Switzerland alpenhorn festival

Each July, the mountain village of Haute-Nendaz in Switzerland's canton of Valais hosts the Alpenhorn Festival, drawing hundreds of musicians who gather along the shores of an Alpine lake 2,200 meters (7'220 feet) above sea level. This year's edition drew a record 245 alpenhorn players, according to the organizers, who performed as an ensemble on the final day of the three-day event.

While the exact origins of this conical instrument hewn from a solid block of wood are unknown, the alpenhorn has long formed an essential part of Swiss identity. The soothing harmonics produced by the alpenhorn are a regular feature for hikers in the snow-capped mountains of this landlocked nation. Much of the musical repertoire reflects its pastoral origins, with tunes such as the "ranz des vaches" - or walk of the cows.

Below is a gallery featuring the work of David Azia's documentation of the Alpenhorn Festival in Switzerland.

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