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Artikel Tagged ‘LACF’

Accent – Exclusive Interview & Video Favorites

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

Having returned from London A Cappella Festival 2015 only a few days ago, there is so much to write about. I want to start with my encounter with a group that had a King’s Place evening show with their second-ever concert. If you think I’m talking about some up-and-coming UK collegiate group or festival project ensemble, you’re wrong. It was Accent, the “virtual vocal group” that was founded by six YouTube multitrack musicians and singers – on the internet. Find below their bio video (how else could they present themselves as a group?), some of our favorite collaborations on YouTube and an exclusive Vocal Blog interview with Evan Sanders (bass, USA) and Jean-Baptiste Craipeau (tenor 1, FRA).

If you think, I’m talking too much in the interview, you’re right…must have been the excitement to meet those guys in person ;)

ACCENT “EPK – ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT” VIDEO

ACCENT – INTERVIEW, SATURDAY 31st OF JANUARY, LONDON A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL

ACCENT – FOUR VIDEO FAVORITES

We hope to review Accent’s album “Here we are” that was released right before they did their LACF2015 appearance on Vocal Blog very soon. Be sure to get your copy, here’s the playlist: 1. Good News, 2. Rude, 3. Too Close to Comfort, 4. All at once, 5. If You Really Love Me, 6.With a Little Help from my Friends, 6. Song for Gene – and here are four of the album’s songs as originally uploaded on YouTube:

Too Close for Comfort

Rude

All At Once

With a Little Help From My Friends

 

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The 7 London A Cappella Festival Rules

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder

Florian Steve Jobs live Städtler (Foto Ellen Schmauss)

Germany loves rules and regulations. That’s how we build these machines and cars that the rest of the world still pays lots of money for. So it’s been long overdue to write a listicle listing the rules that you should follow to fully and very efficiently enjoy the first highlight of the year, London A Cappella Festival, which happens to take place this weekend at King’s Place.

Rule 1: Be there. True, there is a growing number of vocal music festivals in Europe and all over the world. But London A Cappella has grown into a real gem. No better place and time to hear the best international and UK vocal groups and meet a cappella fans, movers and shakers from all over the world. People to meet: Jessica Hill (Ikon Arts), Costa Peristianis (Ikon Arts), Clare Girard (The Swingles), Oliver Griffiths (The Swingles), Alex Godfree (Voice Festival UK), Tobias Hug (Everybody Needs A Hug).

Rule 2: Talk to people. Actually the easiest thing in the world. Everybody in the vocal music community is more than happy to share his personal musical experience with you. You can learn so much about vocal music in countries from Finland to France, from Italy to the UK, from Singapore to Canada. People to meet: Henry Southern (The Sons of Pitches, UK), Hans Cassa (Montezuma, NED), Danny Ozment (Emerald City Productions, USA), David Longo (Sled Dog Music Group, USA)

Rule 3: Get involved (1). This festival is not only about the “stars” of the scene being admired by a stunned audience. It’s about everybody being involved in the festival buzz. So if you yourself want to perform, become  a member of the incredible “Single Singers” project, that offers the opportunity to sing in an instant international choir, that has had performances at several international vocal music events. People to meet: Annemarie Homann (Single Singers co-founder, NED/ITA), Emily May ‘t Hoen (Single Singers co-founder, NED), Hans Cassa (Single Singers, part-time musical director)

Rule 4: Get involved (2). As you might have heard, it’s “all about that bass.”. Well, all (!) the women at LACF have started to adore (and talk about) Club for Five’s Tuukka Happaniemi after their very successful show on Friday night, that’s even more true. But even from the perspective from an envious ex-tenor 1, I have to recommend a group that consists of bass singers only. Founded by The Swingles bass Ed Randell, “Woofer” is delighting the LACF crowds with low-frequency versions of The Bee Gees’ (!!) “How Deep is your Love”, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” (a more obvious choice) and other musical treats slightly below the capacities of the human ear. People to meet: Edward Randell (The Swingles), Kevin Fox (The Swingles), Tuukaa Hapaniemi (Club for Five), special guest Jonathan Howard (The King’s Singers)

On top of the Vocal Jog world

On top of the Vocal Jog world

Rule 5: Get involved (3) and stay fit. According to a real a cappella fitness luminary, Jonte Ramsten (FORK) “The nerdiest thing one can imagine” is the Vocal Jog. Yes, Jog, i.e. singers or a cappella fans running. I started this out of frustration that I never had a chance to get an impression of the cities I toured to and the lack of time to walk around beautiful places like St. Petersburg, Osaka, Heidelberg or Geneva. So part of this rule is to always bring your running shoes and clothes to every festival you’re visiting. And then move out of your comfort zone and meet for a run even after a great after show party and more festival activities to come. So if you want to be part of that unique (and rather exclusive) community of running a cappella nerds, like the Vocal Jog Facebook page. People to meet: Florian Städtler (Chief Jogging Executive, Head of Pacemaking, GER), Hans Cassa (Vocal Jog veteran, NED), John Buchanan Lau (Vocal Jog veteran, SCO), Liz Swain (singer and choir conductor, UK), Nicholas Girard (husband of Clare Girard, formerly Wheeler ;)

Rule 6: Expect the unexpected. With a line-up that includes classical, children, pop, jazz, rock, barbershop and world music as well as artists, teachers, conductors and attendees from all over the world, opening up and thinking outside your own musical box makes your festival experience richer and fuller. A cappella crowds are famous for not being purist. They love the magic of the human voice and I’ve seen barbershop singers delighted by a dubstep song, pop singers surprised by the variety of jazz harmony and jazz aficionados banging their head to a Singaporean version of an Iron Maiden heavy metal classic. People to meet: Costa Peristianis (Managing Director of Ikon Arts, LACF promoter), Holly Peristiani (Ikon Arts), Jo Eteson (The Swingles, LACF curators), Tobias Hug (Creative Director Vocalmente and LEOsings)

1526416_664986813524679_1943502529_nRule 7: Share your LACF experience. Be it during the festival or in the days and weeks after LACF: Spread the news about the festival, its artists and the community of people who love to sing, listen and create together. So you can either share your pictures, texts, videos or full blog articles via your own social media or via Vocal Blog: We are happy to have you as a guest blogger and give your LACF stories, your group, your vocal music ideas or your music a voice and greater exposure. People to contact: Florian Städtler (Vocal Blog, editor-in-chief, founder), Michel Peters (Acappellazone Shop, Marketing/Sales and Suppliers)

I’m looking forward to your comments on this little LACF guideline – what else do you think we should strictly regulate? Or would you rather have anarchy (in the UK) and elsewhere on Planet A Cappella? Let me know your thoughts!

From King’s Place, London (St. Pancras Room), Yours FSt/Florian

Find more current news and footage of London A Cappella Festival via the following links:

>> Festival website: www.londonacappellafestival.co.uk

>> LACFextra Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/218817361535498/?fref=ts

>> LACF on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LondonACappellaFestival?fref=ts

>> Vocal Blog Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/VocalBlog

>> Vocal Blog Facebook fanpage: www.facebook.com/VocalBlog

>> Vocal Blog on Twitter: www.twitter.com/VocalBlog

 

Join The London A Cappella Vocal Jog 2015

Always on the run…

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Jog evangelist

Those of you who are new to Vocal Blog or have not been to an international a cappella festival (yet) might think it’s a typo. No, it isn’t: Besides the Vocal Blog (your favourite online vocal music magazine) there is the Vocal JOG. What the FORK is this? It all began with realizing that being on tour often means the following: Take a plane or train to some airport, drive to a hotel, hurry to the venue, soundcheck, concert, after show party, sleep (a bit), have breakfast at hotel, drive to train station or airport and be gone. Gone without the slightest idea about the place you just “visited”. On top of that rather frustrating kind of spending time in probably nice places, life on tour is not particularly healthy: either too little or too much or too fast food, alcohol, little sleep and constant rushing from one place to the other.

So could there be anything better than physical activity to get the stress out? And wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit more than another run-of-the-mill hotel room and the backstage areas of the world? I realized that if you have your running shoes and suitable clothes with you all the time, there is almost always a half hour and a shower, that gives you that wonderful feeling of fresh air in your lungs and a perspective on the city or landscape you are at the moment. To motivate more people at vocal music festival to join me, I gave this “project” the name Vocal Jog and after a lot of unsuccessful efforts to find running mates, I finally had the first group Vocal Jog at London A Cappella Festival 2012. The six of us went up Primrose Hill (a proper British “mountain”…) and down in vocal music and sports history. 2013 and 2014 we did it again: Despite of after show parties the night before and rather cold London mornings, some brave Vocal Joggers made it up the Hill and back to more LACF activities right after the Vocal Jog challenge.

John (on the very left) with Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Claudia Appel, Nicholas Girard and Annemarie Homan on Primrose Hill, 2012

So here’s the next opportunity for all of you who are in London on Saturday, 31st of January! Join us for the Fourth Official LACF2015 Vocal Jog, here is the schedule and the most important details:

    • 08:30am – meeting and start at The Travelodge Royal Scot Hotel (100 King’s Cross Rd, London WC1X 9DT) for those who want to do a relaxing run of about 60 minutes
    • 08:50am – next meeting point is the Chester Gate entrance of Regent’s Park (tube station: Regent’s Park, follow the Outer Circle counterclockwise = Northbound and meet us at the gate opposite of the road called Chester Gate; this is recommended for Vocal Joggers who would like to run approximately 30 minutes
Vocal Jog 2013 heroes: Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Christopher Sutton, Liz Swain, John Lau

Vocal Jog 2013 heroes: Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Christopher Sutton, Liz Swain, John Lau

    • 09:00am - meeting point for the “Nordic Talkers”, those who only want to talk a walk of about 15 minutes to the top of Primrose Hill is the crossing of Prince Albert Road and Albert Terrace
    • 09:15am – For those who just want to watch and cheer at the VocalJoggers (= fans, groupies, tweeps), wait for us on top of Primrose Hill, you won’t be able to miss us. Depending on the weather you will be rewarded by a wonderful view over the city including the London Eye and all.
    • 09:50am – return to the Royal Scot, feel free to welcome the Vocal Jog heroes!

 

Here’s the link to the complete route on Google Maps. Find updates at the Vocal Jog Facebook fan page and if you want to be part of this fantastic #LACFextra #VocalJog experience, don’t miss it and join us along the way. The current world record of participants is 6 runners – London, I know we can beat this! For urgent questions, call the Vocal Jog hotline at +49 171 201 50 66.

Größere Kartenansicht

Meet you on the LACF2015 track on Saturday morning – can’t wait!


I’m Florian Städtler, an amateur-runner, an ex-singer and – before the Vocal Jog took off – had to learn about “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” the hard way. Like music, workout is a highly social activity. I think running after an after-show party is simply the best. At least when it’s over.

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LACF 2012 Video Greetings

recorded by Vocal Blog on Tour aka Florian Städtler on Sat, Jan 14th at Kings Place, London

Three times is a tradition, they say. So after Aarhus Vocal Festival 2011 and SoJam 2011, Vocal Blog video greetings from international vocal music events are now becoming a tradition. I haven’t counted the nationalities, groups etc. But I think this series of virtual hellos gives you a pretty nice impression of the artists and audience attending London A Cappella Festival 2012. Have fun watching the videos and thanks for sharing. For those of you on Twitter: I added the Twitter names of the interviewees; the official festival hashtag is #LACF2012).

 

 

JEREMY SADLER (UK) – @thejesmeister

JONTE RAMSTEN & KASPER RAMSTRÖM (FIN)  – @forkacappella

ALEX GODFREE (UK) @voicefestival

THE BROWN DERBIES (USA) @brownderbies

TINE FRIS (DEN) – @tinefris

JEEVES MURPHY (USA) – @euphonismdc

OLIVER GRIFFITHS (UK) – @swinglesingers & AARON JENSEN (CAN) – @cadencetweet

HANS CASSA (NED) – @hanscassa

ANNA ASUNTA & MIA HAFREN (FIN) – @forkacappella

WILLY ETESON (UK) – @willyeteson

LORENZO SUBRIZI (ITA)

THE IKON ARTS SUPERGIRLS (UK) – @ikonarts & @londonacappella

MURRAY (NZL)

ROSS LYNDE (CAN) – @cadencetweet , AMANDA ALDAG & CHARLIE FRIDAY (USA) – @euphonismdc

DOLLY MAY (UK)

CARL BERGER (CAN) – @cadencetweet

DYLAN BELL (CAN) – @freeplay

CLAUDIA APPEL (NED)

BILL HARE (USA)

CHRISTINA KRULL (GER)

COSTA PERISTIANIS (UK) – @costaIKON

 

Florian Städtler is founder Vocal Blog and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He can’t believe how quickly this blog has developed a following of wonderful, intelligent and nicely-smelling people. Thanks for sharing the greatest ideas and the latest aca-gossip with a growing number of vocal music enthusiasts. If you can’t get enough of this stuff and/or want to get in touch with almost 1000 a cappella buddies like Vocal Blog on Facebook. If you want to make us of Vocal Blog as a filter and aggregator of a cappella news, links, tipps and hilarious tweets, follow Vocal Blog on Twitter.

If you want to sell and/or buy stuff online, go to Acappellazone or write to florian@acappellazone.com. If you think there is a video of high quality of exceptional artistry, let us know so that we can post it on the Acappellazone YouTube channel.

If you like face-to-face communication (like 4-hour candle light dinners or after party allnighters), I agree: This is the best way to communicate. So let’s stay in touch via social media and meet in person when Vocal Blog goes on tour: See you in Stockholm!

LACF 2012 Status Update: Backbones and a Vocal Jog World Record

by Florian Städtler, from London A Cappella Festival 2012 (#LACF2012)

It’s Saturday morning and it’s the third day of the third edition of the London A Cappella Festival 2012. We’ve seen wonderful concerts featuring The Vasari Singers (UK), The Boxettes (UK), Cadence (CAN) and FORK (FIN). The Schools on Stage project powered by Voice Festival UK made us smile and cheer, an arrangement competition supported by Oxford University Press resulted in fantastic music, countless foyer performances and encounters of both pro and amateur artists entertained us. We met and talked to a cappella aficionados and newbies, to visitors and vocal music tourists hailing from as far as San Fransisco, Taiwan, Toronto, Oslo, Torino, Boston and even a music lover from Milton Keynes…

I’ve been attending the London A Cappella Festival since it all started in January 2010 and I must say it here and now: What The Swingle Singers as hosts and curators together with super-pro organizers at Ikon Arts have build in less than three years is the perfect example of artistic vision and will combined with professional promotional execution. It’s impossible to name all the people here, who have contributed to the three-day vocal music extravaganza, but let’s just name two who in my eyes did an outstanding job: Clare Wheeler, alto with The Swingle Singers, has become one of the leading communicators of international a cappella. Thanks to her personal dedication, the number of overseas guest has become pretty impressive. The second mover and shaker who deserves special mention is Ikon ArtsJessica Hill. She has become the festival’s managerial backbone and seems to master the multiple tasks of running LACF with unbelievable friendliness and placidity. Along with Ikon Arts owner Costa Peristianis, Nicola Semple, Beccy Chilton and Natalia Franklin Pierce she made the festival happen and the growing number of attendants happy.

FORK & FSt

Besides the musical “core business”, countless special and hilarious things happen(ed) during this festival: A Cappella rockers FORK just twittered that they are going shopping (you will probably see the results on stage next time), recording legend Bill Hare (USA) just found a Pentatonix-lookalike in the British museum, Joan Hare flirted with an double-decker bus driver, the “Single Singers” (no typo) gathered for their first rehearsal after setting up a 20+ vocal group via social media (there will be a special on that later), this afternoon we’re going to see two panels discussing the state of affairs of contemporary a cappella and the pudding, cake and hi-heel-lovers found bliss in High Tea at Montagnue and at the buzzing after show parties at a pub called The Fellow.

My most important mission of LACF2012 was of a very different kind: On Friday, 13th of January, the first semi-official London A Cappella VOCAL JOG was to take place, another try to motivate a cappella people to get over their hangovers and join me on a little run during events like this. I have been running through cities during all my vocal music travelling life, but the maximum group of Vocal Joggers as of 2011 was two participants: Morten Vinther, baritone of The Real Group broke the spell on October 16th 2011 and went for the first ever non-solo Vocal Jog in my hometown Freiburg.

But for London A Cappella, I wanted to make it big time  – and I was supported by Willy Eteson former tenor and business director of The Swingle Singers who’s a slightly eccentric British foodie and hobby star chef today. While serving self-made pork specialties at Ikon Art’s desk all through the festival, he dared me: If I was able to run up Primrose Hill (the highest “mountain” in London City ;-) with a group of at least four other Vocal Joggers, he would be there at 8:45 on Friday 13th to cater the runners with home-baked power bars, bananas and water. At this point in time, there were 9 potential runners registered at the London A Cappella Vocal Jog Facebook page, so I was optimistic even though I knew that 4 of the listed 9 might have been a bit too optimistic regarding their being at the IBIS Euston hotel lobby at 8:30 in the morning.

Friday 13th came, I woke up at around 8:00 (after staying at the bar for much too long with the wonderful Hans Cassa of Montezuma’s Revenge), felt better than expected…but then got the first bad news: Line Groth, singer and arranger for Danish electro a cappella group Postyr Project didn’t feel well. Neither did Joakim Skog, executive producer of Stockholm’s The Real Vocal Festival. And I still had no confirmation of Nicholas Girard (House Jacks, Overboard, The Sing-Off) and John Buchanan Lau from Edinborough. So I went to the hotel lobby, thinking of Willy Eteson fighting his way through the London rush hour traffic all the way from Hackney, parking illegally and running up Primrose Hill with Vocal Jog delicacies…to find no more than two or three runners…

On top of the Vocal Jog world

As it turned out, Friday 13th was my lucky Vocal Jog day: The first one to show up was Hans Cassa along with the slightly jet-lagged US star Nick Girard and at 8:30h Annemarie Homann (NED, Single Singers founder), Claudia Appel Dom (another surprise guest from The Netherlands) and John Buchanan Lau, a cappella enthusiast from Edinborough joined and made me very happy vocal Jogger. The weather was beautiful, quite cold, but blue skies over London Town. So after passing two blocks we entered Regent’s park and after 20 minutes saw Primrose Hill – which for Londoners (and especially the Dutch guests) is the equivalent of the K2. In spite of general sleep deficit, transcontinental jet-lag and traces of hangovers we made it up Primrose Hill, but: No Willy Eteson…!

…but a fantastic Vocal Jog reception committee à la surprise: Bill Hare (he wore a jacket, which means it was freaking cold!), his mother Joan Hare and their good friend from Slovakia, Sona Killianova gave us a (shivering) big hand and took pictures with the proud runners in front of the London skyline and the rising sun. At around 9:10am with the photo session done, I told my running mates that I had hoped for Willy, but assumed that he got word of the declining number of participants or might simply be stuck in the morning traffic. Sure to be served something delicious later that day we said farewell to the trembling Californian-Slovakian reception committee and started to run down the hill…

…but only seconds later we heard Bill, Joan and Sona shouting and yelling, so we turned round and there he was: Mr. Aca-Deli, Richard “Willy” Eteson with the Vocal Jog catering that will go down in history. So we ran up again, took even more photos, got the right dose of doping, said thank you again and hit the road to make it to the hotels in time for breakfast. These, my friends, are true moments to remember, thank you London A Cappella for supporting this “crazy” (Clare Wheeler) project and spreading the Vocal Jog news.

The London Vocal Jog team 2012: Claudia Appel Dom, Nicholas Girard, Annemarie Homann, Florian Städtler, Willy Eteson, John Buchanan Lau, Hans Cassa

If you loved this story and are a runner (no matter what level, we do not run longer than 30-40 minutes, pace and distance don’t matter), send an e-mail to info@vocal-blog.net and you’ll be invited to future Vocal Jog events. Just to let you know: Jeeves Murphy from Washington DC has been appointed Vocal Jog ambassador for the US during the after show party yesterday. And the next European vocal music highlight, the Real Vocal Festival in Stockholm, Sweden is seriously considering making the Vocal Jog an official part of the festival’s progamme (August 16-19, 2012). Last but not least, Line Groth who will come to my hometown Freiburg next week to showcase Postyr Project at the Kulturbörse Freiburg (Jan 24, 20:30h) has told me that she persists to do the Vocal Jog with me there, no matter how tight the schedule may be. So I’m  looking forward to many more great pictures of fit singers & endorphine-addicted aca-fans from all over the world.

Do-doo-run-run-run, do-doo-run-run!

Florian Städtler is founder Vocal Blog and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He can’t believe how quickly this blog has developed a following of wonderful, intelligent and nicely-smelling people. Thanks for sharing the greatest ideas and the latest aca-gossip with a growing number of vocal music enthusiasts. If you can’t get enough of this stuff and/or want to get in touch with almost 1000 a cappella buddies like Vocal Blog on Facebook. If you want to make us of Vocal Blog as a filter and aggregator of a cappella news, links, tipps and hilarious tweets, follow Vocal Blog on Twitter.

If you want to SELL or BUY vocal music stuff online, go to Acappellazone or write to florian@acappellazone.com. If you think there is a video of high quality of exceptional artistry, let us know so that we can post it on the Acappellazone YouTube channel.

If you like face-to-face communication (like 4-hour candle light dinners or after party allnighters), I agree: This is the best way to communicate. So let’s stay in touch via social media and meet in person when Vocal Blog goes on tour: See you in Stockholm!