Viennese soul on a rainy day in the Salzkammergut

Viennese soul on a rainy day in the Salzkammergut

Photos: Beatrix Kovats

At the 3rd stop of the Breathe Aut concert tour leading to the EXPO in Milan, Viennese soul band 5/8erl in Ehr’n played in Steinbach am Attersee on a wonderfully rainy day at the end of May. Fresh air aplenty!


An adult takes about 20,000 breaths per day. Most of the time this happens unconsciously. Unless we’re gasping for breath – or the air is so fresh you can actually smell it. It was just like that on the rainy 23rd of May in Steinbach am Attersee where 5/8erl in Ehr’n played the third of four concerts of the Breathe Aut concert series in a cosy barn where homemade regional delicacies were being served.


„Heit hea i dem Regen zua“ – Today I’ll listen to the rain

5/8erl in Ehr’n represent Austria’s soul, say the organisers of Breathe Aut, an initiative aiming to bring the motto of the Austrian pavilion at the EXPO in Milan, “Breathe Austria”, to their audience’s lungs, palates and ears so they can feel, taste and hear all that Austria has to offer.

5/8erl in Ehr’n, the “Viennes Soul” quintet and three times Amadeus (Austrian Music Award) winner, combine the traditional “Wienerlied” (Viennese song) with soul, jazz and blues elements. This makes them a perfect match for the Breathe Aut initiative, says Philipp Haufler, one of the organisers from creative collective “They are one of this country’s most innovative bands, dealing with Austrian topics also from a challenging perspective.”

Or with silence and rain. “Calming down, relaxing, taking care of the really important things, that’s what it’s all about,” says Max Gaier, one fifth of the 5/8erl, “There’s too much talking anyway.” Two sentences that also sum up the melancholic track “Heit hea i dem Regen zua” (Today I’ll listen to the rain) that the band performed on the small stage in the barn, generously provided by hostess Gina Brandlmayr. And the rain had a lot to tell that day.


Unwinding at its best

Frühstückspension Hanslmann, an idyllic B&B, is one of the most urban places around Salzburg thanks to its owner, Gina Brandlmayr. She organises events for various audiences: concerts (Austrian band Attwenger Live), readings (young Austrian writer Vea Kaiser) or a one-week yoga retreat. It’s private initiatives like this that make the region around Attersee a hot spot for creatives of all branches – again and even more today.

“You can’t help but breathe and stop thinking around here,” say the Breathe Aut organisers, “no better way to unwind than spending rainy days on lake Attersee.” So, with the help of Gina’s Kaspressknödelsuppe (broth with cheese dumplings), some apple strudel, the 5/8erl in Ehr’n and the fresh, rainy air, some of the 700,000 breaths of air were taken very consciously by the event’s visitors that day.

This time, all proceeds went to “Netzwerk Steinbach”, a local initiative supporting refugees in the region’s “Eurocamp” in Weißenbach.

The fourth and last Breathe Aut concert featuring techno band Elektro Guzzi took place on June 21, 2015 in the Austrian “Breathe Austria” pavilion in Milan. In addition, interesting articles and interviews with fascinating Austrians from the fields of music, eating and food, nature and design can be found at