Programmed by Benoît Hické
A producer and musicologist before becoming a filmmaker, Cyril Schläpfer set off on the roads of primitive Switzerland (especially Appenzell) to explore the archaic “musical landscapes” that still exist. “Ur-Musig” (primitive music) reveals the close ties that connect the inhabitants to their music.
In search of the origins of popular music, this documentary that lies somewhere between anthropology and musicology discovers them in the sounds produced by the environment, the ringing of cowbells and the calls of the shepherds as they guide their flocks in the valleys. Entirely natural and without affectation but sensitive to the “other”, “Ur-Musig” brings together the scant sources of a musical testament and reveals, behind the music’s joyful accents, a certain melancholy not unreminiscent of early Blues. It’s a two-way street because Swiss yodelling made its way to the promising 19th century American and infiltrated popular music over there (Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers embraced it enthusiastically). Globalisation can be found even where we’re least expecting it. Behind this loving auscultation of an area is a love song to the ancient culture of pastoralism.
Programmer and professor