount shall be allocated to works under the slogan “Carte Blanche”. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA - New support strategy: “We want to look ahead”

With its revised support policy, FONDATION SUISA intends to locate new creative places and push new projects forward where music creators can exercise their creative ideas in the most unrestricted way possible. (Photo: Alberto Andrei Rosu / Shutterstock.com)

The Foundation Council of the FONDATION SUISA decided to reorient one part of its support policy and to open it up to new perspectives. By way of these actions, the foundation intends to recognise modern requirements against Swiss music creation more. Instead of looking in the rear view mirror, it will look ahead much more in future. Four conceptual projects and one work project shall replace the previous policy of granting an award.

Urs Schnell, Managing Director of FONDATION SUISA, said: “Instead of patting an artist on the shoulder by awarding them a prize after their success, we invest the money we have available with a focus on the future instead.” He adds: “We wish to promote instead of judge and thus increase our focus towards what lies ahead of us.”

“Get Going!” supports new projects

The so-called “Get Going!” initiative is a type of start-up funding. Four “Get Going!” contributions @ CHF 25,000 each will be made available each year. Music creators may apply for a “Get Going!” subsidy from end of June 2018 onwards. What’s important is that “Get Going!” does not compete with or affect any other support projects by FONDATION SUISA, in particular the current application system, existing partnerships, exhibitions and events abroad or the playing of music in classrooms.

Schnell explains: “On the contrary, they are an important start-up support and serve as a supplement to the existing types of promotion. We want to explore new areas for creation. Especially those outside existing pigeon holes which have been established in the support policy in the past. Even though they have proved themselves to be useful, they still contributed to the fact that certain projects end up being neither here nor there.”

Financial independence thanks to the “Carte Blanche”

Rather than being subject to a bidding process, the “Carte Blanche” is instead granted every other year by a jury of experts, and it amounts to CHF 80,000. The “Carte Blanche” is intended to enable the benefiting party to completely focus on their musical activities and creations over a longer period in time. “The promotion as well as the artistic development are in the focus of a “Carte Blanche” and less the result of the work on a specific work” – this is how Schnell describes the framework of this substantial subsidy.

With both support projects, FONDATION SUISA wishes to react to the fast-changing music scenes where innovative creative concepts fail time and again because they don’t fit into the prevailing regulations. FONDATION SUISA therefore deliberately renounces on current genre, age or project categories. “Get Going!” and “Carte Blanche” shall be accessible to as many musical and creative people as possible. Schnell concludes: “Music creators shall face as little restriction in their creative ideas as possible. It is in the ‘in between’ where conventional genre definitions fail, because they fall through the grate, that we wish to become active in future as constructive promoters and supporters.”

The new support policy of FONDATION SUISA shall apply with immediate effect. The first four “Get Going!” projects with CHF 25,000 each shall be opened for application at the end of June 2018. Information on the application will then be uploaded to the website of the foundation.

www.fondation-suisa.ch

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FONDATION SUISA reinforces its activities regarding the support of music in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein: Each year, four music projects shall be launched under the motto “Get Going!”, and every other year, a bigger amount shall be allocated to works under the slogan “Carte Blanche”. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA - New support strategy: “We want to look ahead”

With its revised support policy, FONDATION SUISA intends to locate new creative places and push new projects forward where music creators can exercise their creative ideas in the most unrestricted way possible. (Photo: Alberto Andrei Rosu / Shutterstock.com)

The Foundation Council of the FONDATION SUISA decided to reorient one part of its support policy and to open it up to new perspectives. By way of these actions, the foundation intends to recognise modern requirements against Swiss music creation more. Instead of looking...read more

131.4m Swiss Francs for composers, lyricists and publishers

It was with satisfaction that members of the SUISA Board approved the results of the previous year during their meeting at the end of March 2017. The total turnover was 3.2% higher than that of the previous year. An overall amount of CHF 131.4m can be paid out to rights holders. The Board has, in addition, decided that a supplementary distribution of 7% shall be carried out on top of all regular distributions in 2018. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

131.4m Swiss Francs for composers, lyricists and publishers

SUISA managed to yield a total turnover of CHF 159.2m in 2017, including secondary income. Due to the positive outcome, composers, lyricists and publishers receive CHF 2.5m more in royalties for their artistic performances than in the previous year. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Apart from the delightful business result, the Board also received reports on the distribution of the collections of the last year in its meetings in March. As such, CHF 21m were paid to authors and CHF 38.7m to publishers. Transfers to sister societies amounted to CHF 53m.

Further distribution topics featured on the agenda: On the one hand, the Board decided that a supplementary distribution of 7% shall be carried out on top of all regular distributions in 2018. On the other hand, the governing body determined a minimum amount for the distribution of the collections from exploitations by broadcasters. Pursuant to the distribution rules, the distribution per private broadcaster follows the ratio of the licence fee that these broadcasters pay. The prerequisite for this is that the licence fee collected from the broadcaster must be higher than the amount determined by the Board each year. Furthermore, the station logs must be submitted electronically. Last year, the Board had lowered the minimum amount from CHF 15,000 to CHF 5,000. The Board took the decision to maintain this threshold.

General Assembly of SUISA on 22 June 2018 in Berne

The Board members also dedicate a lot of time to the preparation of the General Assembly. It takes place on Friday, 22 June 2018, in Berne. Apart from statutory business, the revision of the Articles of Association is an item on the agenda for the GA. The Articles of Association shall be adapted to the provisions of the EU Directive, which have been implemented into national law in Liechtenstein. Furthermore, such an adaptation is important so that SUISA can continue to carry out cross-border licensing of online usages within the European Union.

A synoptic representation of the changes to the Articles of Association will be posted to the members who are entitled to vote together with the invitation for the GA. The notes to the invitation include further details on the reasons for the intended changes to the provisions. One important issue is the duty to provide members with a complaints procedure. SUISA therefore plans to set up a Complaints Committee. The Board will propose the designated persons to the General Assembly for election.

Further elections are due for the Distribution and Works Committee. Guido Röösli retires and the Board has nominated Natalie Riede for the seat that has become available. She is a young publisher and represents the Swiss electronic music scene.

Mint Digital Services, the joint venture

The Board turned to the international stage with regards to the subject Mint Digital Services. A representative of US partner SESAC explained to Board members what it would take – in his opinion – to be successful in a competitive environment: Tenacity and negotiating skills, paired with intelligent IT software and high data quality are, from his point of view, the necessary tools. These qualities are combined under the joint venture Mint which was launched last year.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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It was with satisfaction that members of the SUISA Board approved the results of the previous year during their meeting at the end of March 2017. The total turnover was 3.2% higher than that of the previous year. An overall amount of CHF 131.4m can be paid out to rights holders. The Board has, in addition, decided that a supplementary distribution of 7% shall be carried out on top of all regular distributions in 2018. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

131.4m Swiss Francs for composers, lyricists and publishers

SUISA managed to yield a total turnover of CHF 159.2m in 2017, including secondary income. Due to the positive outcome, composers, lyricists and publishers receive CHF 2.5m more in royalties for their artistic performances than in the previous year. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Apart from the delightful business result, the Board also...read more

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly takes place on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. It will be opened with a music performance by the ad hoc formation Swiss Ländlermix in line with the theme; “Folk music – Switzerland crossways”. Important business items on the agenda are the review of the Articles of Association, the new Complaints Committee and an election of a substitute for the Distribution and Works Committee. Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer, President of Swissperform will attend as guest speaker. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

Up to 19 June, members who are eligible to vote can register for SUISA’s General Assembly, which is to be held on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s General Assembly 2018 is determined by the review of the Articles of Association. The music business is changing: increased competition levels, new technologies, international networks, tougher regulations. SUISA wants and has to keep up with the developments and create a base for the successful advancement of the cooperative society.

Changes to the Articles of Association are therefore going to be proposed to the General Assembly. By way of the proposed amendments, SUISA’s Articles of Association will be brought in line with the Act on Collective Management Organisations (CMO Act) of Liechtenstein which has been ratified in March 2018, and thus with the European Directive on the Collective Management of Copyright.

Strengthening members’ rights and online business

The EU Directive which has in the meantime been implemented into national law in Liechtenstein, contains provisions which entail a strengthening of members’ rights. Apart from rules on transparency and for supervision of the collective management organisations, a significant point covers the making available of a complaint procedure for members. SUISA intends to create a Complaints Committee with well-versed persons from the music sector and legally adept experts. It will suggest committee members for election.

Apart from the above, it is necessary to adapt the Articles of Association to the EU Directive in order to continue to be able to licence online exploitations at cross-border level in the European Union. SUISA has been licensing music of SUISA members at pan-European level since 2013 in the online sector, partially even far beyond Europe’s borders.

Pursuant to the EU Directive, collective management organisations must meet certain standards in order to be able to carry out cross-border licensing. By way of revising the Articles of Association, the conditions will be met that SUISA can directly negotiate with and collect from online providers such as iTunes or Spotify regarding exploitations outside Switzerland and Liechtenstein, too. The online business is a focus of SUISA’s strategy for the immediate future. For this purpose, Mint Digital Services were founded together with SESAC (USA).

Statutory business

It features on the agenda each year: statutory business. The annual report, management report, financial statements, profit and loss accounts, cash flow statements, the annex to the annual accounts as well as the auditors’ report will be submitted to the General Assembly for approval. After that, the Board’s and the auditors’ activities are ratified, and an election determining the auditors for the current financial year takes place.

As usual, there will be an interim report on the current financial year. Management will report on the financial development in the first semester. Furthermore, those in charge of FONDATION SUISA will provide an overview of the activities of the foundation in 2017 at this year’s General Assembly.

Elections and guests

Natalie Riede will be proposed to the General Assembly for election into the Distribution and Works Committee as a substitute for Guido Röösli who is stepping down. She represents the Electronica sector, runs her own publishing company and has strong roots in the club scene.

There are multiple opportunities at the General Assembly to enter into conversation with many invited guests, e.g. representatives of music user associations, institutions or copyright experts. SUISA was able to secure a guest presentation by Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer. She is the President of Swissperform, the collective management organisation for neighbouring rights in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

How to get there / Catering

We recommend that participants take public transport to get to the Bierhübeli. The bus from Bern train station stops directly outside the event location. There are no parking spaces available. The Park & Ride car park Neufeld is within 10 minutes walking distance from the Bierhübeli. Coffee and Gipfeli will be offered prior to the General Assembly. After the assembly, a buffet lunch will be available.

SUISA Annual Report 2017On 24. May 2018, SUISA’s 2017 annual report has been published. It is available online or can be ordered as a printed version at: www.suisa.ch/annualreport
The turnover in 2017 is very positive. The results of CHF 139.2m from rights management in Switzerland is 2% above the 2016 results. SUISA can thus distribute a record amount to rights owners who are entitled to receive a payment. Continue reading in the media release (PDF)
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SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly takes place on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. It will be opened with a music performance by the ad hoc formation Swiss Ländlermix in line with the theme; “Folk music – Switzerland crossways”. Important business items on the agenda are the review of the Articles of Association, the new Complaints Committee and an election of a substitute for the Distribution and Works Committee. Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer, President of Swissperform will attend as guest speaker. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

Up to 19 June, members who are eligible to vote can register for SUISA’s General Assembly, which is to be held on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s General Assembly 2018 is determined by the review of the Articles of Association. The music...read more

“I composed all of my pieces based on gut instinct”

Martin Nauer is one of the three nominees for the Prix Walo 2018 in the category folk music. The accordion player has been performing for more than four decades with the Ländler ensemble Carlo Brunner. At the 44th Prix Walo, SUISA presents the award in the category folk music and has asked Martin Nauer some questions in writing in the context of his nomination. Text/Interview by Sibylle Roth

Martin Nauer: “I composed all of my pieces based on gut instinct”

Martin Nauer has already learned how to play the accordion at the age of five. (Photo: Monika Nussbaumer)

A young Martin Nauer often rode his small ‘hog’ (motorbike) to Meierskappel in order to learn new fingering for the accordion from Walter Grob. He listened to his role models as often as possible since he learned all fingering and chords by ear. Together with Carlo Brunner, he founded the Carlo Brunner ensemble and thus created the foundation for his career in 1975. Nauer had a myriad of performances in Switzerland and abroad and contributed to several vinyl and CD recordings.

Martin Nauer, you have written several pieces for the Carlo Brunner ensemble. How exactly did these pieces come about? Were you given any specifications or were you given a free hand for your compositions?
Martin Nauer: In total, I have composed about 50 melodies. They are all registered on one of the many CDs which we produced with the Carlo Brunner ensemble. When it comes to my compositions, I have never received any specifications or tips nor did I have to adhere to any recommendations. I composed all of my pieces based on gut instinct.

You have been a SUISA member since 1976 and many of your compositions have been edited by various publishers. Could you enjoy a financially carefree life based on the royalties that you receive based on your SUISA membership?
SUISA member since 1976? How time flies! No, the royalties that I am due as a composer and that are paid out to me via SUISA do obviously not allow me to live a carefree life. After all, there aren’t quite that many compositions of mine and they are not played often enough to provide a lot of money based on the remuneration. The royalties are, however, still a welcome ‘top up’ with which I can enjoy the odd thing.

You took a step back from the Carlo Brunner ensemble at the end of 2017. Do you have more time now to compose your own pieces?
I do not exclusively use the time I have gained via my withdrawal from the Carlo Brunner ensemble for composing music. Yet, I still have strong ties with folk music and if I come up with a new melody or at least a sequence for a new dance, I’ll record the sounds onto a tape recorder with the open expectation that one day something might come of it. Since I cannot write or read music, I need help so that the new melody is then put down on paper.

What does the Prix Walo nomination mean to you?
The Prix Walo nomination is a huge joy for me and, at the same time, a great surprise. As a member in the formation and as partner of Carlo Brunner – for more than 43 years – I had the privilege to participate in Carlo’s success whenever he won a Prix Walo. And to this date, that has been the case four times. These awards have always meant a lot in terms of recognition for us ensemble members. The fact that I am personally nominated for the award this time, is really something I didn’t expect. As I said, I am very happy and I am proud that I was bestowed with this great honour by the mere nomination.

www.prixwalo.ch, Prix Walo website

The award ceremony of the 44th Prix Walo takes place on 13 May 2018 in the TPC studios in Zurich and will be broadcast live on Star TV from 08.00pm onwards. At the Prix Walo event, Swiss artists from various genres are honoured. It is the aim of the Prix Walo to promote the Swiss show business in general and young talent in the entertainment sector. SUISA sponsors the Prix Walo and awards the prize in the folk music category this year.
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Martin Nauer is one of the three nominees for the Prix Walo 2018 in the category folk music. The accordion player has been performing for more than four decades with the Ländler ensemble Carlo Brunner. At the 44th Prix Walo, SUISA presents the award in the category folk music and has asked Martin Nauer some questions in writing in the context of his nomination. Text/Interview by Sibylle Roth

Martin Nauer: “I composed all of my pieces based on gut instinct”

Martin Nauer has already learned how to play the accordion at the age of five. (Photo: Monika Nussbaumer)

A young Martin Nauer often rode his small ‘hog’ (motorbike) to Meierskappel in order to learn new fingering for the accordion from Walter Grob. He listened to his role models as often as possible since he learned all fingering and chords by ear. Together with Carlo Brunner,...read more