Brought to new life with their contemporary arrangements but sticking with traditional instruments, the treasure trove of this unique ensemble spills bizarre songs that are born out of time and tradition. And presents a sound that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard in Swiss folk music. Skillfully presented dark, mystical, even transcendental songs, songs that touch on Alpine mountain life but also embrace eternally familiar themes like oppression, drink and despair.
The quartet Silberen exhibits an unpretentious, even formal stage presence. Which supports their spiritualistic interpretations, cool yet full of emphatic passion. Reminding you that few things are as hot to the touch as ice. Improvisational jamming, not entirely free from dissonance, is part of the eclectic art of this fine ensemble too. Led by the classical and jazz trained Barbara Berger on harmonium and vocals that threaten to trigger an avalanche when she hits the high notes, supported by Christoph Schmid on voice and contrabass, jazz and classical trained as well; Nayan Stalder, a longtime master on the rare Hackbrett also known as tympanon, a percussive string instrument similar to the zither. Not to be overlooked on drums and guitalele is Rolli Strobel, in his other life the leader of the notorious Hora band. They’re an earnest even serious group. Which begs the question what will loosen them up by just a bit? Thunderous applause, footstomping and not a little juchzen on your part might just do the trick.
Silberen live at El Lokal. Music borne out of the heart of Switzerland.
Way above the village of Muotatal in the Canton of Schwyz, traversed by the still largely untamed river of the same name, dominates the spectacular, silvery mountain ridge of Silberen. About 125 million years in age it consists of limestone and hides in its belly a myriad of deep caves, none better known than the Hoelloch (Hell’s Hole) which you can visit. Perfect spot to listen the band’s current album «Blumenstein».