Painting silence with sound is like painting water with fire, dancing the stillness
of stones. And yet this is what trumpeter and composer Kornél Fekete-Kovács is
attempting now on his most recent album, together with the Czech Robert Balzar Trio
and vocalists Veronika Harcsa and Dan Bárta.
Kornél Fekete-Kovács, prompted by the constant clamour and music surrounding modern
life, set about ruminating on the nature of silence. The majority of the programme is composed
by himself, and he feels an immense responsibility: behind every note he plays, he says, are all
the sounds that were present in the silence but were deprived of the opportunity to be heard.
“Silence is sacred, just as music is. Silence is at once nothing and everything. It encapsulates
the possibilities of the infinite,” says Kornél Fekete-Kovács. “If you play just a single note, it
breaks the silence, and deprives everyone else of their own inner music. If you play just a
single note, it must have weight, and you must sound it with the utmost gratitude, respect,
and responsibility.” The music thus determines but also liberates, and this is reflected in the
musical concept: the composed themes alternate with collective, controlled improvisations,
maintaining a balance between liberating constraints and unbound expression. Lyrical, elegant
and intimate in tone, Kornél has chosen texts from authors such as William Blake and the Sufi
philosopher and poet Rumi.
On Different Aspects of Silence, six musicians seek notes played with responsibility and
contemplate the concept of silence. Kornél Fekete-Kovács, artistic director of Modern Art
Orchestra, met the Robert Balzar Trio three years ago and has been collaborating with them
regularly ever since. Their musical reflection was rounded out with two very different vocalists,
who nevertheless easily found a common thread. The multifaceted Veronika Harcsa, with her
supple mezzo soprano voice, is joined by highly popular and charismatic tenor Dan Bárta, who
started out as a rock singer. Their explorations offer 21st-century listeners, alienated from the
experience of silence, a nuanced musical insight into its different aspects.