Posted on 10 July 2012 by vivien
The OMNI festival at Abbaye de Neumünster, has always been eclectic. This year’s billing really lives up to its acronym: Objets Musicaux Non Identifiés – unidentified musical objects.
The festival, in the beautiful setting of the Neumünster courtyard, kicks off with local talent in the shape of an evening titled Youth Gone Wild featuring artists who have been honing their sounds at the studios recently installed in the Maison des jeunes River in Clausen. The artists on the bill include Discordant System, The Gambling Badgers, Seany Sean, Mikrowave, Calypso’s Call, The Last 9 Minutes, BossMen and Why We Failed.
Next up is a duel performance by Israeli singer Noa together with Palestinian singer songwriter Mira Awad as part of the Israeli Cultural Season. The pair performed for Israel at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest – the first time an Israeli Arab had represented the country. Noa is arguably Israel’s most famous recording artist, having performed with the likes of Alanis Morissette, Lou Reed, Gérard Depardieu, Dave Stewart, and Andrea Bocelli as well as for President Clinton at the White House in 1999. Awad, whose family originate from Yemen, is a singer, actress, and songwriter who has always said she identified herself as Palestinian by nationality and Israeli by citizenship. The concert, offering a vision of peace, is titled “There must be another way”.
The concert by acclaimed singer-songwriter Norah Jones on 16 July is already sold out. That is put on by den Atelier, which always contributes one show to the OMNI festival. This year, though, the Hollerich venue is putting on a second show in the form of new wave folk act Bon Iver on 17 July. Frontman Justin Vernon (photo) has been labeled as something of a quiet recluse, a mood that was prominent in acclaimed 2008 debut album For Emma, Forever Ago. Latest album, the self-title Bon Iver, is more robust with bigger production but still sounds distinctive. As Kitty Empire puts it in The Observer, “Vernon’s focus has widened but his strange siren song is just as alluring.”
Jazz also features on the OMNI programme with veteran saxophonist Jan Garbarek performing with a band that includes his keyboardist of many years, Rainer Brüninghaus, Brazilian bassist Yuri Daniel and master drummer Trilok Gurtu from India. And world music is represented by the “gypsy queen of Macedonia” Esma Redzepova, before the festival climaxes with performances as part of the annual Blues’n Jazz Rallye.
From 11 to 21/07, Abbaye de Neumünster, www.ccrn.lu