Hubert von Goisern & Mohamed Mounir: Live in Vienna - 20th June 2003

17th January 2004| Photos: © Alex Krause

Globetrotter in the service of peace

Rhein Main Presse 2nd July 2003 | Text: Alfred Balz

The Styrian political-bard and Mohamed Mounir at the Zeltfestival in Mainz

The open-minded thinker Hubert von Goisern does not let himself be reduced to a nature-boy and singing alpine rebel. No, the musical nomad has developed into a globetrotter in the sign of international understanding. In spring 2002, on the invitation of the Goethe Institute in Cairo, he travelled through Africa with his band, where he played in the slums of Dakar and also with Mohamed Mounir in the upper Egyptian city of Assiut.

The "chemistry" between the excommunicated Catholic and the free-loving Muslim Mounir works. There were two unusual features in the Mainz Festival appearance, which began punctually, but, to the horror of the organisers, did not end at the right time: with more than three hours playing time without a break, it was the longest festival concert of all time and, apart from the Wader-Wecker appearance, also the most political for a long time.

The Nubian Mounir started with his twelve member soul band. Born in the flooded Aswan, he lived in Munich for a long time as a member of the ethno-jazz band Embryo until he ended up in his homeland Egypt again. Even if bass, synthesizer and drums produce a pleasant groove, the Arabic-African roots remain recognisable thanks to flute and hand-drums. In addition to this coming the passionate singing, in which religiously shaped lyrics from the Sufi tradition combine with the confession to compassion and social justice.

After an hour, Hubert von Goisern on the diatonic Styrian mixes himself into the Nubian minor pentatonic with the major key accordion- and the audience rocks. After a further quarter of an hour, Mounir leaves the stage to the seven "Goiserers" and their adventurous mixture of country dances and polkas, combined with yodel madness and every imaginable rhythm and style of pop music. The fact that the sounds of blues, soul, funk, reggae, samba and Caribbean do not come along arbitrarily is down to the flexible accompanying band, who make music most originally, subtly on the violin, rock guitar and two dozen bells, drums, wind chimes and cow bells. On the other hand, it is von Goisern's unconventional accordion-playing, which inflicts the blues on the conservative Styrian folk music or else disappears into an Arabic carpet. Even if the echo of the mountains is missing, von Goisern's yodel songs are carried far beyond the Volkspark. The finale creates the central message of this concert with its plea , in moving ways, for more social justice, for nonviolence and responsibility together with regard to Creation.

Hubert von Goisern & Mohamed Mounir: Live in Rudolstadt - 5th July 2003

19th August 2003 Photos: © Michael Pohl |

The magic and mystery of music

LE-Nightflight July 2003 | Text: Olaf Schulze

For three days, Europe's biggest folk festival moves a sleepy Saale town

Fascination folk. 60,000 people push their way through a small Thuringian hole. The weather gives a break in the heat, which is very pleasant for the musicians from the northern hemisphere. The southerners warm themselves with hot rhythms.

He has already heard a great deal about Rudolstadt and this unique atmosphere, said Hubert von Goisern, one of the well-known stars of the just finished festival of creative folk music. He also said it in best High German, which is rather unusual for the founder of alpine rock. But he could not have imagined, until this 5th July, thousands of people listening enthusiastically to his words and the wonderful music in the Heinepark at night.

Finale at the Gaffenberg Festival

1st August 2003 | Photo: © Suzy Crowle
Hubert von Goisern and Mohamed Mounir

Hubert von Goisern & Mohamed Mounir: Live in Vienna - 20th June 2003

31st July 2003 | Photos: © Eugen Zymner |

Alpenglow above grey concrete

Stuttgarter Zeitung 28th June 2003 | Text: Michael Werner

Concert from Hubert von Goisern and Mohamed Mounir on the Killesberg open air stage

If Hubert von Goisern were "a wengerl mehr katholisch" ("a little more Catholic"), then, as he sings, "war des all's ganz leicht" ("everything would be quite easy"). He knows the reason, too: "I gangat oanfach jeden Sunntag in die Kirchen und hätt die Sünden 'beicht' " ("I would simply go to church every Sunday and confess my sins"). Naturally the man from Bad Goisern in the beautiful Salzkammergut, who is called Hubert Achleitner in real life, is telling stories. He does not go to church, he left a long time ago. At the end of his concert on the open air stage at Killesberg, Hubert von Goisern tells stories again. He asks Mohamed Mounir and his band onto the stage once more and explains that the musicians from Egypt would have "taken it upon themselves to leave their cultural area" - taken it upon themselves.

The leaving of one's own cultural area, has hitherto remained one of Hubert von Goisern's pleasures. Musical souvenirs from Tibet and Black Africa show it. In the last year, he then concentrated with the alpine thing in Egypt, with Mohamed Mounir, who is a pop star there.

Here in this country, Mounir is not a star, but he sings oriental things in front of two thousand Goisern fans. Some of the Goisern fans are wearing lederhosen, as landlords in the Salzkammergut do during the season. Grenzenlos is the name of the joint counter invitation tour, and Mounir has something to say when he sings. Bends forward, strains his hand, clenches his fist. It seems to be important to him that you understand him. But you do not understand him without Arabic. Grenzenlos is difficult, is perhaps telling stories.

Or is it? In any case, the accordion of Hubert von Goisern, who joins Mounir on the stage after an hour for two songs, fits well with Egyptian pop. Then Mounir goes and Hubert von Goisern completes a really good, really rocky concert. It is as if rain from the Caribbean, from Africa fall directly into the fast-flowing streams, which the Dachstein massif makes so refreshing. It sweeps you away. Whoever is wearing lederhosen can talk themselves into believing a stately yodel ballad like Spat, those who do not have any, find their truth at least in the song Schad. There it is said: "Es is schad um d' Zeit, wann ma allweil streit" ("A shame for the wasted time if you constantly quarrel"). And Mounir says, as he comes again at the end, the joint message of the two singers is simply "Love and Peace".

Hubert von Goisern is now moved, so impressed perhaps, as you can be when you listen to the violin which musically holds hands with his accordion. He praises Islam and the calmness of the Egyptians. Then for the finale, Arabic is sung inside Alpine and reversed. Yes, one overcomes borders. And you cannot totally rule out that the world would be a nicer one if everybody just added their own alpenglow to the grey sky above the grey concrete.

Hubert von Goisern & Mohamed Mounir: Live in Munich - 22nd June 2003

22nd July 2003 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Alpenglow in the Ringlokschuppen

Westdeutsche Allgemeine 4th July 2003 | Text: Margitta Ulbricht

Hubert von Goisern and Mohamed Mounir played music which knew no frontiers

"In der Hoffnung, dass alles besser wird..." ("In the hope that everything will be better..."), singing as symbolically the Austrian alpine rocker and the pop star from Egypt join hands. It was shortly before twelve.

Hubert von Goisern drove the lightly intoned yodel from Mohamed Mounir to true heights, full-throated and perfectly structured. The two cultural messenger friends from Austria and Africa had invited people to a musical summit meeting - and about 700 people came. The announced open air concert was moved inside on account of rain clouds. And there the alpenglow broke out in double sense. The climate was sudorific like in Africa - despite open doors.

When Hubert von Goisern maltreats his accordion ever more severely, with his fast rock songs, slow ballads, enriched with sounds from all over the world, then the dance floor shaking was briefly announced in the Bavarian way. Only the bouncing gamsbarts in the hats were missing. As in Bad Goisern, the birthtown of Hubert Achleitner. "Hubert, where is Goisern?" called someone in the audience. "Where it is, do you want to provoke me?" he asked in return, "Goisern is everywhere", grabbed the harmonica and followed with "Before I was in Mühlheim for the first time, I did not know it either." He drew in a deep breath. And the sounds, Goisern draws from the depths of his abdomen and the highest mountain.

Clearly the men in the checked shirts constituted the Goisern fans. Hand in hand, foreign families cleared the way through the crowd. A woman with a headscarf and a denim jacket had a teddy under her arm - probably a gift for Mounir, who, in his homeland, is not only a celebrated pop star, but is also known as a courageous man. "There are various faiths in the world. It is important that people profess to truth and peace" is his credo. The two gave a concert in the Islamic stronghold of Assiut last year. Now the world musicians are on a Europe tour together. In Schuppen, they united their audience - it is seldom enough that German and foreign fans move in harmony to the music.

Yodel arias on oriental rock

Heilbronner Stimme 8th July 2003 | Text: Claudia Ihlefeld

Hubert von Goisern and Mohamed MounirHere is much better than "home" in Goisern, where the 200 percenters know exactly how you should play a Landler. Which the uninhibited style mixer and international commuter Hubert von Goisern - alias Achleitner - cares little about.

This time the former Alpinkatze not only capture souls with a new, young band, erotic hip swinging and ecstatically rumbling basses. Together with Mohamed Mounir, the Bob Dylan of the Nile, a dialogue of cultures of 1001 nights was celebrated in the Audi Zelt at the end of the Gaffenberg Festival on Sunday evening. Grenzenlos (Boundless/ Without Frontiers) is the name of their joint tour, which after three weeks now comes to an end in Heilbronn.

Von Goisern interprets globalisation musically, the 51 year old eternal lad took up the cause of curiosity and tolerance in defiance of the supposed narrowness of the valleys. So, the proof personified that folk music can be world music and tradition can be quite sexy.

The folk musician mixes rock, blues, jazz and funk and after extensive journeys through West African and Egypt, extends his yodel arias around African and Arabic rhythms. A highly musical, sparkling rag rug. Hubert von Goisern chases the Styrian button accordion and harmonica through the sound worlds of other cultures.

A sound to kneel down to: world music and Austria, that is no contradiction. "Hörst es net, wia die Zeit vergeht" ("Can't you hear, how the time flies"), rock yodels the man from the Salzkammergut, up on the mountain again after two years, in front of about 2,000 reverently listening fans, after Mohamed Mounir and band have already performed a 'through ball'. In his Egyptian homeland, Mounir is honoured as a pop star for the catchy mix of Arabic-African-Western and psychedelic rhythms. A collage of oriental feeling of being alive and western pop atmosphere with traditional instruments like the duff or darabuka, as well as drums, electric guitar and jazz trumpet.

In March last year, the proud Nubian and self-assured Austrian performed together for the first time, by arrangement of the Goethe Institute in Upper Egyptian Assiut, which was regarded as the stronghold of Fundamentalist terrorism. Yesterday in the Swabian Schweinberg forest, it was the end, for the time being, of their musical tour of the horizon and night had long ago closed in as Hubert and Mohamed played, visibly moved, to the grand finale. The feelings of all band members and the enthusiasm of the Gaffenberg pilgrims? Grenzenlos.

Hubert von Goisern & Mohamed Mounir: Live in Stuttgart - 26th June 2003

11th July 2003 | Photos: © Elli Christl