An occupational hazard with writing about music festivals is the inability of readers to be able to experience any of the music for themselves. However, in the case of this year’s Forum Wallis festival, three of the most interesting performances have been uploaded to Javier Hagen and Ulrike Mayer-Spohn‘s YouTube channel umsnjip. There you can now find Mayer-Spohn’s fKFW, a gorgeous, lowercase work that i’ve now been fortunate to experience twice, as well as Hagen’s wonderfully surreal 4 Kafka-Erzählungen.
But i’m especially happy that the duo’s large-scale song cycle im störgarten, setting poems by Swiss poet Rolf Hermann, is also available. This was the standout performance for me at Forum Wallis 2023, an engrossing, thought-provoking and affecting work exploring the effects of technological change and damage on the previously unspoilt natural habitat.
You can read my thoughts about all three of these remarkable pieces here.