Tag Archives: SUISA member

KT Gorique, conquering the East side

SUISA member KT Gorique had been invited to the panel organised by SUISA, “Hit the World” at the M4music Festival 2019, in her capacity as an expert for songwriting in the Rap genre. Shortly afterwards, it became known that she is one of the price winners of the Swiss Music Awards 2019. An interview with the rapper who lives in the Valais, and who carries her music into the whole of Switzerland. Text by guest author José Tippenhauer, Swissmusic.ch

KT Gorique, conquering the East side

“She performed on stage in the Senegal, in Canada and all over Europe and it is not possible to imagine the Swiss rap scene without her”, writes the Federal Agency for Culture (BAK) with regards to the recent award winner of the Swiss Music Award 2019, KT Gorique. (Photo: Jérémie Carron)

KT Gorique deserves her nickname “Swiss knife”. After winning the international rap improvisational contest End of the Weak in New York in 2012, she starred in the film Brooklyn by Pascal Tessaud, portraying the young rapper Coralie. In 2016, she released her first album Tentative de Survie and last year, she entered the charts with her project Kunta Kita. A few weeks after her nomination at the Swiss Music Awards, her ascent continues. She’ll be warming-up for Nicki Minaj at Hallenstadion (Zürich) and is so far the only French-speaker on the bill at Frauenfeld. 2019 is full of promise for this Valaisanne rapper with whom we talked about Switzerland, her inspirations and her creative processes.

Your last project “Kunta Kita” was released in July 2018. What’s been the outcome for you?
KT Gorique: This project has marked a big change in my career. I could not have expected half of what has happened to me as a result!
Since its release, I’ve played forty gigs, including my first as headliner, and several were sold-out (St. Gallen, Lucerne …). These last six years, I’ve primarily done “discovery” gigs for people who didn’t necessarily know me. With “Kunta Kita”, a fan base has now been established. The paradox is that most of my audience comes from German-speaking Switzerland despite the fact that I sing in French, quite unbelievable!
The project is distributed by the Zurich label FarMore Records, but most importantly, in September SRF3 named me “Best Talent” of the month. It’s mainstream radio that has brought me to a different audience. I notice it at my concerts where there are now hip-hop fans, punks, rastas, rockers, young and old people. For me, this is the best gift. I make music for everyone, not just for those who already have the rap vocabulary.

Now that you’re performing a lot in German Switzerland, what do you think of this famous Röstigraben (the symbolic barrier between the French and German-speaking parts of the country)?
The budget that the audience is ready to part with is very different. I recently played a date in Lausanne with other French-speaking artists, the entry fee was 25 CHF. I thought people would find it expensive and, indeed, the room was not full. The following week, I played in German Switzerland, just me and a warm-up act for 30 CHF, and the venue was full!
I have the impression that in Romandie (French part of Switzerland) we seek our identity from the French side. Whereas when the Swiss Germans see Swiss artists who have talent, they say “it’s cool because they are good and especially because they are Swiss!” And they will encourage them.
In Romandie, we tend to appreciate our artists only if they are validated in France, or at least outside our borders. Fortunately, things are starting to change. I recently performed with Danitsa, Comme1Flocon, SWK and Chien Bleu – a similar line-up with just French-Swiss artists would have been impossible 3 years ago!
To come back to the Röstigraben, when I tell the Romands that I am going to gig in German Switzerland, they say to me: “But aren’t they really closed-minded?!” On the contrary, I realize that they are twice as open as us! The proof is that they welcome us, but the Swiss-German rappers are unknown here.

In “Outta Road”, you hit upon people dressed in yellow vests, before the group had become a movement. In your “NAYUNO Session”, you talk about the “Gilets jaunes”, saying: “yellow has the edge this winter, they wear it as a vest, I want everyone together.” Is this a cutting remark?
On the contrary, it’s a message of encouragement. If I were French, I would be on the road every day with them, wearing yellow vests all the time, even on my legs!
Everything I write comes from instinct. I find it wonderful when I see people who do not necessarily come from the same social backgrounds asserting their rights as human beings, because they are in an unfair or unbearable position. So when I say “I want everyone together” it means “I’m with you till the end!”

Let’s talk specifically about your creative process. What do you mean by “writing from instinct”?
To come up with lyrics, first of all, I need a beat. I can sometimes write a little without one, but it won’t result in an entire song. When I want to start writing a song, I automatically need to have music, it’s what determines the words.
With regard to inspiration, my source is the day-to-day. There are many things in life that I’m sensitive to. It can be what I see, what I live, what I hear, the experiences of people around me, my family or difficulties that I encounter. It can be very personal, but also more global – as in the example of the Gilets jaunes.
From there, I’m guided by the music and emotions. I try to connect to what I’m feeling and to shape this around the rhythm. I quite often write on my computer, otherwise, when I want to keep things really sharp and instinctive, I write out the lyrics directly in my head. I do one sentence after another and I retain them little by little, without having to transcribe anything onto a sheet of paper. The voice melodies and the flow then start to follow naturally, depending on what I want to say. This way I feel much more instinctive: direct in what I mean and how I want to come across.

In addition to writing your lyrics, you also compose your own beats. How do you do this? What sounds do you start with?
Yes, I compose from time to time. In theory, I start off with a base, a little vibe that acts as an energy, for example something that could be melancholic, a bit reggae or a little cainfri (“African”). I always set off with a kind of colour that’s in my head, it’s actually very abstract. I then try to transcribe, melodically-speaking, what’s in my head, using a lot of samples on my MIDI keyboard. I keep looking and looking until I find the right sound or the notes that speak to me. I then start with the basic melody and I build around it from there. I continue like this until my instrumental part is composed.

KT Gorique on Youtube

The interview with KT Gorique was held in the course of the thematic dossiers “A la découverte du rap romand” (Discovering Rap in the French part of Switzerland) by Swissmusic.ch and was first published there in March 2019.

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Marc Sway: “You write more songs than fit on an album” | plus video“You write more songs than fit on an album” | plus video When we visited him in his studio in January 2018, the long-term SUISA member Marc Sway allowed us a peek into his creative activities and his professional life as a musician. Mid-October 2018, his single “Beat of My Heart” was released as the precursor for his next album whose creation process was one of the main subjects in the video interview. Read more
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SUISA member KT Gorique had been invited to the panel organised by SUISA, “Hit the World” at the M4music Festival 2019, in her capacity as an expert for songwriting in the Rap genre. Shortly afterwards, it became known that she is one of the price winners of the Swiss Music Awards 2019. An interview with the rapper who lives in the Valais, and who carries her music into the whole of Switzerland. Text by guest author José Tippenhauer, Swissmusic.ch

KT Gorique, conquering the East side

“She performed on stage in the Senegal, in Canada and all over Europe and it is not possible to imagine the Swiss rap scene without her”, writes the Federal Agency for Culture (BAK) with regards to the recent award winner of the Swiss Music Award 2019, KT Gorique. (Photo: Jérémie Carron)

KT Gorique deserves...read more

Switzerland will be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Luca Hänni and a song from the SUISA Songwriting Camp | plus video

For the second time in succession, the Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest has come from the SUISA Songwriting Camp. The song “She Got Me” was written last June at the Powerplay Studios by SUISA member Luca Hänni with Canadian songwriters Laurell Barker and Frazer Mac as well as Swedish producer Jon Hällgren. Text and video by Sibylle Roth

The song “She Got Me”, which had the working title of “Dirty Dancing”, was written during the SUISA Songwriting Camp in June 2018 by a four-person team. With Germany taking another song – “Sister” – from the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2018 to the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, this represents another major success for the songwriting camp, staged by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions.

“It’s fantastic”, says Luca Hänni, a SUISA member since 2015. The Bern native was first exposed to the broader public in a German casting show in 2012. Since then, he has issued four albums and a number of singles, and recently appeared on stage with Helene Fischer. Eurovision is the next big adventure in his career. Hänni says he’s excited, “and I just want to give the best show possible.”

Last year, Luca Hänni took part in the SUISA Songwriting Camp for the first time, with Canadian songwriters Laurell Barker and Frazer Mac returning for a second time. For Laurell Barker, the Swiss camp is a real success story; she contributed to Switzerland’s Eurovision entry last year as well. She wrote the song “Stones” with ZiBBZ, which is made up of SUISA members Corinne and Stefan Gfeller. Jon Hällgren, the Swedish producer, completes the songwriting quartet. After the camp, he produced “She Got Me” for Eurovision 2019 in collaboration with his son Lukas Hällgren.

This year, Swiss broadcaster SRF left the decision on the Eurovision entry to an international jury of 20 experts and a 100-strong viewer panel in a multiple-stage process. Over 420 songs were entered.

On 16 May 2019 (SRF zwei at 9:00 pm), Switzerland will be battling for a place in the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv. The Eurovision final will take place on 18 May 2019 (SRF 1 at 8:00 pm).

The SUISA Songwriting Camp took place in June 2018 for the second time. Overall, 36 musicians from eight countries took part in the three-day event in Powerplay Studios, Maur. This resulted in 19 pop songs in a range of styles. The camp was staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA.

www.lucamusic.ch

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Eurovision Song Contest: SUISA Songwriting Camp song in the German qualifier | plus videoEurovision Song Contest: SUISA Songwriting Camp song in the German qualifier | plus video Success for the SUISA Songwriting Camp: The song “Sister” created during last year’s camp is in the German ESC qualifier. The piece was composed and produced by an international songwriting team consisting of Marine Kaltenbacher, Laurell Barker, Tom Oehler and Thomas Stengaard. Read more
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For the second time in succession, the Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest has come from the SUISA Songwriting Camp. The song “She Got Me” was written last June at the Powerplay Studios by SUISA member Luca Hänni with Canadian songwriters Laurell Barker and Frazer Mac as well as Swedish producer Jon Hällgren. Text and video by Sibylle Roth

The song “She Got Me”, which had the working title of “Dirty Dancing”, was written during the SUISA Songwriting Camp in June 2018 by a four-person team. With Germany taking another song – “Sister” – from the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2018 to the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, this represents another major success for the songwriting camp, staged by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions.

“It’s fantastic”, says Luca Hänni, a...read more

Eurovision Song Contest: SUISA Songwriting Camp song in the German qualifier | plus video

Success for the SUISA Songwriting Camp: The song “Sister” created during last year’s camp is in today’s German ESC qualifier. The piece was composed and produced by an international songwriting team consisting of Marine Kaltenbacher, Laurell Barker, Tom Oehler and Thomas Stengaard. The German qualifier “Our song for Israel” (“Unser Lied für Israel”) will hit the stage today, Friday, 22 February 2019. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; Video by Manu Leuenberger

Tonight’s decision night: Which song will represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May 2019 in Tel Aviv? Among the seven final songs is “Sister” which was created during the SUISA Songwriting Camp in June 2018. The song was written by SUISA members Marine Kaltenbacher and Tom Oehler together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker. In the follow-up, Danish producer Thomas Steengard came on board for some finetuning.

“Sister” is a song from the SUISA Songwriting Camp which manages to cross borders beyond those of Switzerland. “Thanks to the ESC and the German qualifier, the positive message which we wanted to send with ‘Sister’, enjoys a much bigger distribution” says singer songwriter Marine Kaltenbacher who performs under the name Submaryne and is from Lausanne. Berne songwriter and producer Tom Oehler also considers the participation of the song in the German qualifier as a huge step: “A song which participates in the ESC may well represent a huge career leap for a songwriter or producer.”

Laurell Barker: Several successes at the ESC

While Tom Oehler and Marine Kaltenbacher participated at a SUISA Songwriting Camp for the first time, Laurell Barker has already gathered ESC experience and took part at the camp, co-organised by SUISA, for a second time.  Not without success: At the first SUISA Songwriting Camp, she was a co-composer of “Stones” by ZiBBZ; the song represented Switzerland at the ESC 2018 in Lisbon. Laurell Barker is already now considered to be a participant at the finale of this year’s ESC: She is one of the composers of the British contribution “Bigger Than Us” sung by Michael Rice. The song qualified directly for the ESC finale, since the UK, together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain, belong to the “Big Five” countries. “I’d be extremely blessed and lucky if I could represent more than just one country in Tel Aviv – that would be crazy”, Laurell Barker says in the video.

“Unser Lied für Israel” today at 8.15pm on ARD

The song is performed by Sisters, a duo consisting of the two singers Carlotta Truman and Laurita Spinelli. The finale of “Our song for Israel” (“Unser Lied für Israel”) is broadcast tonight from 8.15pm onwards live on ARD. The ESC finale in Tel Aviv will take place on 18 May 2019. Germany is also directly qualifying for the finale as one of the “Big Five” countries. Other countries – among them Switzerland – fight for an entry into the finale on 14 and 16 May.

The SUISA Songwriting Camp took place for the second time in June 2018. A total of 36 musicians from 8 countries participated in the 3-day-long event in the Powerplay Studios in Maur. 19 pop songs were created, with varied styles and expressions. The Camp was organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA.

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Creative teamwork at SUISA’s 2018 Songwriting Camp | plus video – SUISA organised the second edition of its Songwriting Camp in cooperation with Pele Loriano Productions. Like the premiere last year the camp again took place at the Powerplay Studios in Maur. A total of 36 musicians from eight different countries attended the three-day event in June 2018, creating 19 pop songs in a wide range of musical styles. Read more
“We wanted to write a song that suits us” | plus video – Siblings Co and Stee Gfeller, better known as ZiBBZ, are battling it out for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stones”. They wrote the song together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker at the songwriting camp staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA in August 2017. In the video, the two siblings tell us more about how the song came about and why this kind of songwriting camp is so important. Read more
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  1. Erika Keller says:

    Es wundert mich, dass nicht mehr Leute für Sisters angerufen haben zumindesten aus dem “Lager” wo daran gearbeitet wurde in der Schweiz. Ich habe auch für Deutschland angerufen. Trotzdem gab es beim puplic voting für Sisters null Punkte.
    Es wird wohl am System der Punktevergabe liegen, welches ich nicht kenne und ich wäre für eine Erklärung dankbar.

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Success for the SUISA Songwriting Camp: The song “Sister” created during last year’s camp is in today’s German ESC qualifier. The piece was composed and produced by an international songwriting team consisting of Marine Kaltenbacher, Laurell Barker, Tom Oehler and Thomas Stengaard. The German qualifier “Our song for Israel” (“Unser Lied für Israel”) will hit the stage today, Friday, 22 February 2019. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; Video by Manu Leuenberger

Tonight’s decision night: Which song will represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May 2019 in Tel Aviv? Among the seven final songs is “Sister” which was created during the SUISA Songwriting Camp in June 2018. The song was written by SUISA members Marine Kaltenbacher and Tom Oehler together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker. In the follow-up, Danish producer Thomas...read more

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand died on January 26th 2019. He was 86. The composer leaves behind a prestigious career spanning 60 years that earned him a worldwide reputation. The maestro with a fiery temperament conducted his life by the baton. Obituary by Bertrand Liechti, member of the Board of SUISA

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand, here on 17 May 2017, before the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, had been a member of SUISA since 1998. (Photo: Regis Duvignau / Reuters)

Michel Legrand was born in 1932, in Menilmontant, a suburb of Paris, into a family of musicians: his father, Raymond Legrand, was a composer and conductor, his uncle was the conductor Jacques Hélian (Der Mikaëlian). He studied the piano, the trumpet and composition at the Conservatoire de Paris, in the class of Nadia Boulanger. He developed a passion for jazz and even recorded an album in New York (1958), alongside jazz greats like Chet Baker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. At the time, the New Wave was definitively embarking upon its revival of French cinema. Michel Legrand worked with Jean Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Jean Paul Rappeneau …

In the 1960s, he met Jacques Demy, whom he was to collaborate with on 9 films, including “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” (1964), which won the Palme d’or at Cannes, “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” (1967) and “Peau d’Âne” in 1970. History will recall that the script, lyrics and score of the “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” and of “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” were conceived in the Valais resort of Verbier.

“A musical giant, a genius of a composer, jazzman and conductor!”

Michel Legrand then moved to Hollywood where he won three Oscars for the score of Norman Jewison’s “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1969) with the hit “The Windmills of Your Mind”. He repeated this feat in 1972 for Robert Mulligan’s “Summer of ‘42”, and in 1984 for Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl”. At the same time, he recorded with international stars such as Frank Sinatra, Charles Aznavour, Ella Fitzgerald, Claude Nougaro, and more recently, Nathalie Dessay.

In March 2018, I had the privilege of overseeing his composition for Orson Wells’ unpublished last film, “The Other Side of the Wind”, for Netflix. Anecdotally, in a notebook accompanying this unfinished drama, the heirs of the great American filmmaker discovered an inscription with instructions from beyond the grave: “Call Michel Legrand!”

After 20 years of collaboration with Michel Legrand, I will remember him as a musical giant – a genius of a composer, jazzman and conductor.

www.michellegrandofficial.com

Michel Legrand joined SUISA as a member in 1998. In 2002, at the Locarno Film Festival, the French composer was honoured for his life’s work by FONDATION SUISA, SUISA’s foundation for the promotion of music.
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Michel Legrand died on January 26th 2019. He was 86. The composer leaves behind a prestigious career spanning 60 years that earned him a worldwide reputation. The maestro with a fiery temperament conducted his life by the baton. Obituary by Bertrand Liechti, member of the Board of SUISA

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand, here on 17 May 2017, before the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, had been a member of SUISA since 1998. (Photo: Regis Duvignau / Reuters)

Michel Legrand was born in 1932, in Menilmontant, a suburb of Paris, into a family of musicians: his father, Raymond Legrand, was a composer and conductor, his uncle was the conductor Jacques Hélian (Der Mikaëlian). He studied the piano, the trumpet and composition at the Conservatoire de Paris, in the class of Nadia Boulanger. He developed...read more

SUISA membership in numbers

More than 38,000 authors and publishers have instructed SUISA with the management of their rights. Where are they from, how old are they and are there more men or women who are composers? The figures and graphics below provide an insight into SUISA’s membership structure. Text by Claudia Kempf

SUISA membership in numbers

(Graphics: Crafft Communication)

Age distribution

The majority of members is between 31 and 60 years old. This is due to the fact that authors have an average age of 33 years when they join SUISA and that there has been a steep increase in new members over the last 20 years.

Age distribution

Gender

The overwhelming majority of active members are men. There is, however, a slight notable change: 45% of active female authors have joined SUISA in the last ten years.

Gender

Language composition

The language composition within SUISA roughly correspond with the linguistic distribution within Switzerland, except for the fact that French-speaking authors are represented in slightly higher numbers.

Language composition

Residence

Unfortunately, notifications on the change of address to SUISA sometimes gets forgotten. As a consequence, SUISA does not know the address of around 15% of its members. In the case where SUISA does not hold a valid correspondence address during a period of five years, the respective Rights Administration Agreement and membership lapse at the end of that year. The rights then fall back to the author and are no longer managed by SUISA.

Residence

Associate members, full members

Music creators and publishers are, first of all, accepted asassociate members. Once they have been registered for at least one year with SUISA and have reached the minimum threshold of CHF 2,000 in revenue from authors’ rights, they become full members with voting and election rights. Subsidiary publishing entities can never attain full membership status; this explains the high share of publishers that do not have voting rights.

Associate members, full members

Membership years

The graphics provide an impressive insight into the strong growth of new member numbers over the last few years, especially among authors. Compared to that, new memberships among publishers have remained constant for quite a few years now.

Membership years

All information correct as of April 2018.

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More than 38,000 authors and publishers have instructed SUISA with the management of their rights. Where are they from, how old are they and are there more men or women who are composers? The figures and graphics below provide an insight into SUISA’s membership structure. Text by Claudia Kempf

SUISA membership in numbers

(Graphics: Crafft Communication)

Age distribution

The majority of members is between 31 and 60 years old. This is due to the fact that authors have an average age of 33 years when they join SUISA and that there has been a steep increase in new members over the last 20 years.

Age distribution

Gender

The overwhelming majority of active members are men. There is, however, a slight notable change: 45% of active female authors have joined SUISA in the last ten years.

Gender

Language composition

The language composition within SUISA roughly...read more

“You write more songs than fit on an album” | plus video

When we visited him in his studio in January 2018, the long-term SUISA member Marc Sway allowed us a peek into his creative activities and his professional life as a musician. Mid-October 2018, his single “Beat of My Heart” was released as the precursor for his next album whose creation process was one of the main subjects in the video interview. Text and Video by Sibylle Roth

Marc Sway has been a SUISA member since 2003. After his recently intensive period of performing live, he is even more excited when it comes to recording his next album. His last album, “Black & White”, was released in 2014.

Songs for the coming album have been created over the last three years jointly with his long-term partner lyricists and musicians. “If you make music together you are together so many times and at such close proximity that you only want to do that with really good friends”, Marc Sway says. “That’s why I have been collaborating with the same songwriter partners for years.”

During our conversation, the 39-year-old states that songwriting has an enormously big influence on what an album is going to sound like; after all he creates the foundation to it with his compositions. Marc Sway further explains that he likes to have an objective and a concept in mind, and he is convinced that “each album is a chance to reinvent yourself”.

The single “Beat of My Heart” will be released in mid-October 2018, the new album “Way Back Home” will be published in spring 2019.

www.marcsway.ch, Marc Sway website

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When we visited him in his studio in January 2018, the long-term SUISA member Marc Sway allowed us a peek into his creative activities and his professional life as a musician. Mid-October 2018, his single “Beat of My Heart” was released as the precursor for his next album whose creation process was one of the main subjects in the video interview. Text and Video by Sibylle Roth

Marc Sway has been a SUISA member since 2003. After his recently intensive period of performing live, he is even more excited when it comes to recording his next album. His last album, “Black & White”, was released in 2014.

Songs for the coming album have been created over the last three years jointly with his long-term partner lyricists and musicians. “If you make music together...read more

Charles Aznavour’s songs are part of our collective identity

Charles Aznavour joined SUISA in 1976 and was one of our best-known members. The countless tributes on TV, radio and in the press around the world since his death are a reminder, if one was necessary, of the scale of his legend. They can also teach us a few important lessons. Obituary by Xavier Dayer, President of SUISA

Charles Aznavour’s songs are part of our collective identity

Charles Aznavour, pictured at the Teatro Regio di Parma on 30 October 2009, wrote lyrics and music for innumerable chansons over the course of his career. (Photo: Fabio Diena / Shutterstock)

As a singer and performer, Charles Aznavour was a genius, yet he was also an extraordinary composer and lyricist and he highlighted this essential aspect of his activities time and time again.

In the public archives of French authors’ rights society SACEM, we can find the entrance examination he took to join the society as an author in 1947. Yes, it’s true: at that time all new members had to pass an entrance exam! It is particularly moving to read the lyrics to a song called “Si je voulais”, corrected by SACEM in red ink.

It’s a powerful reminder of the steps taken by Charles Aznavour, son of Armenian immigrants, on his path from obscurity to global fame. One cannot help but see this journey as a hymn to the openness of our modern societies to the constant acceptance and awareness that cultures are enriched by these ties. At this very moment, a “Charles Aznavour” of tomorrow might be on a boat crossing the Mediterranean.

Today, Aznavour’s gravelly voice and his songs, with their distinctive words and melodies, are a part of who we are, our collective identity. His work is part of our “today” and his career is a message of hope to all creators.

Words are always pale in comparison with the power of musical expression. They cannot convey how deeply grateful we are at SUISA to have handled rights management for Charles Aznavour. This is truly an immense honour and we would like to offer our sincere condolences to his loved ones.

www.aznavourfoundation.org

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Charles Aznavour joined SUISA in 1976 and was one of our best-known members. The countless tributes on TV, radio and in the press around the world since his death are a reminder, if one was necessary, of the scale of his legend. They can also teach us a few important lessons. Obituary by Xavier Dayer, President of SUISA

Charles Aznavour’s songs are part of our collective identity

Charles Aznavour, pictured at the Teatro Regio di Parma on 30 October 2009, wrote lyrics and music for innumerable chansons over the course of his career. (Photo: Fabio Diena / Shutterstock)

As a singer and performer, Charles Aznavour was a genius, yet he was also an extraordinary composer and lyricist and he highlighted this essential aspect of his activities time and time again.

In the public archives of French authors’ rights society SACEM, we can find...read more

“A Cello talks like a human”

Apart from his activities as a paediatrician, Dr. Beat Richner has been a musician all of his life. From 1972 onwards, he performed under the pseudonym “Beaotcello”. For his poetic and cabaret music programmes, he wrote music and lyrics of several works himself. The long-term SUISA member passed away in the early hours of Sunday, 09 September 2018 at the age of 71. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Beat Richner: “A Cello talks like a human”

The paediatrician who played music, Dr. Beat Richner – here a production image from the movie “L’Ombrello di Beatocello” by Georges Gachot – had been a SUISA member since 1978. (Photo: Gachot Films / www.lombrellodibeatocello.com)

Beat Richner was born on 13 March 1947 and grew up in Zurich. After taking his baccalaureat, he dedicated himself to music for a year. The 19-year-old publicly performed a programme called “Träumerei eines Nachtwächters” (Musings of a night watchman). During his subsequent studies of medicine, he developed the character of the music clown “Beatocello”. Beat Richner became known in the Swiss cabaret scene under said pseudonym. In the context of his humanitarian engagement in Cambodia, the paediatrician-musician also attracted interest abroad.

In 1978, Beat Richner became a SUISA member. He was the composer and lyricist of songs which he wrote mainly for the Beatocello music programmes. His compositions carry titles such as “Chatz und Muus” (cat and mouse), “SʼTröpfli” (the droplet), “Zirkus” (circus), “Doctor PC” (doctor PC), or “Dong und Deng” (Dong and Deng) and have been recorded onto various CDs. Other recordings feature the cello player as a performer of works by Bach, Vivaldi and Bruch.

The cello was a loyal companion for Dr. Beat Richner. In an interview with the “Schweizer Illustrierten”, he mentioned that he played the instrument for 30 to 40 minutes every day. That way, he would stay fit to play during concerts which he held each Saturday in Siam Rep for visitors from all over the world in order to inform about the hospitals he founded and to raise donations. “A cello does talk like a human then”, Beat Richner said during the interview. “A simple, a warm and comforting voice.”

www.beat-richner.ch

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  1. Dodo Leo says:

    An Beatocello erinnere ich mich oft, immer wieder gerne und, als wenn es gestern gewesen wäre, dass ich seine Lieder gehört habe.
    Das trifft es aber eigentlich nicht ganz, viel mehr war Hr. Richners Figur eine ständige und haltgebende Begleitung meiner Kindheit. Der Umstand, warum ich seiner Musik und Geschichten als Kind begegnete, kommt daher, dass ein erheblicher Teil dieser Kindheit – vor allem in der früheren Phase – im Kinderspital stattfand. Ich hatte ein kleines, silbergraues Kassettengerät, mit dem man nur vorwärt spulen konnte, und das ein bisschen schepperte. Das machte mir nichts aus, denn was ich hörte, war viel mehr als Musik. Es waren Gefühle des Trostes, Linderung der Angst.
    Wenn Hr. Richner in dem Interview mit der »Schweizer Illustrierten« davon sprach, das Cello würde “sprechen wie ein Mensch”, dann kann ich das nur bestätigen. Für mich war es ganz genau so, ich erinnere mich gut. Einmal, so meine ich mich jedenfalls ebenfalls erinnern zu können, war er sogar bei uns auf der Station. Aber, vielleicht ist das auch Wunschdenken eines Erwachsenen, der sich wünscht, es wäre damals so gewesen. Irgendwie war er sowieso immer da.
    Ich halte inne und senke mein Haupt, verbeuge mich in tiefer Annerkennung und Dankbarkeit an einen selbstlosen Mann, der mir und vielen anderen im Leben so viel gegeben hat und sage; Danke Hr. Richner.
    Dodo Leo

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Apart from his activities as a paediatrician, Dr. Beat Richner has been a musician all of his life. From 1972 onwards, he performed under the pseudonym “Beaotcello”. For his poetic and cabaret music programmes, he wrote music and lyrics of several works himself. The long-term SUISA member passed away in the early hours of Sunday, 09 September 2018 at the age of 71. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Beat Richner: “A Cello talks like a human”

The paediatrician who played music, Dr. Beat Richner – here a production image from the movie “L’Ombrello di Beatocello” by Georges Gachot – had been a SUISA member since 1978. (Photo: Gachot Films / www.lombrellodibeatocello.com)

Beat Richner was born on 13 March 1947 and grew up in Zurich. After taking his baccalaureat, he dedicated himself to music for a year. The 19-year-old publicly performed a programme...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

“Each of us comes up with a piece of music or a melody once in a while”

One of the three nominees for the Prix Walo 2018 in the folk music category is the formation Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin. With their line-up consisting of Domenic and Curdin Janett and their daughters Anna Staschia, Cristina and Madlaina, they have been making music since 2014, loosely based on the “original Fränzlismusig” of the 19th century. At the 44th Prix Walo, SUISA awards the prize for the folk music genre, and has sent some questions on their music, creating compositions and their nomination in writing to Madlaina Janett, the viola player of the formation. Text/Interview by Sibylle Roth

“Each of us comes up with a piece of music or a melody once in a while”

Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin: “We are ambassadors of such pieces which got stuck during their journey through the ballrooms of Europe in the Engadine”. (Photo: Flurin Bertschinger)

The original Fränzlis from the 19th century were brought to life by Franz-Josef Waser who – due to his short stature – was called “Fränzli”. They played dance music and people were talking about the legendary Fränzlis all the way into the 20th century. The new Fränzlis were founded in 1982 by Men Steiner and Domenic Janett. Since 2012, their line-up consisted of clarinet, violin, cello, viola and double base. After the latest changes in their line-up – Cristina joined for the cello and Anna Staschia for the violin – the women are now outnumbering the men in the formation.

Madlaina Janett, Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin have been ambassadors for Engadine dance music. What is the ratio between traditional works and own compositions in your ensemble?
Madlaina Janett, Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin: If we put together a programme for a concert, we attempt to fill it about fifty:fifty with new compositions – by ourselves and other composers –and traditional dances. When we do this, we don’t pursue the objective to renovate or modernise tradition. We just want to have a nice dramaturgy in the concert which offers a lot of diversity and where we are able to surprise the audience every now and then with some unfamiliar tunes. When we play our music on dance occasions – something that’s unfortunately rather rare these days – traditional pieces prevail, since they are better to dance to than new compositions which have often been and are being composed for concert situations.
At this point, we would also like to comment on the key word “ambassadors of Engadine dance music”: We would not describe ourselves as such. On the one hand because we play – as mentioned above – only rarely at dance occasions, and on the other hand, because it’s hardly possible to say what exactly “Engadine music” is supposed to be. Our role models, the original Fränzlis of the 19th century, weren’t even from the Engadine – they were from central Switzerland – and played all sorts of music: from absolutely popular hits via operetta melodies to traditional waltzes. And if you investigate into the so-called ‘traditional’ songs a little more, you often realise that they have had a long odyssey through the dance halls of the entire Alpine region and that it’s absolutely impossible to say whether a piece had been created in the Engadine or rather in the Burgenland, or in Italy. So maybe we are ambassadors of pieces which have stayed behind after their journey through the dance halls in Europe and have been refined in the style of the local musicians.

How do you proceed when you composer new pieces? Your works have often been composed by somebody alone; do you have different approaches?
The approach of each individual Fränzli members are rather different: Curdin and Domenic compose and arrange much on behalf of the widest variety of instrumentation. The younger generation composes in a more spontaneous fashion: If you think of something, you write it down. For the Fränzli programmes, we usually do not have any specific pressure to compose anything. Each of us comes up with a piece of music or a melody once in a while. You bring the finished piece along or the fragment into the rehearsal and then we try out together whether it fits in with our formation or not. This is, by the way, the same approach we take whenever we incorporate works by composers into our programme who do not play with us.

The two oldest and the youngest member of the current formation are SUISA members, whereas you and Cristina aren’t. How so? Are you not involved in the compositions?
Actually, that’s merely a sign that Cristina and I were simply too lazy to look after SUISA matters.
The two compositions we’d each have to register would not really create such an immediate call for action. But that may yet happen …

What does the Prix Walo nomination mean to you?
To be honest: We’re still unsure how someone picked us.
We have – so far – associated the Prix Walo with the big show and TV world, with glitzy dresses and dirndl and not with a formation like ours which nearly always appears in small places, without amplifier and dressed in black.
But of course we are really happy that someone thought of us and and that there is a perception for us even though we do not conform to many of the requirements of the show and entertainment scene.

www.fraenzlis.ch, Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin website
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.
Related articles
Marcel Oetiker: “I often get inspired when I am travelling” | plus videoMarcel Oetiker: “I often get inspired when I am travelling” | plus video At the Zurich station, Hardbrücke, trains rush past, screech in the bends, and groan when starting up and when braking. But Marcel Oetiker has not chosen this as a meeting point because such sounds inspire some artists to take a creative flight of fancy. Read more
Traditional folk music as a basis for more complex compositionsTraditional folk music as a basis for more complex compositions The composer and accordion player Franz «Fränggi» Gehrig receives the FONDATION SUISA Award 2016. The annual recognition award granted by SUISA’s music promotion foundation will be awarded in 2016 in the category “new, current Swiss folk music”. An interview with the 30-year-old award winner from canton Uri on the prize, his musical work and the attraction of old and new traditional folk music. Read more
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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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One of the three nominees for the Prix Walo 2018 in the folk music category is the formation Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin. With their line-up consisting of Domenic and Curdin Janett and their daughters Anna Staschia, Cristina and Madlaina, they have been making music since 2014, loosely based on the “original Fränzlismusig” of the 19th century. At the 44th Prix Walo, SUISA awards the prize for the folk music genre, and has sent some questions on their music, creating compositions and their nomination in writing to Madlaina Janett, the viola player of the formation. Text/Interview by Sibylle Roth

“Each of us comes up with a piece of music or a melody once in a while”

Ils Fränzlis da Tschlin: “We are ambassadors of such pieces which got stuck during their journey through the ballrooms of Europe in the Engadine”. (Photo: Flurin Bertschinger)

The original Fränzlis from the 19th century were...read more