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In the early 1990s, the group was formed – initially under the name “Die Knödel” – from the environment of the Innsbruck music academy and a young folk music scene. Christof Dienz was already interested in the music of his Tyrolean homeland, and invited his friends, all with a family background in folk music, to record a couple of pieces he had composed. This included a waltz, a polka and a landler, which in the words of a journalist sounded: “... like farmer jazz in a rococo hall or Stravinsky in a Viennese cafe, and one thing is for sure: not radically, yet clearly, in a manner sometimes down to earth, sometimes utopian, but always full of the joy of playing, they subvert Tyrolean folk music with delightful and avant-garde ideas…”
At a concert in Utopia in Innsbruck, music manager Christoph Moser noticed the group and took on their management. Performances in Europe, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia and Tuva followed, working with the Kronos Quartet, Fred Frith, Iva Bittova, and Sainkho Namtchylak, amongst many others.
They produced 5 CDs and made the music for the films “Drei Herren”, by Nikolaus Leytner and “Der Unfisch”, by Robert Dornhelm, until in autumn 2000, after 8 years, they ran out of steam.

Everyone went their own way and built their own career. Christof Dienz established himself as a composer of chamber, orchestral, theatre and film music, lent the zither a new sound and rhythmic image with his solo project “Dienz zithered”, and played with Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Terry Bozzio and many others. Harpist Margret Köll and trumpeter Andreas Lackner turned their attention increasingly to early music - she as a concert harpist in international demand and baroque harp specialist with  Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Köln, Cecilia Bartoli and Luca Pianca, amongst others, he with Concentus Musicus, Cantus Cölln and The Rare Fruits Council.  As a trumpet teacher at the Innsbruck music academy, Andreas Lackner has also led the brass ensembles R.E.T. Brass Band and Catch Basin Brass Band for some time now, with great success. Cathi Aglibut focused on improvisation and early music, and has been a member of the Lautten Compagney Berlin since 2001. Alexandra Dienz is a sought-after double bass player for early and contemporary music, including with Klangforum Wien, Concentus Musicus and the ensemble Phace, to which Walter Seebacher also belongs, as well as being a professor of clarinet at the Innsbruck music academy. Alongside his teaching duties, Michael Öttl is also particularly involved in contemporary music, including with Klangforum Wien, the ensemble Phace and his brother, Martin, as a guitar duo.  

After 17 years, Christof Dienz felt that the break had been long enough, and invited all of Knoedel to play together again. Everyone other than the violinist, Julia Fiegl, was keen to do so. A wonderful replacement for Julia Fiegl was found in the timpanist and percussionist Charlie Fischer, active throughout Europe (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ensemble Modern…) – so nothing stood in the way of a reunion in a new guise.  Music for Urs Egger’s film “Das Wunder von Wörgl” was recorded straightway in the winter of 2017/8, and a new program was developed, which is presented on actual CD “Still”, which was released in 2019 by col legno music.

Photo: Ines Kapferer

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