It’s been a trying time for musicians, but one thing is for sure, Switzerland, with its wealth of concert halls, festivals, residencies, and finely curated studio spaces, remains as much ever an energetic hub for classical, jazz, and many other musical genres.
As a Viennese company we at Music Traveler currently are experiencing a slew of mixed feelings about Switzerland: On the one hand, Switzerland’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that both Zurich and Geneva have surpassed Vienna, Austria in the 2021 quality of life Index. On the other hand, we are grateful that key Music Traveler partners like Notenloft Zurich have been able to host musicians through Music Traveler throughout the many months when the rest of Europe was experiencing hard lockdowns!
We recently caught up with Cosima Bigger, who alongside Brigitte Nanz, manages the exquisite Notenloft studio space. We talked about the history and vision of their studio space and learned that it is built on a concept, that is also at the core of Music Traveler’s mission, namely that playing music at home can be restrictive, but when the right people come together to share spaces there's room for musicians to excel at their craft!
Tell us a bit about the history of your space.
Space is expensive in Zurich, and as such, it is hard for musicians to perform at home and for amateur and professional alike to give or receive lessons. We wanted to create a space that offers the flexibility for anyone to make music when they need or want to. That means people who want to schedule a regular time to rehearse, people who want to rehearse one hour at a time in a flexible manner and people on the move who happen to be in Zurich.
So it sounds like Notenloft is truly needed in a city like Zurich where space is hard to come by!
Indeed. We know too many musicians who have to compromise by rehearsing in a dark cellar without daylight, for example, and as such wanted to offer an alternative experience. It was important that we create a space that offers something a little special for musicians rehearsing outside of their homes.
Besides a pleasant place to make music, what else draws people to Notenloft?
Definitely the social element musicians enjoy at Notenloft! People can interact with each other, host workshops, also for young musicians, and another unique point is that we always have a contact person on site. That means the experience is more personal and musicians can come in and ask questions if they need something.
As one of our key partners, what do you personally find exciting about Music Traveler?
I find Music Traveler’s presentation of the rooms to be a huge advantage.
Before we started with the idea for Notenloft, we spent a lot of time looking for what’s here in Zurich. You have to search a lot and look everywhere and still, it’s difficult to understand what the different available spaces are about and truly offer. Music Traveler gives that information without the struggle, whether you’re in a city you already know or in a new city.
Where do you see the future of music?
You can start with the question ‘what is music’? Already to define music is quite difficult. But what’s sure is that it will move on as it has for the last 50,000 years. It will change, but it will always be an important part of life because it moves people.
What’s great about Zurich as a city for music?
It’s an interesting city with lots of possibilities for bigger concert halls like Tonhalle and the Opera House but also newer event halls like Hallenstadion or Halle 622. It’s especially nice to enjoy the city during the summer when there are a lot of musicians congregating along the lake and before Christmas when many concerts are organized. And of course, there are many places with small concerts, search a bit and you will find little bars you didn’t know existed and find many charming and things you didn’t expect!