Die Knödel

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Die Knödel have redefined Austrian blasmusik (brass-band music), a genre that seems to be caged in commercial kitsch settings reinforcing the German/Austrian cliché of lederhosen boys and dirndl girls…
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Die Knödel have redefined Austrian blasmusik (brass-band music), a genre that seems to be caged in commercial kitsch settings reinforcing the German/Austrian cliché of lederhosen boys and dirndl girls constantly drinking beer and eating sauerkraut. No serious music lover ever expected this type of music to have some creative potential, and rather than reviving an artistic corpse, Die Knödel have fathered a sort of post-modern blasmusik for the new millenium. There are traditional rhythms of Austrian folk-music which lend the base for all sorts of exciting sound experiments involving the extensive band lineup of wind and string instruments. Die Knödel are the brainchild of Christoph Dienz (bassoon, dulcimer, vocals) who is responsible for most of the compositions. Like him, the other band members, Alexandra Pedarnig (bass, dulcimer), Michael Öttl (guitar), Julia Fiegl (violin, wooden laughter, vocals), Walter Seebacher (clarinet, dulcimer), Cathi Aglibut (violin, viola, vocals), Andreas Lackner (trumpet, flugelhorn, bass), and Margret Köll (harp) are all based in Tyrol, a district in southwestern Austria bordering on Italy. In 1993, they had their CD debut with Verkochte Tiroler (also known as Overcooked Tyroleans on the North American market), and its success was immediate.

Die Knödel performed constantly throughout their homeland and became one of the most exciting acts of '90s Austrian music. Panorama, a collection of non-Knödel compositions, and Die Noodle! were both released in 1995. Like the debut, both albums are full of interesting ideas. In 1997, Der Unfisch followed, a soundtrack for the film of the same name by Robert Dornhelm, and one year later, they presented a collaboration with the Seattle-based composer Amy Denio: No Lo So Polo, an opera about the life of Italian explorer Marco Polo.