Dancing Star

Music energizes you. In summer I danced and jumped about wildly to Van Halen’s Jump (sic!). I landed twisting my knee and snap went my meniscus. The young buck is a thing of the past.
Never mind. Let’s follow the call of the muses instead. They say it is the dream of any artist to become one with his or her work. Here are my attempts at this union:

Mira Lu Kovacs & Clemens Wenger
THE URGE OF NIGHT – Vinyl Release & Concert on Dec 9

74353237_2696444733745203_6996299866016055296_oThe songs of Mira Lu Kovacs have entranced me, right from her very first performance with her band Schmieds Puls about 7 years ago at JazzWerkstatt Wien. This year we realized a joint dream of ours at the Festival Glatt & Verkehrt: THE URGE OF NIGHT – Mira’s compositions, newly arranged by me for a 10-piece ensemble.

The initial concert in July was recorded by Ö1 radio, now we offer this recording in a limited VINYL edition.  Order here->
We will present and celebrate the release live on Dec 9 in the wonderful Stadtsaal Wien. Tickets here->
Mira and I were also guests of the Kleine Zeitung newspaper’s Popcast. The format is dedicated to explaining the genesis of a song. There we talk in detail about Bones – from Mira’s composition process to my arrangement for ensemble. If you can spare half an hour for insider talk –> here is the link to the podcast

5/8erl in Ehr´n & Jazzorchester Vorarlberg
FC HOLLYWOOD – Live in December!
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That pesky torn meniscus means I am not allowed to play basketball, but I can live my passion for team sport indirectly in this special constellation. FC HOLLYWOOD – the Vienna soul of 5/8erl in Ehr´n meets the marvellous Jazzorchester Vorarlberg. We enter the pitch twice at the end of the year, currently I am working on the arrangements for this new team.

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screenshot of an arrangement | “Alaba, how do you do?” for 5/8erl & Jazzorchester Vorarlberg

Imagine the work of an arranger like that of a football trainer. Different moves go through your head – how shall we tackle the 90 minutes? Full attack from the start or spend the first minutes entering into the groove, starting at leisure and rearing up towards the end….hmmm…how to pace the training units, to whom to entrust a lot of responsibility from the start, who to send on as joker….. One thing is certain: “Attack sells tickets, defence wins championships!” I don’t mind letting others score, my speciality are the championships 😉

“FC Hollywood – 5/8erl in Ehr´n hits and curios newly arranged for the big screen. Wembley goals. The Hand of God. Diving. Excitement. Complaint. Joy. Keeping the ball low. Winning comfortably. Shirt swap at the end.”
(from the press release)

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Videoshoot – Screenshot – new single “Die Sonne über Europa” coming soon!

By the way: 5/8erl in Ehr´n are currently recording our 6th album! I will mix the material and in spring (probably April) we will present the record. Hand on heart: I love the new songs. Watch out for it…the legend continues.

Max Nagl Trio MOPED – new CD and tour in 2020

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When it comes to championships, Max Nagl is my hero even before Kobe Bryant. Since 2006 I have had the privilege of learning from Max and working with him. The Max Nagl Trio, with my long-term musical partner and former flat mate, master drummer Herbert Pirker, is an unfathomable marvel of a band. If everything was as easy as that…

Max Nagl – sax, compostions | Herbert Pirker – drums | Clemens Wenger – synth
“MOPED” CD release  24. JAN 2020 via JazzWerkstatt Records
LIVE 
St. Johann i. Tirol | 18. JAN 2020 – Info & Tickets
Wien, rhiz | 5. FEB 2020 – @ JazzWerkstatt LABELNIGHTS Festival
Jazzit Salzburg | 7. FEB 2020 – Info & Tickets
Kino Ebensee | 8. FEB2020 – Info & Tickets

JazzWerkstatt Wien LABELNIGHTS 2020
rhiz Wien | Jan 7 & 8, Feb 4 & 5

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The JazzWerkstatt Wien is a fantastic collective. In the last 18 months we only met to discuss and dream and allowed ourselves a time-out on event planning. We are searching for new formats and ideas. We argue a lot and do not agree at all about the what, the how and the where of JazzWerkstatt’s future. This is good. We take it seriously.

Meanwhile we have sharpened the focus on our label JazzWerkstatt Records. Out of this effort several new publications have emerged, which we will present live in a bundle as a mini festival in spring.

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For the first time in the rhiz, a venue on the Vienna Gürtel, on Jan 7 & 8 and Feb 4 & 5 – two bands on each evening. -> FESTIVAL program

Cultural Award of the Province of Lower Austria
Ö1 Intermezzo Sun, Dec 1

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As a native of Krems I was awarded a merit prize by the province of Lower Austria. It came with a short video portrait of me, here.
On Dec 1, I was invited by Ö1 radio to talk with Benno Feichter in his Intermezzo format. The result is a 20-minute conversation about my work as composer, musician and arranger for Mira Lu Kovacs, Felix Hafner, JazzWerkstatt Wien, 5/8erl in Ehr’n and Max Nagl.
As always, central themes for me are teamwork, inspiration in composing and resisting the growing pressure to fit art to the rules of the market. You can listen to it here. Enjoy!

Break the Spell

Finally there´s time again to write a post:) The picture gallery above shows 3 scenes of the theatre play “Höllenangst” by J. Nestroy, which is staged at the Wiener Volkstheater this season. I composed the music and did the sounddesign for this updated staging by Felix Hafner. Furthermore – in Nestroy´s spirit – Peter Klien (lyrics) and I updated the famous “Couplets” and composed 3 new songs. MICA made an extensive interview with me about the composition process – read it here!

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…going crazy in photoshop with some rehearsal shots of RE:PLAY 🙂

At the moment I´m working on another theatre project: “RE:PLAY- our game your choice“. Director Kai Anne Schuhmacher and the team of netzzeit came up with an idea to show democratic processes and the persuasiveness of music within the framework of an interactive musical theatre. They involved me as musical director and composer for this production. It´s a fun and interesting affair, since the development of the scenes is very improvisational and the audience is supposed to take action and dictate the dramaturgy. The play is set in a weird laboratory, the spectator becomes a scientist and has to perform a series of tests. You should dare taking part – take a look at my DATES page for scheduled performances; premiere will be on December 7th!

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on stage with 5/8erl in Ehr´n / Arena Wien Open Air

2018 is soon coming to an end…this year has had a lot of surprises for me. For the first time in my career I spent most of the time in my studio composing. I received a lot of commissions to compose for theatre – this is a dream come true! Hopefully I´ll be able to continue working with those crazy people. For now, let´s bring this busy year to an end:
5/8erl in Ehr´n will play one more show on November 30th at Vienna´s “Porgy&Bess” club. The concert is already sold out and it´ll be packed with lovely people:) looking forward to this! JazzWerkstatt Wien will present a one-evening festival on December 16th at Blue Tomato. 10 bands will perform for 10min each, I will also be on stage with a long-time friend and fellow campaigner – yet it´s a surprise!
Well, what are my plans for 2018 then? First, I´ll spend my time composing and producing a new solo album. I plan a release in autumn 2018. There are already app. 35 layouts on my computer, the theme for the material is set, I´ll keep you updated;) Therefore, I feel it´s time to bring an end to a chapter: NEAPEL – my first solo project –will retire, the last live-show will be on January 30th 2018 at Sargfabrik Wien, don´t miss your last chance to hear these beautiful songs live!

5/8erl in Ehr´n is also raring to go; we´ll start working on and recording new songs next year. I´m so grateful to be part of this special group, 12 years and still going strong…we take pride in our enduring team-work!
Life as a composer needs some private balance too; every now and then, I grant you an insight in my affection for basketball. A few months ago, we formed a new team to play in Vienna´s Mixed Basketball League: FREIZEITCLUB FLAMINGO

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FC FLAMINGO – me wearing #4

I love this group! Check out our Homepage – you can support us buying fan shirts with a beautiful flamingo, come to our games and like us on Facebook! FC FLAMINGO promotes Mixed Sports – as you can see – and so should you! This is the future of our society.
“And now: Basta! Ciao!”

The revolution will not be televised

flyerarenaV2vorne5/8erl in Ehr´n successfully released their 5th album “DUFT DER MÄNNER” and in the last weeks we´ve been touring around Austria. The final concert of our first tour leg will be on the 9th of June at the wonderful ARENA WIEN. We´ll play an open-air show, supported by the wonderful Koehne Quartet. Do not miss that!
I am also very happy to present a new production in June: LIEBE HOCH 16
By the end of 2016 I got the request to compose the music for this music theatre, produced by netzzeit. The story is set in Vienna´s butcher milieu – a musical comedy inside the Turkish-Austrian community.
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The ensemble will play 7 live-shows at Vienna´s Festival der Bezirke in June; have a look at my DATES page and come to visit a performance!
I feel very honored to compose music for a theatre play at the renowned Volkstheater Wien: Johann Nepomuk Nestroy´s HÖLLENANGST will be premiered on September 23.
Director Felix Hafner brought me in, right now we´re rehearsing and working on the play. I really like how this is going, and I think you´ll be quite surprised what we´ll come up with – more information coming soon – save the date! #hellyeah
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OUT OF MY LAB

cwlabAs I compose for my bands or do commissioned work, a lot of other music comes out of … I don´t know. Most of the time, I am indecisive what to do with these pieces. Audio files & sheet music pile up in my studio and since I don´t have a practical use for that music, I disregard my own work.
That´s gonna stop now.
I´m happy to announce the foundation of my “Clemens Wenger Lab“.
Basically, it´s a Bandcamp page for now. Time and again, I´ll fill it up with recent inventions. I won´t “dress” the music to fit a style or any expectations -just let it loose.
You can listen and download for free; also pay if you want. In exchange: share your feedback with me, please! What do you like, what annoys you and why?
The lab shall be my platform to experiment with form and content.
So let´s get it started: HERE—->

(photo credit: Astrid Knie)