Fishing on Orfű: Day 2 (June 30, 2022)

It was good to take time in the morning with coffee, etc., and then ride the bus back to the festival. A few hours stood, thinning, between my arrival and Felső Tízezer’s ascension to the water stage, so I went back to “A tűzhöz közel” (the stage where Cz.K.Sebő/capsule boy had played the previous evening) and listened to the sounds of the forest. Here is a recording I made.

I headed to the water stage when they were starting to set up (see the picture above), assembled my belongings in an inconspicuous heap, and entered the water. The show was terrific. I didn’t know the songs very well, but others in the water were singing along to every word, and I started picking up a few of them, such as “Utólag.” I loved the semi-acoustic sound because I could hear their individual musicians so clearly. They and the audience seemed to be having a great time. Besides the submerged assemblage, there was a large crowd sitting by the water’s edge. After the show, when I had clibed back onto land, I heard someone telling someone else, “You missed it! They played your favorite song, and we were calling, Gergő, Gergő!”

I had originally planned to stay for the next water stage show, to be performed by the musician Balaton, but I knew I had had enough sun and didn’t want to push it. So I went back to “A tűzhöz közel” to see what I would hear. First there was a beautiful classical performance: two mandalins and keyboards, then guitar and keyboards. The music took many interesting turns.

After that, there was someone whose music I didn’t like, but I’ll just leave it at that. I stayed through her show, because I was eager to hear Szalai Anna and Dorozsmai Gergő for the first time.

Well, within a few minutes of their taking the stage, I was grinning and in tears, completely taken by them. I had never heard them live before and had heard just one of their songs online. Anna Szalai reminds me a little of my female friends and favorite female musicians in the U.S.: badass, sweet, deeply smart. She was smoking, drinking beer, and singing smoky, wistful, funny songs to Gergő Dorozsmai’s gorgeous keyboard accompaniment. Here’s one of my favorites from the show, “Rigó”:

And here’s another favorite, “Senki nem beszél,” the title song of their duo album.

What a happy discovery! I had heard of them before (many times) and had heard “Senki nek beszél” before, but this was my real introduction to them. Now I can’t wait to hear them again.

After that, I took the local bus back to Pécs and listened to most of Continental Subway. The last hour (the “Random Road” segment) was devoted to music from Haiti, and there too I made some exciting discoveries.

Today I hope to be open to new music without getting overloaded, since there will be so much to hear: Middlemist Red, Barkóczi Noémi, Kaláka, and of course Platon Karataev. In between, I will wander around and see what there is to hear. But before then, in the early afternoon, I hope to go hear a discussion (featuring Zwickl Ábel and others) about music technicians. In that case (which is looking likelier by the minute), I will then go up to A tűzhöz közel for a trombone octet followed by Flanger Kids. So be it. Let today be the packed day. Then tomorrow: Kubalibre, Elefánt, and Galaxisok! Nothing for me after Galaxisok, because I want to leave with those songs in my ears.

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    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In April 2022, Deep Vellum published her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

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