Vegetable Orchestra: Falling into collective music

A snap view: an interview to drink like a snap, eat like a carrot …

What was the zero point? How you know each other and how you created Vegetable orchestra?

(Ernst Reitermaier) The vegetable orchestra started in the year 1998, when a group of artists joined together to create a music performance for a small festival. We found so many sound possibilities for vegetable instruments, that we continued inventing instruments and researching vegetable sound since then.

How did you decide to make sound out of vegetables?

(Susanna Gartmayer) As soon we realized that there are endless possibilities in producing sound only with vegetables.

Judging from the outcome to be different from other music orchestras, this is a political act. Is your intention to propose a manifesto of divine simplicity into music?

(Ernst Reitermaier): No, we don't want to propose a manifesto; we simply want to prove that music does not HAVE to be about virtuosity and expensive instruments.

Have you thought to perform a show in the open air market at night?

(Susanna Gartmayer): No.

What do you think of the communication between art (music) and space?

(Ernst Reitermaier): Of course, the context is very important, not only for our music, but for every kind of music.Underground culture and poetry can transform spectators into spectactors.

Do you feel that you give a social message to people apart from that of music?

(Susanna Gartmayer) Yes, we are also a social project. This is also about working all together.

(Nikolaus Gansterer): Together we form a collective of artists and musicians who are on the one hand active in various fields of artistic production (from design to architecture to sound poetry to video and installation art...) but on parallel levels we are all sharing the interest to make music with vegetables. The research on the possibilities of turning actually plants into something audible is still our core fascination!
Since our foundation in 1998 we organized ourselves rather horizontal thus new ideas for compositions, innovations for the instruments and decisions are made and taken in the group. Saying that the process from coming up with an idea to actually having a result can take some time but is then somehow internally "grown".
Talking about the transformation from spectator to spectactor I want to point out that we always serve a vegetable soup after the concert to the audience. This is a special moment in our show as the audience is then invited coming close to the stage and having the possibility to gaze at the instruments, have a chat with us and thereby tasting our instruments with yet another sense.

I still remember your energy at Synch festival in Athens. If it had not been for vegetables, what else would you like to use/ highlight?

(Joerg Piringer) Actually it could really be anything. It was more or less a random decision to use vegetables. So it's not our intention to higlight vegetables, it's all about music.

Any plans to come to Greece/ Athens again?
(Ernst Reitermaier) There are no concerts scheduled at the moment for Greece, but we would love to play there again!

Where would you like to be the last day of the world?
(Joerg Piringer) Don't know, when is the last day of the world? Which world?

If you were painters, would you be expressionists?

(Joerg Piringer):Some of us are indeed painters/visual artists and they don’t orient themselves on any school of art.

Definitely Vegetable Orchestra represent something out of the box. As they make sound out of ordinary vegetables, by the use of carrot flutes, pumpkin basses, leek violins, leek-zucchini-vibrators, cucumberophones and celery bongos, any concert- they give- is a real experience for the audience.

Taste more?

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