"A fascinating endeavour to build musical bridges from European jazz towards the sound universe of the Orient. The Chameleon Orchestra celebrates World Music in perhaps its most open and vivid form with a wealth of facets." (Michael Ternai, mica-music austria)
A get-together of European and Oriental music traditions.
With the foundation of the Chameleon Orchestra, Christian Wirth made a dream come true: the dream of a flexible orchestral ensemble consisting of versatile musicians shaped by a variety of different musical and cultural backgrounds.
The project “Windows to the East” started in cooperation with the Syrian oud-virtuoso Orwa Saleh, who made Linz/Austria his new home in 2012.
For the members of the orchestra the production of the CD was not only a musical adventure, their cooperation has also led to a number of enriching encounters and sincere friendships. Lucky chance led to two more Syrian artists joining the band – the composer and violinist Maias Alyamani as well as the charming singer Basma Jabr. The ensemble regularly collaborate with guest soloists like the Syrian-American exceptional artist vocalist Dima Orsho (ensemble Hewar).
Last but not least this project is an unmistakable statement for peace, intended to show that music can pave the way towards an open-minded approach marked by mutual respect and appreciation, which is something we often miss sorely in our society – and yet which could be so wonderfully enriching for all – as you can observe in the ideal example of the Chameleon Orchestra.
In this way the Chameleon Orchestra has become a unique, flexible ensemble, which is able to transform itself from a contemporary classical chamber music group into an Oriental Fusion Band as effortlessly as anything.
For many years the violinist Christian Wirth has been exploring various musical worlds. With his Spring String Quartet, which is also integrated in the Chameleon Orchestra, he has been giving concerts all over the world and partnered many nationally and internationally renowned artists.
Christian Wirth - violin, conductor, composition
Orwa Saleh - oud, composition
Maias Alyamani - violin, composition
Basma Jabr - vocals
Guest soloists (vocalists):
Macadi Nahhas (2017, Sharjah/UAE)
Dima Orsho (2017, Linz/A, Brucknerhaus)
Manal Samaan (2019, Lucerne/CH)
Marcus Wall - violin
Julian Gillesberger - viola
Stephan Punderlitschek - violoncello, composition
Dietmar Hollinetz - double bass
Norbert Girlinger - flutes
Eberhard Reiter - saxophones, clarinets
Matthias Kronsteiner - bassoon
Martina Wirth - trumpet, flugel horn
Marco Palewicz - piano, keyboards, composition
Uygar Cagli - electric bass
Gerhard Reiter - darabukka, frame drum, riqq
Andreas Huber - cajon, congas, djembe, shaker
David Halasz - drum set, vibraphone, composition
Album release: 25/04/2016
Music by Christian Wirth, Orwa Saleh, Maias Alyamani, David Halasz, Marco Palewicz, Stephan Punderlitschek, Mohamed Abdelwahab, Farid Al-Atrash, ...
"Christian Wirth's "Windows to the East" is a crisp mix of various styles: oriental, groovy, playful, boisterous and joyful; it pauses every now and then to allow for a few affectionate dancing steps. Saleh's "+250-" opens up a sentimental view onto his home country.
All arrangements are skillfully done... a fabulous project!" (Norbert Trawöger, Kulturbericht Upper Austria 06|16)
"… (the musicians) create a colorful sound by switching playfully between various rhythms and juggling skillfully the most unexpected twists and turns in style." (bak, Concerto 3|2016)