Hubert von Goisern
- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (1,16,20,31,33)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 4
Austrian singer-songwriter and world musician, real name Hubert Achleitner. With his mix of rock music and elements of traditional Volksmusik he has become a prominent exponent of the so-called New Volksmusik and Alpine Rock in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. His stage name von Goisern refers to his home town.
Already interested in music as a youth, he joined the local brass band where he learned playing the trumpet as his first instrument. When conflicts arose with the band leader about the band's repertoire and Hubert's long hair, he had to leave the band and return the trumpet. He then learned to play guitar starting with an acoustic guitar and then expanding his skills to a self-purchased electric guitar. He also took lessons in trumpet and clarinet. Other instruments like the Steirische Harmonika that was introduced to him by his grandfather were learned in private study.
Aged 20, he left Austria with his girlfriend and relocated to South Africa where he worked in a chemical laboratory. He became involved in the struggle against apartheid but returned to Austria five years later. There he married his Canadian wife Kate Sullivan, in his second marriage.
At the age of 27 he decided to become a professional musician. He studied guitar in Toronto for two years and learned to play flamenco music. After separating from his wife, he went on another journey and learned to play the nose flute on the Philippines. This was also where he began to develop his own musical style by incorporating elements of a foreign traditional music into the traditional music of his home country Austria. Back in Austria in 1984, he worked as a freelance musician and composer and studied electroacoustics and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. In 1986 he and Wolfgang Staribacher founded the band Original Alpinkatzen. At this time he also adopted his stage name Hubert von Goisern while Staribacher was Wolfgang von Wien. Beginning with small performances in clubs and pubs, they published a studio album Alpine Lawine in 1988 on CBS using the moniker "Alpinkatzen featuring Hubert von Goisern". Together with Wolfgang Ambros, Joesi Prokopetz and Manfred Tauchen the Alpinkatzen performed the Watzmann tour, a stage adaption of the audio drama Der Watzmann ruft [Mount Watzmann is calling]. Afterwards the band parted with Wolfgang Staribacher. Hubert von Goisern kept his stage name and continued the project with a number of new musicians: Stefan Engel (keys), Wolfgang Maier (drums), Reinhard Stranzinger (guitar) and Sabine Kapfinger (vocals). Kapfinger became later known as "Alpine Sabine" and eventually "Zabine". At first she participated in studio recordings only, but taught von Goisern how to yodel.
In 1994, the second album Omunduntn (dialectal for "Up and down") was released. It contains the track "Goisern" which is a German language adaption of Ray Charles' song "Georgia", and also reworked versions of the songs "Cocaine" and "Kren & Speck" [horse radish and bacon] from the Alpinkatzen's first album Alpine Lawine. A new tour was conducted through Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Another quick tour included performances in Paris, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, and New York City. It was the last concert tour by the Alpinkatzen. Their last concert was given on 1 November 1994. Shortly before, a performance at the Circus Krone Building had been filmed by director Joseph Vilsmaier and his wife Dana Vávrová. The documentary Wia die Zeit vergeht [how time passes by] was presented at the 1995 Munich Festival and was later published on VHS and DVD. The concert at Circus Krone was declared the farewell performance by the band.
Von Goisern made his debut as an actor in the 1995 television drama Hölleisengretl by director Jo Baier. He played the husband of protagonist Gretl (Martina Gedeck), and wrote the film score together with Austrian singer-songwriter Stefan Melbinger. Due to the Omunduntn tour he was unable to accept another acting offer for the role of Elias in Vilsmaier's film Brother of Sleep (German title: Schlafes Bruder), but he wrote the film score together with Winfried Grabe and Enjott Schneider. Other film music by Hubert von Goisern includes the scores for two films by Austrian actor and director Julian Pölsler in 1991, and a television film Die Fernsehsaga – Eine steirische Fernsehgeschichte [the TV saga – a Styrian television tale] (1995).
Hubert von Goisern had been introduced to anthropologist Jane Goodall by their common friend, publisher Michael Neugebauer. Intrigued by her work and eventually invited by her for a visit to Gombe Stream National Park, von Goisern travelled to Tanzania in 1996 for the first time. During another voyage, a documentary film was made in cooperation with the Austrian ORF and German Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcasters: Von Goisern nach Gombe [From Goisern to Gombe]. The soundtrack Gombe was published on CD in 1998.
Tseten Zöchbauer, chairwoman of the Austrian organisation Save Tibet introduced von Goisern to artists of the India-based Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Subsequently he accompanied and presented their Austrian tour. Afterwards he planned a voyage to Tibet and invited Zöchbauer, who had left her native country aged two, to come along. For six weeks they travelled through Tibet and later, in an ORF interview, reported on the status of the Tibetan people, culture, and relationship with their Chinese national government.
Together with Wolfgang Spannberger he later travelled to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India, where the Central Tibetan Administration is located. There they met Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. With a mobile sound studio they recorded traditional Tibetan music performed by artists of TIPA. These recordings and other songs from a recording session with Tibetan guest musicians in Salzburg, Austria, were released in 1998 on the album Inexile [in exile]. The Dalai Lama followed an invitation by Hubert von Goisern and visited him in Bad Ischl in 1998.
In 1999, Hubert von Goisern worked again on recordings for an album of his own. The tracks for Fön [Foehn wind] were recorded with a new band in the summer of 2000. The album was released the same year. In early 2001, the band went on a promotional tour starting in Linz, and Trad, a compilation of Austrian folk songs, was released.
In 2007, von Goisern started the Linz Europe Tour 2007–2009 which was a promotional tour for Linz as European Capital of Culture 2009. The planning had already begun in 2005. Until 2009, he navigated several European rivers with a convoy of three ships, including a cargo ship converted to a floating stage, a towboat MS Wallsee, and a houseboat. This included concerts with local musicians in numerous towns along the route. Performances were made at the 2007 Donauinselfest in Vienna (featuring Willi Resetarits), The first part of the tour lead down the river Danube to its delta at the Black Sea. In 2008, a documentary DVD of this tour was released: Goisern goes East.
From late 2010 to spring 2011, Hubert von Goisern toured pubs and inns in Austria and Germany. Live recordings and a documentary were broadcast by the Salzburg based station Servus TV in August 2011. Soon after, the album Entwederundoder [Either and or] was released that reached the top 20 charts in Austria and Germany. Hitradio Ö3 put the track "Brenna tuat's guat" [It burns well] on the playlist. The single reached position No. 1 in the Austrian within a few weeks, outperforming the previous success "Koa Hiatamadl".
Goisern has two children with his third wife, Hildegard Fuchs: Niko/Nick (born ca. 1988) and Laura (born ca. 1994). The had married in 1999 and live in Salzburg.