Enchanted realms between heaven and earth

There was enormous interest shown towards Iren Lovasz’ latest CD promotion concert. The Hungarian Radio’s Marble Hall was packed well beyond capacity, spilling over into the entry hall, extension, the stairways and beyond.


CLOUD GATE ( Fellegajtó) concert of Irén Lovász

Late arrivals in their droves retreated seeing that gaining entry would be a hopeless task. Cloud Doors’ mood and portent is neither common nor mundane. The combined skills and in-depth knowledge of the Hungarian musicians drawn from a variety of musical fields, as well as Iren Lovasz’ distinctively spellbinding world embody a supernatural power from under which the listener dare not withdraw. This effect was achieved through the judicious selection of the sacred songs, Gregorian melodies, ancient Hungarian folksongs, which seemingly different, in essence told of the same: the heavens and the earth, of paradise and the worldly, the relationship between God and man, and of faith.

This could not have been achieved without the kind of musicians who had been brought together for this CD: Zoltan Mizsei, as musicologist, musician and singer has a through knowledge and practice in the church music of the Middle Ages. Balazs Szokolai Dongo is not only a virtuoso on wind instruments, but perhaps one of the most creative of musicians in the field of World Music. Miklos Lukacs as a cimbalom virtuoso, has great experience in classical, folk as well as jazz . Csaba Gyulai, the percussionist, blends the rhythmic world of traditional percussion instruments with the latest drums. Zoltan Farkas is an experienced musician in the field of contemporary music. This combination in itself is a good welding of parts. Add to this the ethnomusicologist Iren Lovasz, the erudite academic musician become mature artist in the last decade. Her sorrowful, lyrical vocals allows for no misunderstanding of the text’s surreal images, but rather highlights their true message.

Besides needing a good ear for the most effective selection of songs and musicians of such calibre, a musical language had to be found which could blend the tradition with the new. What grew from this was a combination of jazz, contemporary, sacred and folk influences – a distinctive crossover sound world within the World Music genre. This sound world also presupposes an open-hearted audience, which is in search of the terrestrial and celestial intermediary, or Cloud Doors through which can be created a relationship between different art forms and peoples, but at the same time offers the opportunity of our drawing closer to the values of a higher world, that which is most essential.”

Iren Lovasz: Cloud Gate ( Fellegajtó ) concert / Hungarian Radio(Magyar Radio)- Marble Hall, April 12. 7pm. 2005.