Simone Felber

Getting to know "Swiss Yodel"

This workshop gives an insight into the uniqueness of the swiss yodeling, underlining the natural yodel. We learn how to use voice and body to do it the right way and maybe to blend it with your own singing stiles into a new vocal fusion.

By doing different exercises and a typical yodeling warm up, we are getting to know this special technique of singing.

In the second part of the workshop we focus on the natural yodeling, which means yodeling with syllables and no text.

What's this thing called yodeling? How does it work?
Yodeling is the traditional form of singing in the Swiss mountains. Alpine Cultures in Austria and southern Germany use similar types of singing but key feature in the traditional Swiss yodeling is the quick chance between head and chest voice.
The origins are hidden and some theories, how yodel could have been created, say that it comes from the shepherds in the mountains tending their flocks or communicating over rough valleys and inaccessible places and other theories claim that it's just a hyper euphoric scream. Every Swiss region has its own typical kind of natural yodeling, distinguishable in sound and different use of the vowels.

SIMONE FELBER received her first singing lessons with Brigitte Kuster during her time at high school. After finishing her A levels with music as her main subject, she started her pre-studies in classical singing at the Lucerne conservatory with Prof. Barbara Locher in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree in the Summer of 2015 and since then has been studying in the Master of Arts in Musical Pedagogy programme with Barbara Locher.

Dealing with the human voice gives her the opportunity to try out different vocal techniques, which led her to take yodelling classes with Nadja Räss. Her broad repertoire contains traditional yodel songs (Fellmann, Grolimund, and others), new compositions (Valotti, Flückiger, and others), as well as natural yodel. Simone Felber is fascinated by the sound diversity of natural yodel in Switzerland. Apart from listening to, transcribing and learning old natural yodel documents, she regularly visits different natural yodellers in Switzerland, in order to investigate their particular tone. She takes lessons with Bernhard Betschart (Muothathal) and Christian Metzler (Toggenburg) among others.

By now, yodelling has become an integral part of Simone Felber’s artistic work, such as her performance with the trio IHEIMISCH (Adrian Würsch – Schwyzerörgeli, Pirmin Huber – double bass). Their current programme consists of yodel songs, traditional natural yodel, as well as their own compositions. She also conducts the youth yodel choir, together with Marco Beltrani.
Besides her concert activity as a singer, Simone Felber works as a singing teacher at the music school Menzingen (ZG), as conductor of the Jodlerklub Pilatus, Lucerne, she teaches courses at the KlangWelt Toggenburg, and gives private lessons in yodelling as well as classical singing.