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Alpine Tones Festival in Altdorf – where the mountains set the mood and the cable cars sing – the culture

Alpine Tones Festival in Altdorf – where the mountains set the mood and the cable cars sing – the culture


At the Uri Festival, DJs play the sound of cable cars and young talents mix Swiss folk music.

What do the Alps look like? This year Alpentouren is looking into that question. Musicians from all Alpine countries are invited to the Uri Canton. Three tips for the Altdorf Music Festival.



Claudio Landolt composes his mountain music from over 100 hours of audio recordings.

Cream Patois

He is In a radio play, Claudio Landolt decodes terrestrial transmitters. Use it to capture seismic waves in and Vorder Glärnisch. The result: a combination of rumbles, drums, and gunshot-like sounds.

“There is hardly a region more dynamic than the Alps. We now know this from landslides and exploding glaciers, ”explains Boris Previsik. It is part of the festival’s artistic direction.

But mountains don’t just make noises when there’s dramatic disturbance: “They’re constantly moving because of that pressure. Mountains are still growing.”

2. The soft sound of the cable car

A man in black glasses and headphones operates the machine's controller and stands outside with mountains behind him.


Urner Inventor: Professor of music Michiel Roth started his musical experiment two years ago with students.

Alpine Sounds Festival

Composer Ori Michel Roth also prepares music from the sounds of the Alps. His specialty: the sound of the cable car from Schächental. The cable car’s carrying and traction cables act like the strings of a musical instrument. Only one usually does not see its overtones and chords in the lowest frequency range.

Collecting dung ringtones for two years. DJ mixes with live broadcasts at the festival, directly from a station in Schächental. The installation also keeps up with every live DJ set in terms of time: the sound of cable cars He plays from noon to four in the morning.

3. Wild gang

A group of young people, in a world on stone benches outside, mountains behind them.  All replica machines.


Together “Young Talents” come from all language regions. Patricia Draeger brings them together in an orchestra.

Alpine Sounds Festival

There are completely different innovative voices at the Young Talent Festival To listen: Alpine tunes of folk music are reinterpreted by a dramatically mixed orchestra. The special thing about it: the orchestra had never existed before. Drumming was done together especially for the festival.

Patricia Draeger, one of Switzerland’s most creative accordionists, leads the colorful group: «I find it exciting to work on free things with young people and give them a different perspective on music. Some play their pieces of popular music, others classical music. I think it’s really cool to get that together and learn from each other.”

And 21-year-old dulcimer player Alicia Heim liked the group: “Everyone brings their own musical style and flair. I find it very exciting to see how different folk music can be from different cantons.”

But not only with Swiss folk music, but also with Scottish and Italian sounds. The Swedish nyckelharpa, a type of violin with a key, is also used.

The festival, which has always focused on the further creative development of folk music, presents all the variety of Alpine tunes.

Alpine tunes live on SRF Radio 2 Kultur

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the Alpine Sounds Festival It will take place in Altdorf from August 17 to 20.

On 08/19 from 7.30pm the festival can be heard live on SRF 2 Kultur.

The festival is held every two years and is created in collaboration with SRG.