Lockdown Music Stories: Örs Siklósi AWS Interview

Örs Siklósi AWS interview

“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said German culture minister Monika Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable but also vital, especially now”.

These lines, coming from the German government in March 2020, confirm my thoughts about the role of artists, especially now. This is why I was asking Örs Siklósi, singer of AWS a few questions about the current situation. I was curious about how he was doing, what he was thinking, under lockdown?

If you haven't already, sign up to the Budapest Weekly Newsletter to get updates about Budapest stories, such as this Örs Siklósi AWS interview.

Örs Siklósi AWS

Örs Siklósi AWS

Örs Siklósi AWS interview

- How can musicians in Budapest now help society? How can bands, with their creative courage, point to a better future?

- An interesting issue is a relationship between the band and its audience. On the one hand, the band draws strength from the people at their concert, and on the other hand, the musician writes his songs to get to someone and make him think. The same is true now, only in a slightly different way: the group keeps the soul in the audience with their songs and live streams, and fans encourage the musician in “remote mode” that they need what he’s doing. It was an awfully good feeling to see that, without party politics, everyone was unanimous in encouraging their fans to take the current situation seriously, to take care of themselves and their environment. There wasn’t a band I didn’t see that from, everyone was fighting in one direction. I have never seen an example of this in my life so far. 🙂

- Do you get any extra inspiration from such a historic situation? Do you feel more motivated now? Does isolation change much in artistic work?

- For me, making music has always been about writing out my problems. As a result of the pandemic, I finally have problems again! Luckily, the music helps me not to drain the tension in my environment. Since we are writing a new record, volunteer quarantine came at a good time in this regard.

Örs Siklósi AWS

Örs Siklósi AWS

- How do you intend to (re)connect with your audience in these circumstances? What new tools and platforms you would think are going to help to achieve this?

- I’ve already given three live gigs on Facebook, in which I made three different shows. It was a great feeling to see the number of audiences grow. Also, we have already organized podcast-like conversations with other musicians in which we speculated on the current situation and possible scenarios. We are planning a lot more like this.

AWS - Fekete részem (Park Live)

Örs Siklósi AWS

Örs Siklósi AWS

- What you would think the single biggest change is going to be in the world of music in Budapest once this crisis ends?

- For a long time, nothing will be the same for sure. There are a lot of gigs left that everyone wants to make up for - because, without them, every band would be ruined. However, if everyone wants to make up for missed shows at the same time, there will be a disappointment. For a positive outcome to a blow to music life, a huge cohesiveness will be needed, and everyone will have to consider the other’s interests as well. I am confident that we can turn this to our advantage to bring us together even better.

- Is there any “Lockdown” piece of music produced recently that you can share with the readers?

- An entire record is being made just behind the scenes! 🙂

- Is there any way for music lovers to support your work, and how?

- This is a difficult question, and we are thinking about it a lot right now. Everyone’s living conditions have changed, so we don’t feel right to ask anyone for money. However, the complete cessation of music life is a huge problem for any band. If fans order a couple of T-shirts from the band's webshop though, they can help a lot. We haven’t tried community funding sites yet, as we have reserves for now.


AWS

AWS is a five-piece band from the Hungarian capital Budapest, playing modern metal. The core members of AWS started on their musical journey as teenagers in 2006. With fourteen years of intense touring in Hungary and abroad, four LPs, and numerous music videos, they grew to be one of the most sought-after live bands of the Hungarian metal scene. Currently they are working on their new upcoming album, out in autumn 2020.

Listen to AWS:

Facebook
Youtube
Website
Spotify


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Lockdown Music Stories: Veronika Harcsa Interview

Veronika Harcsa interview

“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said German culture minister Monika Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable but also vital, especially now”.

These lines, coming from the German government in March 2020, confirm my thoughts about the role of artists, especially now. This is why I was asking Veronika Harcsa, jazz singer and songwriter a few questions about the current situation. I was curious about how she was doing, what she was thinking, under lockdown?

If you haven't already, sign up to the Budapest Weekly Newsletter to get updates about Budapest stories, such as this Veronika Harcsa interview.

Jazz singer Veronika Harcsa

Veronika Harcsa

Veronika Harcsa interview

- How can musicians in Budapest now help society? How can bands, with their creative courage, point to a better future?

- 'Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable' - that's a quote by Cesar A. Cruz, the Mexican poet. Nobody is comfortable today, we are all disturbed, and we all have anxiety. Music is a marvelous tool to soothe our minds, therefore musicians have a responsibility in times like these. Even though most artists are currently facing a series of event cancellations, it's uplifting to see the multitude of home recordings and live music streams aiming to cheer up the lockdown crowd. It gives me a strong feeling of solidarity, collaboration, and hope.

- Do you get any extra inspiration from such a historic situation? Do you feel more motivated now? Does isolation change much in artistic work?

- I would love to say that this unique situation inspires me, but so far it hasn't really been the case. On a conscious level I know that this is a great opportunity to dig deep into songwriting, but the daily cancellation of concerts and studio sessions, as well as not knowing the date when things will get back on track is a very demotivating cocktail. Due to the lockdown I cannot meet my colleagues, and jazz is a genre where tight rhythm is fundamental, so online rehearsing is not an option, technology is simply not there yet since there's a slight audio delay on every online meeting platform. But I hate to sound so desperate, I did find things to work on, and I do learn to appreciate the circumstances that once seemed self-evident.

Veronika Harcsa and Balint Gyemant

Veronika Harcsa and Balint Gyemant

- How do you intend to (re)connect with your audience in these circumstances? What new tools and platforms you would think are going to help to achieve this?

- I believe that stories are what interest people, and we are sharing a very strong story now, affecting every one of us. I see the lockdown as a chance to connect with my audience through our shared story, and if this creates a stronger community, they will open up more to my music later on. Three weeks ago I took the positive quarantine challenge, meaning that I have to post daily about the positive aspects of living in lockdown. It's often music or art-related, but I also share whatever comes to mind to keep my spirits high, the energy I get from doing sports, the beauties of spring, or eventually the joy of raising my wild sourdough. I share more of my daily life than I normally would, not because I intend to become a celebrity, but because I believe that this connection is what we all need now. Then it will transform itself into a musical connection.

Veronika Harcsa - Bálint Gyémánt: Saying No

Veronika Harcsa Budapest

Veronika Harcsa

- What you would think the single biggest change is going to be in the world of music in Budapest once this crisis ends?

- There will be less mobility, fewer bands from abroad. It might even do good to the local scene in the long run, for those who survive the crisis.

- Is there any “Lockdown” piece of music produced recently that you can share with the readers?

- My poet friend János Lackfi called me the other day to say that he had re-written Leonard Cohen's classic into a Quarantine-Hallelujah, asking me to sing it. In the recording I sit on our living room floor, as my hobby guitarist husband accompanies me. The song became very popular, reaching several hundred thousand people in a few days: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=238705737284328

- Is there any way for music lovers to support your work, and how?

- If they listen to my songs and subscribe to my channels, that's strong support. They can leave a comment, that's always encouraging. If they come to our concert once things get back to normal, that will be the real connection.

Listen to Veronika Harcsa:

Facebook
Youtube
Bandcamp
Spotify


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Lockdown Stories: 11 Music Video Premieres From Budapest

Music video premieres Budapest, April 2020

Listen to the very first lockdown pieces of music ever from Budapest. Hungarian bands under lockdown share their feelings through their music. Listen to VENI, Kiscsillag, Margaret Island, OHNODY, Hiperkarma, Brains, Aurora, The Carbonfools, IALAZ, Mangani 808, and Saya Noé.

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(Cover photo courtesy OHNODY)

Music video premieres Budapest April 2020

VENI: Journey - Live

Premiered: 27 March 2020
Read our interview with VENI.
www.veni.hu


Kiscsillag: Nem szégyellem // karanténklip

Premiered: 3 April 2020
Facebook Page


Margaret Island - Valahol (Hivatalos videoklip)

Premiered: 5 April 2020
Facebook Page


Brains - Quarantine Heroes (Home Video)

Premiered: 7 April 2020
Facebook Page


Saya Noé - Thunder (Official Music Video)

Premiered: 28 March 2020
Facebook Page


hiperkarma – a kincsem meg én (official lyric video)

Premiered: 31 March 2020
Facebook Page


Aurora - Az élet zsoldosa 2020 (Akusztikus)

Premiered: 27 March 2020
Facebook Page


THE CARBONFOOLS – Sunburned | Official Music Video

Premiered: 1 April 2020
Facebook Page


Mangani 808 - Hős utca

Premiered: 6 April 2020
Facebook Page


IALAZ - Flying to the Sun (Official Music Video)

Premiered: 6 April 2020
Facebook Page


Ohnody - Dunának - Official Music Video

Premiered: 31 March 2020
Facebook Page



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Lockdown Music Stories: VENI

VENI Veronika Szász, István Bata interview

“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said German culture minister Monika Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable but also vital, especially now”.

These lines, coming from the German government in March 2020, confirm my thoughts about the role of artists, especially now. This is why I was asking Veronika Szász and István Bata from VENI a few questions about the current situation. I was curious about how they are doing, what they are thinking, under lockdown?

If you haven't already, sign up to the Budapest Weekly Newsletter to get updates about Budapest stories!

VENI Veronika Szász

VENI

- How can musicians in Budapest now help society? How can bands, with their creative courage, point to a better future?

- Veronika Szász: It is up to the artists to be creative and to create works that invite others to interact. Throughout history, many creative artists have worked all their lives without being appreciated by the audience. Many died poor and lonely, without any fame. Yet they did what they had to do because the real artist always wants to create. This is still the same, even though we have many doubts and fears.

- Do you get any extra inspiration from such a historic situation? Do you guys feel more motivated now? Does isolation change much in artistic work?

- Veronika Szász: I grew up in a poor and humble family, never travelled much, went to a restaurant, did wellness, etc. My everyday life was spent with creation, in which I lived out my unrealistic desires. So for me, this is like what I have practiced for 31 years. What's interesting is that now other people are being forced into my lifestyle too, so maybe they will have a greater hunger for art. Not only do hard times create new and more open recipients, but maybe a lot of people do start now to draw, sing, or play their dusty flute. And this is something that will make the world more beautiful.

- István Bata: Creative work is usually a lonely activity, and this situation now may even be beneficial in that one is less distracted during a creative process. In the life of our band, creative background work has always been time-consuming, and there is more time now. Instead of continuous spinning, calm attention and thoroughness took over. Of course, this should not necessarily accompany a pandemic, so the smartest thing to do now is focusing on what long-forgotten truths teach us.

VENI Veronika Szász

VENI

- How do you intend to (re)connect with your audience in these circumstances? What new tools and platforms you would think are going to help to achieve this?

- Veronika Szász: Fortunately, our audience follows us, listens to what we have to say, and does not shy away from giving us feedback. It might as well happen that there will be new followers too, for which we would be very grateful. But the magic of live contact and live music cannot be replaced in any way. What's more, our music comes to life when performing live, to interpret our songs in an improvisational way in interaction with the audience, when both of us have a distinct strength in pure, virtuoso and suggestive live play.

- István Bata: When thinking of performing arts, it is an important thing to experience performances in the present. Although these can now be done virtually in an alternative way, the digital space is not in any way a substitute for a personal presence. It lacks the power of the occasional nature of a performance. Therefore, I think that in this inward-looking period, everyone should put their sensitivity to the world on a new base, so the concert experience can be re-evaluated, among many other things.

VENI Veronika Szász István Bata

VENI Veronika Szász

VENI

- What you would think the single biggest change is going to be in the world of music in Budapest once this crisis ends?

- István Bata:  If the economy suffers from global emergency stoppages (which, let's face it, there is a good chance for), then there will also be fewer financial resources for art. If this happens, it will affect the livelihoods of musicians and other artists as well, but prosperity has never favoured creativity. So instead of having bread, we might get inspiration as a result of the difficulty of recovering. Creativity is always most needed where a situation needs to be resolved.

- Is there any “Lockdown” piece of music produced recently that you can share with the readers?

- Veronika Szász: We have been in quarantine for a couple of weeks only, and certainly, we have new music since, but it takes longer for us to polish songs before we play them. Neither the current situation can discourage us from producing the quality that people have come to expect from us. However, there is a way we can give, which we think is very important, so we keep making recordings that we can share with our audience.

- Is there any way for music lovers to support your work, and how?

- István Bata: The main income of bands is the honour of concert performance, followed by the sale of recordings, most of which nowadays also take place after the concerts. Because these are now impossible, people can only support performers by buying their music on Spotify and other platforms, watching their videos on Youtube, and giving feedback on social platforms. One important thing we keep trying to keep in mind is that an artist should be represented in the cyberspace by his or her works, not by the private life of an individual who has been captured at home.

VENI Veronika Szász

VENI

Veronika Szász, author, singer, fine artist and István Bata multi-instrumentalist musician started working together in spring 2016. The album, under the title Unfold, was released in the winter of 2018, by Gábor Deutsch (Anorganik). The songs premiered in the spring of 2019 at the Knight's Hall of St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest. This is a conceptually composed, mostly 75-minute long improvisational program of electronic music. The material is a conversation of vocals and instrumental play in an artificial music sphere.

VENI Youtube
VENI Spotify
VENI Website
VENI Bandcamp


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6 Music Venues Streaming Concerts In Budapest

Online stream music Budapest

Venues in Budapest are doing their best to keep us listening to music.  Although they must be closed during the state of emergency due to Corona-Virus,  many of them work hard to stream as many acts as possible. I have created a list with their YouTube channels and other online sites.

And if you haven't already, sign up to our newsletter to get Budapest updates!

(Cover photo courtesy Oscar Keys)

Online stream music Budapest

A38 Ship Channels

While live music has a rest, A38 Ship offers some live concert footage to watch. Find hundreds of them on their YouTube channels, satisfying many genres. Pop, indie, electronic: A38 Vibes. Rock, metal, hardcore: A38 Rocks. World music & folk: A38 World. Experimental & jazz: A38 Free.

VIEW CHANNEL (Vibes)


Szimpla Music

You can follow Szimpla's streamed live music events and archived materials. Concerts, live recordings, tunes, videos, Studio, Garden Hits and more.

VIEW CHANNEL


Müpa

Müpa has made their multimedia content freely accessible. The Müpa Digital Media Library opens for everyone to watch 80 HD concert shows online.

VIEW CHANNEL


Budapest Jazz club

Budapest Jazz Club will soon start streaming concerts behind closed doors on their Facebook page. They are also planning to upload them to their YouTube channel.

VIEW CHANNEL



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Budapest Festival Orchestra: Quarantine Soirées

Musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will hold Quarantine Evenings every day from March 16. This is to provide the audience with a musical experience even in the absence of major orchestral concerts. The online chamber concerts, broadcast from the band's rehearsal room, are recommended for those who want to fill the closed season with content and heart-warming tunes.

VIEW CHANNEL


BMC Music Information Center and Library

BMC's video archive spanning no less than 144 videos and 5 years is free to watch via their YouTube channel. Concerts, lectures and meetings from Guillaume de Machaut to Peter Eötvös.

VIEW CHANNEL

41 great music events in Budapest 9-15 March

List of music events in Budapest 9-15 March

Grab your calendars and start mapping out the live music that lies ahead. Here are some of the top concerts in Budapest for the upcoming week.


Jazz concerts in Budapest

  • Kati Bar - Monday, 9 March Learn more
  • Free Jam Session Nights: Lfze Monday Open Jam - Monday, 9 March Learn more

  • Mao – Legendary Albums | Johnny Griffin: A Blowin' Session (HU) - Tuesday, 10 March Learn more
  • Budateher Presents: Voice & Guitar - Micheller Myrtill & Pintér Tibor Duo - Tuesday, 10 March Learn more

  • Gereben Zita Quintet - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more
  • Daniel Zamir And Nitzan Bar (IL) - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more
  • Free Jam Session Nights: Wednesday Open Jam - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more

  • Loop Doctors - Thursday, 12 March Learn more
  • J(A)Zz! | Echo Boomer (AT) - Thursday, 12 March Learn more

  • Kaltenecker - Markó (HU) - Friday, 13 March Learn more
  • Harmony Jazz Workshop: Liane Carroll Trio (UK) - Friday, 13 March Learn more

  • Formatex Presents: Studio11 Ensemble Feat. Király Viktor - Saturday, 14 March Learn more
  • Veronika Harcsa – Anastasia Razvalyaeva – Márton Fenyvesi: Debussy Songs Reimagined (HU) - Saturday, 14 March Learn more

  • Budapest Jazz Orchestra Feat. Oláh Kálmán - Sunday, 15 March Learn more

Classical music events in Budapest

  • Cathedral Organ Concerts: J. S. Bach: Toccata And Fugue In D Minor Bwv. 565 - Monday, 9 March Learn more
  • Endre Hegedűs Orchestral Piano Recital - Monday, 9 March Learn more

  • Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Schumann: Paradise and the Peri, Op. 50 - Tuesday, 10 March Learn more

  • Maurizio Moretti (piano) - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more 

  • MÁV Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Op. 125 - Thursday, 12 March Learn more
  • Bach in solo: Barnabas Kelemen (violin) - Thursday, 12 March Learn more 

  • Danubia Orchestra Óbuda: Kurtág/Haydn/Dvořák - Friday, 13 March Learn more 
  • Umze Ensemble: Romantic Lectures - Friday, 13 March Learn more

  • Denis Bouriakov Live In Budapest - Saturday, 14 March Learn more 

Rock & Metal music events

  • Rings of Saturn - The Gidim European Tour 2020 - Monday, 9 March Learn more

  • Kvelertak (NO), Planet of Zeus (GR), Blood Command (NO) - Tuesday, 10 March Learn more

  • Kakkmaddafakka (NO), EGGE (NO) - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more
  • Bleib Modern I Kontravoid I Buzz Kull - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more
  • Ivan & the Parazol / guest: DeWolff (NL) - Wednesday, 11 March Learn more

  • Metallica Symphonic Tribute Show - Thursday, 12 March Learn more
  • Palaye Royale (US) - Thursday, 12 March Learn more

  • Car Bomb (US), Conjurer (UK), Frostbitt (NO) - Sunday, 15 March Learn more
  • Riverside - Sunday, 15 March Learn more

Pop, blues, funk, folk

  • Szimpla Lemming Program: ¡Nosnach (tango) - Tuesday, 10 March Learn more

  • Charlie (jazz, funk)- Thursday, 12 March Learn more
  • Ripoff Raskolnikov & Paul Batto (blues) - Thursday, 12 March Learn more

  • Tátrai Band (blues) - Friday, 13 March Learn more
  • Mojo & Tim Lothar (blues) - Friday, 13 March Learn more
  • Mystery Gang 22 (rockabilly) - Friday, 13 March Learn more 
  • Bëlga (hip-hop/r&b) - Thursday & Friday, 12-13 March Learn more

  • Zaporozsec (pop-rock) - Saturday, 14 March Learn more 
  • Republic (beat-rock) - Saturday, 14 March Learn more 

And if you haven't already, sign up to the Budapest Weekly Newsletter to not to miss any great Budapest event!

(Cover photo courtesy Vishnu R Nair)