WOW, just plain and simple: WOW! We, the vokal.total.team, are still recovering from the intense work of this years festival but we are still amazed by all the lovely and talented people that made vokal.total.2018 an extraordinary event! The positiv energy and these passionate musicians left us all inspired and we already are very much looking forward to the next festival that starts on July 16th thru 20th of 2019 in Graz!
Let us take a look back to what happened
The week started with the Marktschreierei (market yelling) at Lendplatz. We almost canceled it, because the weather was not very promising. It actually did start to rain in the middle of our opening ceremony but nevertheless there were a lot of people joining us and listened to Lautleben (GER), Sounds Good (TPE), Voice Drops (HUN), Soundescape (GER). Before we started with the official ceremony the amazing Streetview Dixieclub (AUT) set the right mood for a fun and entertaining week in the midst of the market stalls on this charming place.
At the Marktschreierei we always invite everyone to come on stage and grab the mic. This was so much fun and we couldn’t stop those happy people from singing, so we went a little over time this year. This was also the reason why it became a little stressful for the team, because right after we started our vokal.total.concert at tube’s – the newest and hippest live music café in Graz. We heard the young and talented choir STYV – Styrian Voices (AUT), a fantastic loop performance by Ibarra (NED) and groovy beats by some of the Beatboxers that joined us for the Beatbox Shootout. The a cappella quintet E NINE O FOUR (AUT) brought the first day to an end and gave as a taste of their new program.
The host of the day was Lukas Meißl, who did a fabulous job in guiding us with ease and his charm through the numerous showacts.
Let’s jazz it up
On day two we started the competitions with the Category Jazz at Dom im Berg. We were almost completely sold out at this evening and the audience seemed to enjoy these outstanding participants a lot. And yes, this was the first time, the jury only gave out vokal.total.diplomas in gold and silver, which tells us, that the standard of the music that has been performed was very high! Did you know that you can rewatch all the performances on our YouTube-Channel?
This years competitions were hosted by Björn Sterzenbach. He told us in advance that he was a little nervous before the first night, which only shows us, that he really cared about his moderations. And we think he did a fantastic job! He himself participated at vokal.total.2003 and since then, so Björn says himself, he is in love with the festival. He, being an extraordinary a cappella singer himself, could relate all to the groups and represented the vokal.total.family our warm and loving spirit very well! Do you want to read more about Björn? Click here.
While the Jury was deciding who would win the Ward Swingle Awards we had a young and fresh band called the Studebaker ’63. These musicians are students at the Johann-Joseph-Fux Conservatory in Graz and I guess they make all their teachers very proud: they keep performing and rehearsing outside of school! Without getting extracurricular credits I guess. So if you are looking for a band: go ahead and book these kids!
Without saying to much, the decision about who would win the Category Jazz was not easy for the Jury. But they discuss and argue as long until everyone is happy with the outcome. So here are the Winners of the Category Jazz of vokal.total.2018:
1st Prize Ward Swingle Award: WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA)
2nd Prize Ward Swingle Award: WindSingers (HUN)
3rd Prize Ward Swingle Award: Voice Drops (HUN)
Gold Diplomas: WindSingers (HUN), WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA)
Silver Diplomas: murasaki no ue (JPN), Offbeat (AUT), Voice Drops (HUN)
Special Award: Outstanding Arrangement and Performance of Take 5: WindSingers (HUN)
Audience Award: WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA)
(Here is a list of all the Winners)
Full of surprises
There are always a lot of applicants for the Category Pop and this is why we need two separate shows to fit them into our competition. The Expert Panel meets every year in January deciding who fits the criteria to take part at vokal.total and invites them to Graz. In the afternoon there was this one incident where the hearts of some of our vokal.total.teammembers stood still for a couple of seconds. When YeoMen (GER) decided to throw confetti and blew soap bubbles all over the stage we where a little concerned about the fire alarm going of. Yes, this can happen at Dom im Berg. So, dear performers: Always talk to the event manager before you do something crazy! But we still love those funny guys and even more so since they cleaned up the mess themselves.
For the second half of the Category Pop we had a full house! There was hardly any room left for people to stand. Nominated from the crowd of the afternoon to become Audience Award Winners was the group from Italy: Occhi Chiusi In Mare Aperto (ITA). There were a lot of groups for the jury to consider for becoming a Winner of a Ward Swingle Award so we presented the Streetview Dixieclub (AUT) to shorten the wait. We took a journey back to the music of the 1920s and 1930s and enjoyed the uplifting melodies we all know from the old movies. Watch their show here!
In one of the breaks the jury came to us jokingly asking for a raise since we made their decisions so hard this time. Meaning the standard of excellence was never so high as it was this year at vokal.total.2018!
Here are the Winners of the Category Pop of vokal.total.2018:
1st Prize Ward Swingle Award: YeoMen (GER)
2nd Prize Ward Swingle Award: Elephant Claps (ITA)
3rd Prize Ward Swingle Award: Soundescape (GER)
Gold Diplomas: Elephant Claps (ITA), Männersache (GER), Soundescape (GER), YeoMen (GER), zwo3wir (AUT)
Silver Diplomas: Occhi Chiusi In Mare Aperto (ITA), Sounds Good (TPE), WindSingers (HUN)
Bronze Diplomas: Lautleben (GER), murasaki no ue (JPN)
Special Award: Outstanding Performance of World Music – WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA), Outstanding Performance of an Original: Egal Wohin – Männersache (GER), Outstanding Performance of a Pop Ballad: Both Sides Now – Soundescape (GER)
3D-Recording Award: WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA)
Audience Award: zwo3wir
(Here is a list of all the Winners)
No one wanted to go to bed after these exciting competitions
And no one had to! We all wandered upwards through the tunnel of the Schloßberg, passed the Stadtpark heading for the Café Bar Orange in Elisabethstraße, right in the center of the party district. This is where we awarded the vokal.total.woatzaward and Euro 100. Again he proved that he is not only an extraordinary Beatboxer but also a fantastic singer.This is why Ibarra (NED) got chosen to win the vokal.total.woatzaward by the vokal.total.team! This vokal.total.karaoke was open to anyone who felt the urge to grab a mic and sing. This will happen again next year for sure. Stay tuned and sign up soon enough.
The day when we shook the walls of the mountains cave
The Dom im Berg is a unique location for parties, concerts and any kind of events. We are very happy to have our competition in this cave every year since 2001. Sometimes when the Beatboxers show off their low frequency sounds, you can not only feel the vibrations on your chest, you almost even see how the mountain is rambling. For this years Beatbox Shootout we had a jury of five, consistent of elite beatboxers from all over the world: Ivory Nexor Parker (AUT) and head of the jury, Alexinho (FRA), Kenny Urban (USA), Napom (USA), Slizzer (LUX). In spring we got more than a hundred wild card videos from beatboxers who wanted to take part at this years Beatbox Shootout. Only 8 of them got invited and where matched 1-on-1 at this knockout tournament.
We don’t shoot for real but everyone who loses gets a gravestone with their Names on it. After a nerve wracking Grand Finale the title of Beatbox Shootout Surviver 2018 was awarded to: Elisii (CAN)
A huge thank you to the amazing performers that enriched this evening with their showcases! Hugs and kisses to Albert Tröbinger (AUT) and Vida Noa (AUT)!
I’m sure you already know what happened after the Beatbox Shootout? We had a huge party with amazing DJs: Sinjo (NZL), Dubtal3nt (AUT), Elwood (AUT). But all these pictures you will not get to see.
Spreading the spirit of vokal.total to the country side
On the same night as we had our Beatbox Shootout we sent the participating groups WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA), Männersache (GER) and Occhi Chiusi In Mare Aperto (ITA) to Auersbach/Feldbach. We have been told that they already started having a good time on the bus ride to this great outdoor venue. The scout group of Auersbachtal served them regional culinary delights and gave them a wonderful impression of what Styria can be like!
Can you hear the voices in your head?
WOMEN OF THE WORLD (USA) got the chance to do a cutting edge recording of three dimensional sound and video. The Institut for Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) at the University for Music and performing Arts Graz made it possible for them to spend a day at their recording studio. We are very much looking forward to this video! Read more about this Award here and subscribe to our YouTube-Channel to get notified when it is ready!
3D Recording Award
We celebrate our Winners and send love and admiration to all the participants
On the last day of the festival we present the best that A Cappella Music has to offer in our Winners Concert. Guests who want to buy a ticket for a seat have to be really fast since this evening is traditionally sold out fast! To be honest, this is the first night where we, the vokal.total.team, can really enjoy the music that is performed on stage. Not many things can go wrong after this, so we think. This night puts us almost in meditative state, where our tired bodies let loose of their minds, which wonder of with the harmonic sound waves, that dance through the mountains caves. Isn’t that a romantic picture? And yes, we also became a little sad, that the festival was coming to an end but we already have new ideas and plans for the next vokal.total in Graz!
Wait, there is more!
On this evening our partners of magenta – the acappella agency awarded the magenta talent trophy. This is what they had to say about this years winner:
With the magenta talent trophy 2018 we award a band, which remarkably has found a new way. In comparison to their performance three years ago at vokal.total, those (now) four singers have made a major development, said goodbye to comedy, convince with mostly original songs, that they arrange themselves. German Pop, that works well and is cool and groovy. Lyrics one likes to listen too. That is their thing. They got a completely new image and one can see, that on stage the protagonists feel comfortable in their new roles. They became more mature and more confident. We are happy about this talent of this young band, that made such a huge development. The magenta talent trophy 2018 goes to Männersache (GER) from Osnabrück.
In case you were wondering, they really didn’t know until they walked on stage! We really got them by surprise!
More Beatboxing Events
Throughout the vokal.total week all the beatboxers were pretty busy! They all arrived early in Graz and we brought them with a bus to the GlemmRide Festival in Saalbach Hinterglemm. This is where they also performed a Lazy Sunday Jam. On Tuesday the were invited to a Secret Party on the roof top of the Lendhotel, together with the UPTOWN MONOTONES(AUT). Beatboxers never sleep (at least not during night time) so they also performed at the City Beach in Graz on Wednesday. The last show battle that they did was at MusicHouse on Friday and this is where we, the vokal.total.team, also ended up partying after the clean up, until early hours.
Beatboxers on Tour
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
There is so many organizations and people helping to make this festival possible and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to: Stadt Graz, Land Steiermark, Steiermärkische Sparkasse and Graz Tourismus; to our Partners: Taiwan Choral Music Center, Swiss Beatbox, Grazer Spielstätten, World Beatbox Classics, Vokal Total München, AIMS, Johann-Joseph-Fux Konservatorium, Kunstuni Graz, GrazMuseum, Magenta, Das Weitzer, Wiesler, Daniel, Jufa Hotels, Kronehit;
and the whole of the vokal.total.team:
Georg Amschl, Theresa Ansperger, Tobias Beer, Leo Breid, Elsa Ehrenreich, Henrik de Marbaix, Gerfried Guggi, Thomas Hochegger, Kerstin Huber, Marlene Kaufmann, Tara Kravanja, Katharina Karner, Jakob Kügerl, Theresa Kügerl, Katharina Lehmann, Stefan Lozar, Lukas Meißl, Nina Mesitz, Marie Luise Neuschitzer, Florian Painer, Ivory Parker, Natalie Pinter, Hannes Pointner, Lena Prehal, Werner Posekany, Eva Reiterlehner, Thomas Rieder, Christoph Schabl, Lisa Schaffernack, Julia Scharf, Peter Sciri, Yvonne Skoff, Björn Sterzenbach, Helene Thierrichter, Melanie Thurner, Patrik Thurner, Sophia Weiss