Tones Exhibition Kassak Museum Budapest

Tones: New Music In The Historical Avant-garde

MUSIC everywhere at Kassák Museum‘s new temporary exhibition: in theory, on paper, in your head, on sheet music, hidden in colour code, from speakers, ears, Coke cans, through headphones, into interactive contemporary art installations.

The new temporary exhibition explores the relationship between the avant-garde movements of the 1910s-1930s and new musical experiments. The artistic movements of the historical avant-garde included a number of theories, ideas and manifestos that offered new alternatives to traditional musical conceptions. The concept of music also changed fundamentally: the emergence of sound recording devices extended it to the world of everyday noises, the exclusivity of tonal sound systems was questioned, and composers and performers experimented with new, mechanical sound-forming devices and compositional methods. However, it was only in the post-World War II period, with the spread of electronic instruments and the unified emergence of the musical avant-garde, that new ideas could be realised.

Building on music theoretical texts and artworks published in Lajos Kassák’s journals, the Vienna Ma (Today) and Dokumentum (Documentum), the exhibition gives a taste of the innovative musical endeavours of the period. They introduce the most important domestic forums of modern music and trace the later history of new music through interviews. And a selection of works by contemporary artists and composers brings avant-garde experiments up to date and back to life. 

Open until 11 June 2023

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