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!

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.

Bildschirmfoto 2019-12-05 um 22.35.53

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)


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


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
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


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.

Bildschirmfoto 2019-12-05 um 22.28.14
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


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!

Bellezza e Sensualità

…translated by Brigitte Scott…THX!


A Napoli June 2019

There hasn’t been much to report in 2019 so far: no cool tours to play, no awards to win, no evocative compositions for the theatre to complete – really, nothing going on!
I may have been fairly lazy this spring, but I can assure you, apart from that I lead a perfectly virtuous life. I am not attracted to criminal behaviour, even at school I wasn’t into truancy or cheating, instead I try to make my way playing fair. Daring, isn’t it?

Despite this unbusiness-like approach, luck keeps finding me. Here is a brief overview of my sisymphonic efforts in this absurd world:

***24 July 2019 – PREMIERE – THE URGE OF NIGHT***

MSH_9334Clemens Wenger arranges compositions by Mira Lu Kovacs
Glatt & Verkehrt Festival | Krems a. d. Donau

It’s really happening!
For years Mira and I have been phantasising about an orchestral reworking of her music with Schmieds Puls. We have waited patiently for the opportunity to arise and are now all excited about the premiere of “The Urge of Night” at the wonderful Glatt & Verkehrt Festival.

The line-up is truly extraordinary: a 10-piece chamber ensemble, specially put together for the occasion, with a horn quartet at its core. Yes, a horn quartet. No room for treacly violins. Here goes:

Mira Lu Kovacs – vocals, e-guit
Clemens Wenger – arrangement, synthesizer
Beate Wiesinger – bass
Christoph Walder – horn
Julia Pesendorfer – horn

Elisabeth Hirzinger – horn
Jason Pfiester – horn
Mona Matbou Riahi – clarinet, bass clarinet
Christof Dienz – bassoon
Igor Gross – perc

So I have not been completely lazy this spring: notes don’t write themselves and the first ideas are not always the best. Much has been thrown out again and there is still a lot to do to be ready on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 – 19:00 – Winzer Krems, Glatt & Verkehrt

Tickets and more details here ->

This commission has been kindly supported by the SKE-Fonds and by an Ö1 composition grant. Thank you!

 ***5/8ERL IN EHR´N – 2019 Dates & New Songs***2019instafall

Can you feel it?
Something’s in the air. We met a few times this spring and wrote new songs. But before we start recording a new album in autumn, (our 6th !), we will play ourselves into top form – with old hits and even a few new songs in our repertoire!

Come and tell everybody, because: “5/8erl in Ehr´n live are like the 1997 Starting Five of the Chicago Bulls” (as the press said about us)

You can find all dates and links to get tickets on www.5achterl.at



If this photo gives you the creeps then you are probably the ideal target audience for EMBRACING SHITSTORM! We have already liberated thousands of people from their desire for harmony. Now we include the Popfest Wien in our clients. About time too. On Saturday, 27 July 2019, at the Popfest Wien, we will play our aggressive healing mass in the Wien Museum.

Here is a short mysterious glimpse of our magic -> TRAILER:

Kristin Gruber and JazzWerkstatt Wien announce the end of the divided society (…) As a medial collective they devote themselves to the cause of enlightenment, using the healing power of human aggression. (…) Kristin Gruber embodies an aggressive icon in a performance somewhere between hope channel, election rally address, computer game personality test, esoteric mass and keynote speech, explores her audience’s propensity for violence, initiates world peace and wonders about an aggressive utopia.” (press release)

“Clemens Wenger a Napoli” -©CRS
“Mira Lu Kovacs & Clemens Wenger” – ©Ina Aydogan
“5/8erl Sujet” – ©Astrid Knie & Social Media Team 5achterlOG
“Embracing Shitstorm” -©Rania Moslam

-> check out this story by RADIO FM4 “Im Viertel”
…Slivo and me walking around my hood in Vienna and having fun:)


Slivo and me @ Chang Thai Curry in Brigittenau:) photo and story by Florian Wörgötter


Theatre Now! —better than Netflix!

Luckily, my partner in crime Felix Hafner invited me to do quite a lot of theatre work in the past months. “DIE DÄMONEN” by Fjodor M. Dostojewskij was the most intense work so far. Although this is not an easy piece to watch and understand, especially for theatre critics, I’m certain this is our most finespun effort so far. Watch the trailer above!

The audience in Munich loves our version of “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. I´ll have to go back to Munich to see it again. Shout out to the sound department of the Münchener Volkstheater – they have a great sound system and incredibly supported me to make my music sound fat! Check this out!
COMING UP!Die Österreicherinnen” will be premiered on January 19th at the Kammerspiele, Landestheater Tirol. Playwright Thomas Arzt wrote a fantastic text composition, that in it’s form and trickiness perfectly reflects our society’s difficulties. I wrote 5 pieces for a children’s choir, referring to Austrian folk music and awkward perceptions of motherland and history. Of course I´ll share a trailer with you as soon as possible…
Meanwhile…don’t spend all your time and money on Netflix – there are some rad performances live on stage to experience! BACI & CIAO!