Congratulations to the winners of the Hubert von Goisern Culture Award 2021
Sarah Brait / Mamma Fatale
Sarah Brait receives the award for the project Mamma Fatale. This seven-member collective was founded in Linz in 2019. Each member contributes their own compositions, sounding out a field between avant-garde pop, jazz, hip hop and rap. Sounding out? That sounds too theoretical. This is where great musical skill meets the pure pleasure of playing together. Well-worn paths are left behind when these musicians embark on their mutual journey of discovery. The result is a rousing, contagious synthesis of great musical skill, thanks in particular to the different nationalities and characters of the band members. Everything is danceable, but never banal. Everything is full of clever grooves and twists, but it is never predominantly theoretical and certainly not overly conceptualised. Seeing enormous skill and unbounded joy in playing together like this is a rare delight. "Individual characters emerge, who find a common language, which is never just based on the smallest common denominator," says Hubert von Goisern.
David Wöhrer, who performs under the name David Raddish, is recognised for a project which both unites cultures and appeals to our ecological conscience. On a trip to India with the Viva con Agua project, the issue of water grew central to his interests. Besides this, he's formed artistic collaborations that spawned the project Faraway Friends. In all his projects, he proves himself to be an open, curious spirit, who doesn't shy away from trying out new ideas. The result is never a cheap bricolage, but consistently high-quality results. Now, ecology and sustainability are his most important starting points and so he becomes not just an interesting bridgebuilder between cultures, but someone who can create an awareness of the importance of music as a means of social discourse. "David Wöhrer is an exciting contemporary, overflowing with ideas," says Hubert von Goisern, "In connecting different worlds – not just musical – he radiates a positive spirit that can do us all good."
Sigrid Horn, a songwriter from the Mostviertel region, doesn't need much to leave a lasting impression with her music. A fundamental aspect is her carefully considered use of language, all the way down to the last rhyme. She sings in dialect and seemingly effortlessly plumbs poetic and emotional depths. That doesn't mean, however, that the singer only has regional significance. Collaborations with an Egyptian singer-songwriter and an Argentinian band make that very clear. What in many songs seems topically set in the private sphere on first listen, becomes thoroughly and deliberately political – no surprise for someone who has also won the Protest Song Contest. While her language is close to lived experience, she looks far beyond the constraints of any regionality. "I sense an affinity not just because of Sigrid Horns handling of language," says Hubert von Goisern, "but because of the way she courageously understands her music as a reflection of social circumstances too."
The winners of the Hubert von Goisern Culture Award 2021 have been selected
The jury has now met to make their decision. After studying the submissions and contributions for weeks, we gathered to share our impressions and thoughts, and have chosen this year's award winners.
Despite narrowing the criteria for entry to musical projects, there were still 149 entries to be studied and evaluated. The insight into the creative workshops, productive backyards and artistic living rooms of our country was fantastic, impressive and enriching. The enormous variety, the high quality, and not least the mindset behind so many of the projects meant that it was no simple task.
It is probably of little consolation that, when competing for attention in front of a jury many years ago, I never even won so much as a bunch of flowers. I certainly hope that those who have not been successful find as little fault with themselves as I did, and instead rail against the jury or the constellation of stars.
On behalf of the entire jury, I thank everyone who entered and wish you all the very best on your artistic path, success, stamina, health and blessings.
Hubert von Goisern
The award of €15,000 will be shared equally among the three winners. The award ceremony will take place in Salzburg on 8th June 2021.
The award ceremony
Friends and colleagues gathered at the Salzburg Museum on 8th June 2021, to celebrate the 4th Hubert von Goisern Culture Award. The ceremony was opened with music from award founder Hubert von Goisern, and jury member and previous winner Margarethe Hlawa-Grundner, giving the first public performance of Jodler für Willi on accordion and violin.
This year three winners from the Austrian music scene were selected from the 149 intriguing applications received. Jury member Günter Huemer gave the laudation for drummer and producer David Wöhrer, who proudly presented his album Rain Is Coming in his acceptance speech. Award winner Sigrid Horn was honoured by culture manager Elisabeth Schneider, before captivating the audience with an emotive performance of Radl.
The final award winners of the evening were presented by culture journalist Bernhard Flieher: bassist Sarah Brait and the seven-member collective Mamma Fatale from Linz, who brought the summer evening in Salzburg's old town to a close with a brilliant performance of their composition Das die dicken dritten Thema.