I just came back to France after three intensive days in Austria. After having visited five wine regions, six wine producers and one vinothek, and after having written over 60 musical profiles over different Austrian reds, whites and roses I can resume: the wine culture of this country has incredibly much to offer, also in musical terms.
Snow on the wineyards in Wachau, February 2018
This was not the first time I was transcribing Austrian wines into music. VieVinum, the prestigious wine event in Vienna, provided an excellent opportunity to get a large view over the diverse style of the country two years ago. My tasting schedule included over 300 wines from all the wine regions of the country – which means that time-wise I was rather limited when writing my musical tasting notes. Anyhow, these musical motives, that I discovered at that time, remain as useful guidelines for the future work. I also got a very clear image – or sound – of the texture of the wines as well as the aromatic profile. Both elements have a great impact right from the beginning when I have to choose for which instruments I write the music.
VieVinum in June, 2016
As a little anecdote; what happened between VieVinum 2016 and this visit in the beginning of 2018? Well, a year ago I became a father. This fantastic life change affected some of my musical projects – I chose quite carefully how I use my time, and the wine composing project was one of the projects that I had to leave on standby. But now it was a good moment to visit Austria with Matthieu, which was a perfect way to jump back in!
So this time we actually could visit some of the regions. Seeing the landscapes and the vineyards and meeting the people is an important part of getting general impressions that support the whole composition. And of course visiting the winery where the wine is made, seeing the cave where it is aged – this gives a feeling of authenticity, which is important if you want to write authentic music.
Danube flows through some of the Austrian vineyards
I want to say a big thanks to the producers who we had an opportunity to meet. Every meeting lasted longer than what we expected, which proves the hospitality of these Austrian wine makers. The conversations were interesting and fruitful, and in each case we could taste the wines in a very comfortable context. And what was important for me, I could take my time while writing down the musical ideas. Next step is to develop them into larger movements, and at that point I think I’ll be ready to present the first sounds of Austrian wine.