Bands in the classic sense now have become a minority. As long as a musician could play in the same band, nowadays it is not working because of the various demands coming from the audience and musicians, so the musician is in need to perform in several lineups. I am part of several groups, orchestras and projects at this moment, but I can mostly express my own music ideas with Kalász Band, and I do not think of this team as a project. The most important goal was to formulate and express this idea. Currently, I can do this with people in this orchestra, not only professionally, but also humanly and spiritually.
The band was formed in January 2017. It was Attila Halmos who came up with the idea to establish my own band. Practising to our first recording named ’Dúzs 2017’ was the first project of the band. About this period it can be said that we went against the current standards. We tried to approach music from different viewpoint. We have put the rawness, movement, strong dynamics and freedom of music to the fore – if we serve folkmusic as a gnawed bone we deceive the folkmusic itself -, we started on this road and we want to go this way, too. We want to exploit the depth of this miracle tapping ourselves as it is not ethical to copy the musicians’ moments and feelings one to one.
I was born 1st June 1989 in Budapest. I lived in Óbuda till my mid-twenties, our home was only about 10 minutes walk from the building of Óbuda Folkmusic School. My brother was the first in the family who started playing folkmusic in this school. I didn’t have any instruments in my hand but thanks to my brother we listened to music from Palatka and Szék at home so it was only a matter of time when folkmusic would be the part of my life.
I started to play the violin at the age of 9 at Sándor Csoóri Jr. who is my first mentor. As a child I loved listening to music more than playing the violin. I listened to many kinds of music (rock, beat, folk, pop, rap) at that time, during the high school period my own music language was formed which still exist in my style. So I am not only inspired by folk music but the music I play can be only this. My idols were: Téka, Muzsikás, Tükrös, Icsán’s band from Szék and Kodoba’s band from Palatka.
I followed Sándor Csoóri Jr. to Üröm as well, but unfortunately for bureaucratic reason he was not allowed to continue teaching in an instituion from 2002. At this point I felt first time that I couldn’t draft then: a lot of harmful external factors can enter folk music because of the 21th century institutionalization and bureaucracy; the essence of music becomes a minority and because of the regulations and complying the curriculum the freedom of music, that I liked the most, is sterilized and lost.
Tamás Gombai became my tutor in Üröm who was able to give me impetus to continue music in my rebellious adolescent stage. During high school folk music became the part of my life really, I have my most memorable experience from these years. I didn’t go to a conservatory, I was a student at an average secondary school in Óbuda, which I don’t mind because I think a musician needs as much knowledge as possible that cannot be provided in a conservatory.
I met my other tutor, Attila Halmos in 2004. I think beside Sándor Csoóri Jr. he is my other most important teacher, I have learnt and still learn a lot from him, not only in music but in other areas of life as well.
After graduation in 2008, I continued my studies at ELTE Mathematics faculty but after the first semester I realised that folk music is the only way in my life. I knew that it would be hard – that is why I tried other field -, but then I had a go what fate assigned to me. In 2010 I was admitted to Liszt Ferenc Music Academy folkmusic faculty. Here I met a world that is totally different from my notion, my thoughts about folk music. I have learnt a lot during this period and a lot of things are built into my music from these years but the most important experience is that I have to bring off my idea, my own concept about folk music. I am lucky because I found partners and friends so now I feel the first time that I found my place because I do what I love the most with the people I like.
In 2012 I was admitted to the rightly acknowledged Téka Band which was the greatest honour in my life. I know that the 80s and 90s were Téka’s heyday I am filled with great happiness that I could be a part of its late period. I could play with such idols like György Lányi, Pál Havasréti and András Soós.
I have been living in Pázmánd since 2013 with my wife and two little daughters who are always by my side so I can do in full swing what I love the most beside them: MUSIC.
I was born in 1985. At a relatively early age, when I was five, my interest in music became clear: I was constantly pounding the piano. My mother called a piano teacher from Pécel Music School to teach me as I was not allowed to go to music school officially because of my age. A year later I continued the piano lessons in the music school besides with the solfege lessons that was a nuisance for me then.
At the age of 8 urged by my brother, Gábor, and my parents I joined Cimbora Folkmusic Group where I learnt folk flute and zither from László Kovács. I went to both schools for a long time.
Much later, when I was 16, my brother, Gábor encouraged me to buy my first viola. Gábor learnt violin at Chopin Music School in Gödöllő and he needed a violist. The task was given, we had to find a good teacher to lead us in the right direction: Zoltán Dulai was the right choice. After this, like in case of Máté, I spent the next years in Óbuda Music School. At the age of 18 András Túri taught me play the viola for 2 years.
Then I spent a short period in an economic college where I needed a semester to admit that the only thing I want is to play music. After I had myself fired from this stifling economic environment, I started preparing for the entrance exam in folk music. In 2005 I was admitted to music-folk music faculty in Nyíregyháza College. At that time only this college had higher education in folk music. My teachers were Tamás Kunos, Ottó Rőmer, Gyula Rácz, Erika Juhász and Mária Ördög, but beyond the fact that I owe them eternal gratitude, I couldn’t have developed without my colleagues with whom I went to the pub every night to play music and learnt the latest folk tricks from each other.
I thank a lot to Bürkös Band, especially their violist, László Palazsnik but without my friend, Gergely Kerékgyártó I would not have been able to improve that much I wanted; as roommates we could share ideas every day about the chords, bows and moods. In this period we have established Bivaly Band with my friends Zoltán Samu, Szilveszter Schafer and Máté Danhauser which is definitely an eternal memory and experience for all of us.
After finishing the college I realised that music of Mezőség is the closest to me. This recognition led me to meet and become a friend of Máté and play music together. We have a lot of opportunity to develop: we organised a so-called training camp with the help of Gergely Koncz (fiddler of Tükrös Band), and we still go on gathering tour to Erdély at least once a year.
I was born in 1969. I established Tükrös Band in 1986. I started teaching in Párkány in 1996 and we are working on our second recording (25 April 2018). I met Máté in 2004 and it revealed immediately that we have the same ideas about music. It was a great thing when he became the member of Téka Band. When he decided to establish his own band and asked me to be the part of it I was very happy. I hope there will be lots of concerts and records we will work on.
I was born in Gyula in 26 March 1957 in Békés county.
At the end of my story I would like to draw a playful but serious parallels in connection with our musical mother tongue.
But before this, a short addition:
I started my studies in Gyoma where I met folklore in Körösmente Folkdance Ensemble with the lead of Albert Nagy. In 1971 I was admitted to the Ballet Institute’s first folk dance class. My masters were Sándor Tímár and Katalin Györgyfalvai.
My attraction to folk music had become very clear at that time because I missed my ballet classes because I was listening to the „Lajtha Collection” from 1941 obliviously in the other classroom. I was a professional dancer for 10 years then I finally quit my folkdancer career.
In the middle of the 70s I had performances with Muzsikás Band as a dancer but sometimes I played music with them, too. I also played music with the “Little Orchestra” of the State Folk Ensemble, Csaba Ökrös, Levente Székely, István Adorján and Géza Pénzes. My first band was called Újstílus and in 1982 we received the Junior Master of Folk Art award (Members: Csaba Ökrös, István Adorján, Géza Pénzes. Later the singer András Berecz joined us.) Many of us had met each other in the dancehouse „revival” movement started in 1972.
During my Ballet Institute period I met Zoltán Kallós folkmusic researcher who became my consultant and leader during my tours in Transylvania which still lasts for more than 40 years now.
A short quote from Zoltán Kallós: „We are Hungarians until we sing and dance in Hungarian!”
I am so happy that more generation can play music in Kalász Band because it means we speak the same language.
Hangvető Musical Association has already published 11 records from my Transylvanian collection. I still play music, teach with Márta Virágvölgyi who is the creator of Folkmusic Booklets.
I have five children and till now two grandchildren. Among them Zsuzsi, Márton and Bori chose folkmusic as a profession, Barnus and Regi are pupils, my grandchildren, Emma and Zille are little children but very enthusiastic.
Now I would like to return to the serious but playful parallel I mentioned before:
My eldest daughter and her husband gave me a DNA test as a birthday present.
That’s how I became Hungarian and maybe our beloved folkmusic has changed over the last millennia this way, too.
Finally a short quote:
William Shakespeare: Power of Music (Merchant of Venice, quote)
I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze
By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
I was born in 1976 in Tiszafüred. At school I learnt zither till in the summer of 1991 I heard authentic string instruments in a camp and since then I have been playing the double bass.
In the local music school there already had been folkmusic faculty with the lead of Ottó Rőmer, he started teaching me, I got the first guidelines from him. Later I continued my studies at Albert Mohácsy.
After finishing the music-folk music faculty of Nyíregyháza Teacher Training College I started working at Folklore Documentation Center of Hagyományok Háza and I am still working here at the Archive department.
Beside authentic folkmusic I play the double bass in worldmusic bands with Ágnes Herczku and Nikola Parov.
Contributors: Dániel Szabó – dulcimer, Szabolcs Róka – kobza (lute)