Monday, 5 March 2018



The gut-string is much quieter than the composite plastic string of a relatively good sound. The big pipe of the portative organ is 70 cm; that of a big romantic organ is 5 metres long. A salon concert can seat 20, whereas the Palace of Arts [Budapest] can seat 1700 people



These are figures and numbers only. The metaphysical differences are a lot more important.

Baroque music was the last purely pivotal, therefore, we are not taken aback by the fractures seen on several lines. Rather than bringing down the Heavenly Harmonies the following eras fascinated us with the mundane multi-filtered psychological status reports of the incursion of the individual starting with the individual and based on emotions (Romanticism) and the viced, counter-improvisation world of nerds enforced into the shackles of structures (Classicism).


Thus the summit of development is the romantic big ensemble with 150 players, three timpanies, a complete brass band section and a choir so big that 3 buses will transport the sopranos only…
Nowadays the real stars are the conductors, pianists and singers rather than the composers. Do you remember the ideology of the Renaissance? The lines were never sung with one singer only, the strings of the Renaissance lute are arranged into choirs because the exhibitionism of one single string was distasteful right away.


The role and approach of silence has changed too.
The introduction of zero in Mathematics almost turned the system upside down. In the word of Early Music the attitude is the opposite. Everything gets started with silence, the Divine Singularity and returns to it. Silence was a sterling note. New music seems to be afraid of silence. More and more music notes are in need with more and more instruments. It is the typical projection of the tear of non-existence, it is the fill-up of the vacuum under pressure.


These tendencies were noticed by many in many ways. Harmony can be recreated by amazing attempts to restore it. 
Such is the revival of new Early Music starting in the 90s.


Really, lingering in the shadow of the processes of a large span, self-organised critical systems and complicated historic-evolutionary moves the role of one man doesn’t seem to be determinant, yet, it is important what kind of music we are surrounded at home. For listening to a fine record is also restoration of Harmony. We can do it in several fashions today; the Internet is at hand practically anywhere and any time. 

Then has the Golden Age arrived and is everything alright? 
Unfortunately, just the opposite. Strangely, things like behaving in a retrograde way mostly when the greatest development is expected. The main problem is contained in the title: Advancement of quantity and the horror of the accompanying inflation. When living systems are described by artificial Mathematics it is similar to division with zero; unavoidable bypass of the domain of interpretability.


Let us see an example. 
One thousand is more than ten. It is a trivial axiom. The problem is that it is not true everywhere. And it is not quantum physics where you must understand that the electron is in the place of measurement, that is, where I try to find it; there are occurrence clouds billowing in any event and it happens that one electron turns up in two locations at the same time… 


Rather, we place ten fine records on one side and a thousand records on the other side.
Wittgenstein is right: our tongue protests even before the reply, it rebels somewhere in the depth; there is something wrong with this relation. The thousand records seem very few right now because we enthuse about the ten records. 40 gigabyte Mozart is saved on one Winchester, which converges to zero.


Thus the imaginary Gold Age with its unlimited possibilities practically throws us back to Iron Age as much as listening to music and records are concerned. The more records we have the fewer we know and even fewer we listen to.


There is always a means of escape from the depressing and inevitable square matrix of continuity; one is, as so often, culture and arts. However, they are not obedient. They do not bother with relations or cannot be described by the usual mathematical functions.


There is a secret society which takes listening to music at home very seriously. Two big groups of them - record collectors and hi-fi fans - like being mingled. The collectors sometimes do not listen to hi-fi but the hi-fi fans are almost always collectors.


Audio culture. 
High End. 
Where the know-how of sounding is the key issue. Several groups, ardent fans, generally cluttered around big brands, eulogise the beloved apparatuses with wet eyes. 
Horror prices.


There are several sub-groups: cable fans, battery power supply fans, rod mesh makers, one-in-system apostles, tube gurus, transistor fans, class A belivers, BBC sound lovers, OB fans and there are some interesting sects like under-plate fans or current conditioners. 
And the Babel-like amalgamation of all these where everything and its opposite are true. 


The source - the first part of the chain - is divided into three parts today:
LP fans, CD fans and computer-audio fans. Reinacting religious wars, digital-analogue opposition where the slogan

'Emotions Cannot Be Expressed with Digits'

is embroidered on the banner of the LP fans with gold letters.
Once this dogma was cast against me and, frightened, I happened to ask them:
'Have you ever seen a poem of Attila József, e.g., ‘With a pure heart’ read by Zoltán Latinovics on Youtube? Youtube, what works by  huge matrix-variations of the ’0’ and ’1’? For if your eyes don’t get wet hearing it you must be a robot I am sure.'

With Pure Heart

Got no father, no mother,
no god, no homeland,
no cradle, no shroud,
no kiss, no lover.

Last three days I haven't eaten
neither a lot, nor a morsel,
my twenty years is power,
I am looking for a buyer.

If no one wants it,
the devil will take it,
with a pure heart I will plunder,
if need be I will murder.

I'll be caught, I'll be gallowed,
with blessed earth I'll be covered,
& death spreading grass will grow,
on my oh, so beautiful heart. 

(translated by Gyukics Gábor)

An adorable company, real sub-culture. They are consumed with passion for some serious and great thing; obviously, they cannot find it just like the knights of the past couldn’t find the Holy Grail. The quest is the point and that music is focused on to an extent which is missing in a concert usually.


They come to an agreement in several matters apart from the big divergences. 

They agree in that:

Amplifications in Europe are beyond criticism. Pop concerts are no exception either.
Petrol lawn-mowers, chain saws and corner grinders should be banned.
The biggest sin of Coca-Cola company is not the 5 kg sugar per litre and the plastic bottle and all the other stuff in the drink but the horrendous noise of the Cola fridges, which turns silent cafes into unbearable places.
The average hearing threshold has deteriorated by 10 dB in the last 100 years.
Energy-saving compact lights bluster, which is annoying.
Space capsules and robots are sent to Mars but really silent vacuum cleaners have just started to be manufactured although we have had the right technology for as many as 50 years.
The commercial radio stations are flooding junk onto us.
Facebook weaves the social network by unscrupulously making you roll down and rush; the average time spent on listening to music is below 1 minute already.
Amazon is selling albums now at lossy mp3 versions, track by track, because of which we should go out to the street and raise barricades. Just now.
Poor quality music has flooded Europe is well-known, but that it is accompanied by bad sound quality is too much disappointing.


Tension always generates counter effects and counter movements; otherwise perpetuum mobiles could be created in two minutes; those good at physics are well aware of this fact. These rebellions got started parallel with the decline. 

Hidden strings and lines.
Forums, correspondences, exchanges of ideas. 
Listening to good music. 
Samizdat-like distribution and copying of records unavailable today. 
Recommendations of records. 
Long-continued debates over Vivaldi’s and Bach’s music. 
Compass Classical Music itself.
Recordings by the listening to which the planets rotate in a nicer fashion and the molecule structure of the air in the room alters. 
Love of fastidious sound quality. 
Full houses in the Palace of Arts and the Music Academy. 
When the auditorium becomes so silent during a contra-alto aria like super-conduction sets in and the electrons and time come to a halt and we think if we ever regain consciousness from Absolute Beauty then we will follow her to each concert and we will drink in her voice and we will sleep on her doorstep. 
The emergence of salon concerts. 
Baroque small opera in the Music Academy. 
Umpteenth Early Music Festival in our town, Veszprém, too. 
Friends who agree to driving 500 kms without a wink of an eye if there is a Savall concert in Romania. 


Early Music is past the maximum peak of function in Europe; a slow decay is perceivable. Whether it will be replaced or whether this question may be asked at all is doubtful to answer today. The glorious era of CDs which elevated classical music too is over; a sharp decline is seen in sales. That people will listen to less quality music is like whining about the fact that the new generation doesn’t get down to and doesn’t feel like reading. Why should they? Looking at the calendar we can see that people have been reading for as few as 150 years; this kind of knowledge or skill was a distinct profession in the past. Yet, the world went round correctly, the Lady with an Ermine was painted. 
5-hours church masses were not a rarity in Monteverdi’s time; people of the past might not believe that sitting for 60 minutes is doubtful today in the same church at the same liturgy.


The big crisis tendencies are noticeable. A big part of the counter-effects is invisible. What’s more, the two are measured in different units; their proportion is hard to estimate. The vehement, sluggish iron mass flooding inexorably downwards is held by the bundle of thin gold strings. 

It can even elevate the iron mass in better moments.

This noble hope sweetens my solitude.

Translated by Kenesei Andrea

Jorge Luis Borges: Library of Babel

Picture 1
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: The Battle of Jericho
A story in the Old Testament, the book of Joshua. The people of Israel could defeat the impregnable Jericho by carrying the Ark of the Covenant seven times round and “when the people heard the sound of the trump they launched a huge war whoop and the stone walls (of the town) collapsed.”
Picture 9
The few pictures which changed the world.
Quantum physics. No need to fear, it is incomprehensible enough.
There is an electron gun which shells electrons in series, scanning like a machine gun. One by one, at a high speed, but only one at a time. There is a target, a detector where a tiny point of light is visible following each hit; it is the dark rectangle. There is a wall between them with two small gaps. When it gets started there are three possible options: 
1. the electron cannons into the wall, gets absorbed, nothing.
2. the electron is directed toward one of the gaps, it gets through, a small flash on the target.
3. the electron is directed toward the other gap, it gets through, a small flash on the target.
First the flashes came one after the other all right in a random distribution. Then bands appear.
Is that all? Then what’s the fuss?
It is that the bands are interference bands which means that two divergent waves are projected onto each other and due to the fact that they are a bit different they intensify or extinguish each other, hence the band array.
However, more than one electron is needed for this at the same time. Not too many but two minimally for sure otherwise not only interference but even waves do not occur. The electrons arrived one by one, one after the other in a definite calculated time.
No matter how often the experiment was repeated the result was the same.
One unit is in two places. When measured, the cunning electron was always in the place of the measurement. Einstein, who thought that all this is stupid nonsense, satirically told Bohr: Well, the Moon too is there when I look at it…
Physicists have been in this awful bate since then.
No solution.
Or that reality is really different from what we can see and think. Or it is something else. Like sub-atomic experiments suggest. However, humans perceive something completely different for some unclarified reason.
All religions and esoteric teachers say it.
Dim by mirror. Behind 70 thousand veils.
But how does music get here? 
Is it that fine music is filtered out of reality behind the veils?
Picture 7
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, one of the starters of the new Early Music movement
Picture 12
Pablo Picasso, the avant-garde painter genius
Picture 14
Nordost Odin power cable, it is an 1.2 metre long wire connecting the hifi to the 230V

Picture 19
Leonardo da Vinci: Lady with an Ermine, 1490
Krakow, National Museum

Thank you for the images