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WanderKlang: On the Malerweg Trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

WanderKlang is a sensory event and contemplative pilgrimage, inspired by the trails in our Wanderlust series of books, combining music and nature.

WanderKlang: On the Malerweg Trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Our Wanderlust book series served as the missing piece to an idea Dirk Jehmlich had been working on. Fuelled by a desire to create an ambient music experience that felt more like a contemplative pilgrimage than a traditional music festival, WanderKlang is the first of its kind and the start of an international sound-pilgrimage tour along the most beautiful trails in Europe. 

We spoke to Dirk about WanderKlang, its beginnings and its future. 

Can you tell us about the concept of WanderKlang and how you came to be inspired by the Wanderlust series?

Enjoying music in the great outdoors is one of the most beautiful experiences. However, festivals are often too large, overly extroverted, and hedonistic, sometimes turning music into a mere pretext and being disastrous for the surrounding nature. Summer music events and open-air stages can be over-cultivated and too formalized, seldom harmonizing with the natural beauty.

While seeking an alternative, I came across the "Wanderlust" book, which immediately struck a chord with me. It mentioned the Malerweg trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, not far from Berlin, a perfect setting for an experience that merges pilgrimage, music, and nature. This was the inception of WanderKlang — a haven for our idealism, free from sponsors, ticket sales, or cash revenues. In these times, adhering to our ideals is more crucial than ever to maintain a sense of direction and purpose. WanderKlang stands as a beacon of this very idealism, promising a romantic auditory experience that resonates with, rather than overpowering, the natural soundscape. 

 

WanderKlang music festival Germany
(Photo: WanderKlang, 2023)

How can the gestalten audience keep up to date with WanderKlang events?

We rely on informal networks and collaborations with artists for promoting WanderKlang, refraining from extensive advertising. Those interested in staying updated can reach out to me directly or keep an eye on our sporadic posts on our Instagram. This grassroots approach allows us to maintain the intimate, idealistic nature of the WanderKlang experiences.

What are the most important aspects of WanderKlang and what would you like the participants to get out of it?

WanderKlang stems from a deep desire to return to the roots of musical inspiration: an undisturbed, natural setting. It encourages individuals to engage in a kind of musical introspection, akin to a contemplative pilgrimage.

Set in the Malerweg in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, a place rich with romance and a deep connection to nature, it has been a source of inspiration for poets and painters for centuries. This September, we turned our dream into reality, inviting artists like Carmen Villain, Gigi Masin, and Cass to enhance one of the most beautiful stages of the Malerweg with atmospheric ambient music. The sound compositions, broadcast through discreetly placed speakers, harmoniously interwove with the surroundings, encouraging a leisurely musical hike without a set destination or sense of time. This created a gentle soundscape spanning over 2 square kilometers, allowing visitors to enjoy live performances in harmony with the natural setting.

WanderKlang music festival, Germany

(Photo: WanderKlang, 2023)

What are your future plans for WanderKlang?

After hosting approximately 400 sound pilgrims this time, we are planning WanderKlang II as an intimate sound experience beneath the northern lights in Iceland this January. Next May, we aim to bring WanderKlang III to life in the magical forests of Yakushima Island in Japan. To find hideaways and unique locations, we are once again turning to your books for guidance.

See the WanderKlang video on Vimeo here and on Instagram

 

Explore the world one step at a time. Wanderlust presents legendary walking routes with inviting maps, practical tips, and inspiring landscape photographs. Order 'Wanderlust' now.


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