South of No North


CD 2003 Leo Records CD LR 361

1. South Of No North 7’10”
2. Beuys
3. 17 6’57”
4. Like Kaylash 5’23”
5. Edmond & Valdrim 4’21”
6. The Poppy One 6’47”
7. J.A.S. 5’17”
8. Gilt Edge 4’50”
9. Space 5’34”
10. On The Sly 4’42”

Total duration: 55’28”

MPEG video track for PC and MAC: 
The Old House 

South Of No North – mp3 extract 1’55”

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Music played by the Gordian Knot Company: Ernst Hirschberg – keyboards, samplers; Ildi Fodor – female voice, violin (9); Laca Kéringer – voice, violin (10); Mihály Huszár – acoustic and electric bass; Kinga Székely – prepared piano; Tibor Szemző – voice, 8mm-phone, flutes; Alois Samson – reeds, sax; Éva Posvanecz – viola, violin, voice; Péter Magyar Összekötő – drums, percussion
The voices of children and adults – Kosovo 2000all music composed by Tibor Szemző c&p BIEM/Artisjus 2001/2003music recorded and mixed at ZAK Studio and Pódium Studio, Budapest, HSB Studio, Dunakeszi from October 2-16, 2000 by Zoltán Regenye
mastered at Gayan Utteyak Mandal, Nagykovácsi from October 30-31 and November 1, 2002 by László HortobágyiProducer: Attila Bognár
Executive Producer: Leo Feigin
Graphic design: Dezső Kiss

Once, dropping into the Mirage sound studio, I was met with an unforgettable image: on the far side of the studio, in the acoustic aquarium beyond the glass wall, Szemző was just pressing a palm-sized pocket-radio to his ear, twisting its tuner: he searched about in the ethereal chaos with rapt attention. From time to time, chancing upon a suitable station, he desisted with this, and he slowly waved the device a few times before the microphone. Following the consummation of the appropriate movements, he once again pressed the sound source to his ear and continued his search. Music was just being made. The work, of course, was not exhausted with this operation; alongside played his earlier recorded “pure” musical measures, and the ambient, swirling overtones were placed onto this, portioned out painstakingly.

This image offers an inside view, not only into the region of sources of Szemző’s compositions, but faithfully shows his artistic approach, as well, which reacts to the sounds and traditions of the environment, the “backdrop” in the broadest sense of the word. At the same time, he does not allow for contextual pressure; he does not submit himself to the requirements of the medium, the genre; he lives freely with them and creatively adapts them as the threads of his own hand-woven soundscapes.
This gesture of selection and hybridisation involves concrete sounds, ambient noises and textual fragments, as well as the diverse musical traditions and spiritual influences apparent in his works. The proportion of intended and incidental elements in his pieces is indebted exactly to this, in just the same way as the evolution of the relationship between the author’s intention and the performer’s freedom. The situations developed and the instructions given to the musicians during recording aspire toward the elimination of conventions established in the various musical spheres of pop and high culture. Thus the performers, rather than pursuing the well-trodden course, are encouraged to seek uncommon solutions – and upon hearing the results, it would appear that they have seized these opportunities. They sound voices of never existing tonal universes, or sometimes, by way of the silences setting in, they conjure up vistas reaching into infinity, which nevertheless feel familiar. Timbres and nuances, common and personal images of the recent past oscillate in the captivating chain of their tonal colours. In an incredible density, the yesterdays saturated with suffering and bliss, rippled with pain, dissolve over them.