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Róbert Erdész

 

From:  "Andrew J. Rózsa" <rozsa@pobox.com>

Date:  Sat Mar 23, 2002  8:00 pm

Subject:  Re: [e-Prog] Erdesz Robert

Róbert Erdész: "Meeting Point." - Solaris Music Productions 2000 robi@solarismusic.com

 

http://www.e-prog.net/bands/erdesz.htm

 

My only disappointment is that I expected that Erdész Robi would produce a mainly keyboard-based album. I thought he would make such an album, since he IS the keyboard player for Solaris. Perhaps, my expectation was also swayed by having listened recently to a series of keyboard albums by Vedres Csaba. What we got, instead, is a cultural voyage trough the musical influences on the music of Hungary, put to a modernly-instrumented and executed studio album. This is a glossy, clean, and crisp production; make no mistake about it.

 

Some of the music I would normally consider "light-weight," bordering on pop, but the quality is superb and the thematic roots are substantial. I don't mind admitting that, at times, I got goose pimples listening to this album. After having been gone from Hungary nearly 40 years , it seems that my roots still tug at the strings of my heart.

The style of play varies from what sounds like improvisational jazz to me, to an emphatic and unmistakable flute by Attila Kollar. We hear Robi's synths, averbal vocalizations, and Márta Sebestyén (of "The English Patient" renown, but to me is better known as the principal on Deep Forest's "Boheme" and also the singer of many Transylvanian folk music albums with the Muzsikás ensemble). I bet some of you will think that you are hearing Native American's themes, a la Sacred Spirit (who are British, BTW). Other influences and/or themes include Gregorian chants (Hungary was/is mostly Catholic), Yiddish/Kletzmer traditional music (before the Holocaust there was a huge Jewish population), oriental (the Turks occupied the country for almost 150 years, 1543-1688), gypsy (who came form India), Slavic (the old Austro-Hungarian Empire included parts of Slovenia, Slovakia, and parts of what now are Yugoslavia and Serbia), Germanic (Burgenland in Austria still has a majority of Hungarians as its main population). All part of the music of the country. For instance, on track 4 ("Gregorian") the tonality is almost oriental and sometimes medieval, but the beat is typical csárdás, the Hungarian national dance.

 

Some of you may not like this album. I do. I love the driving rhythms, the folk themes, the clean sound, and some of the unusual musical expressions. OTOH, I have a good World music collection because I do like it a lot -- not all, tho'....for instance, Wakeman can take his "African Bach" album and stick it where the sun don't shine, as far as I am concerned.

 

All in all, I found "Meeting Point" much to my liking and will listen to it again, although I still prefer to dance to East Coast Swing. ;-) If you want to be taken for a whirlwind of World music, all part of a small (population less than 10 million) Central European country's heritage, this is definitely the ticket.

 

Track List:

01. Mitocondrial Eve 3:53

02. Barbaro 4:36

03. Shaman-Celebration 5:02

04. Gregorian 4:36

05. Ritual Song 4:32

06. Phantom Dance 2:57

07. Our Times 3:40

08. Israel 5:11

09. Virtual Days 3:03

10. Liliana 4:15

11. Present Song 3:58

 

Total Playtime: 45:47

 

 

Contributors:

Marta Sebestyen - vocals, pipes;

Zsuzsa Ullmann - vocals;

Ildiko Keresztes - vocals;

Emil Toth - vocals;

Gyorgy Demeter - vocals;

Gusztav Bodi Varga - vocals, "bass humming," cup;

Attila Kollar - flute, pipe, 7-hole flute, tambourine, vocals;

Janos Varga - guitar;

Peter Gerendas - acoustic guitar;

Ferenc Muck - saxophone;

Laszlo Gomor - drums;

Aron Eredics - tambura;

Mihaly Borbely - taragoto (oboe-like shawn);

"Batyu" (Muzsikas) - violoncello (used as percussion), csugato;

Tamas Erdesz - doromb (mouth harp);

Robert Erdesz - synthesizers, composer, computer programming.


 
 
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