As an incurable Punktoholic (term coined by Dave), I take things a step further and never research Punkt artists that are unfamiliar. This means that I enter any concerts, happenings and venues with artists unknown to me with a tabula rasa. The effect of doing this means that I can either be pleasantly surprised or exquisitely surprised. This is, of course, a truth with some modification, but when the latter happens, I call it instant fanification (which is never good for the wallet).
Band names. Artist names. Names of ensembles. These are not always an indication of what to expect - some are faithfully linked to their performances, in style or substance - some names are just silly (and probably made up while drunk).
Tenor sax, trumpet and 2x strings. I thought that this could only be good. And 20 seconds into the first act - Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore! The energy and the interplay was beyond what the two ensemble's names indicated. I mean, Sheriffs of Nothingness does have a submissive ring to it. In my opinion they should rename themselves to Sheriffs of Greatness. Streifenjunko - sound a bit German, maybe a bit on the boring side. However - given the 45 minutes they performed with the Sheriffs, all I can say is that is was 45 minutes too short.
How elastic can improvisations with a tenor sax, one trumpet, viola and violin become? This performance did give us elasticity within whatever borders the quartet agreed upon in advance. However, given how accomplished their sound was, I tend do believe that they did not have to agree upon any borders. Their interactions between each other - playing off each other - influencing launchings and landings were just perfect, and made them a great choice as Punkt 2014's second act.
I have no use for musical labels. To me music has tone colour, beats, smoothness, temperature, energy, and so on. What I did notice is how the four did enable the creation of a sonorous wall of happy energetic sound without any ear-splitting solo masturbating shrieks one could expect from any of these instruments being present. Doing improvisation without going all the way to screeching saxes and violins is a testament to their craftmanship. There are more than enough examples in modern music where saxophone + violin equals 24 screaming cats, facing a horde of mastiffs on speed, with their back to the 300 meter high Cliffs of Insanity.
Back to the band name Sheriffs of Nothingness. Maybe the Nothingness part is due their ability to play along with the other kids rather than contrasting their peers - quite Zen.
I have no idea how much the two bands have performed together prior to their Punkt performance - but they should do it again, and if they do record an album, I'll be the first in queue to part with my money.