Edith Lettner is an Austrian born musician and composer with a passion for improvised music. Edith plays alto and soprano sax, and duduk, and in her two musical homes, Vienna and New York, she has partnered with instrumentalists, singers, electronic musicians, poets and dancers to communicate via improvisation.
Her unique sound and polychromatic talent have been shaped by her openness to various genres and extensive travels. No stranger to formal western musical training, Edith prefers to learn from working with musicians from all over the world – focusing on African, Middle Eastern, Armenian and Kurdish. New York, with its experimental music, bebop and straight-ahead jazz scenes, is a constant source of inspiration for her. So is nature, and “joining in with its big orchestra”.
Improvisation seems to be written into her DNA; it drives her music, her art work – Edith is also an avid painter – and along with her relentless pursuit of excellence in all things, it defines how she lives her life. “For me improvisation is ideally like an intense communication expressing a variety of moods and energies.” Her playing flows from persisting variations of small motifs to abstract hymn like melodies and rhythmic patterns and percussive accents, which force her own body to move to it. While space in music is very important to her, the dynamic spectrum of her playing ranges from almost inaudible sighs to aggressive attacks.
Edith remains an integral part of the Austrian scene for jazz, improvised music and world music. Her latest CD with her Austrian jazz quartet FREEMOTION gained international acclaim. (see link below)