A Bookmarked Thought: Kolibri’s New Album

For weeks I have been meaning to say something about Kolibri’s (Bandi Bognár’s) new album, Nagyon jó, nagyon rossz, nagyon jó (Very Good, Very Bad, Very Good). I was sorry to miss the record release show, which seems to have been terrific. It was sold out; I had bought a ticket long in advance, but I ended up selling it on Ticketswap, just because I needed a weekend at home, not only for rest, but for several projects.

Anyway, the album is bracing, first and foremost because Kolibri has found a new sound since a couple of years ago. That, and the songs are so good, one after another. I will say more about some of them another time. As for the sound: the main vocal line is no longer filled with reverb; it has a drier texture, which allows effects to come and go over the course of the songs. The layering of melodies, instruments, effects is soulful in itself; just listen to my favorite song on the album, “Ablak alatt” (“Under the Window.”

It’s exciting to hear a musician hit home. I love some of his earlier songs (such as “Előszoba“), but this album has a new sort of conviction. It also hits a mood, or combination of moods, that brings out interesting sounds and vice versa: a combination of happiness and sadness, anger and tranquility, observation, exhilaration, yearning, humor. The rhythms go into dance beats at times and then retreat into a solitary freeform. The versatility is not only compelling but natural to the songs; there’s a consistency too, a sense of following a train of thought and feeling.

Hats off to the others involved with the album: producers Makumi Kamau and Bence Csontos; sound engineer Tamás Czirják; mix/master engineer Máriusz Fodor; and any others. More another time.

  • “Setting Poetry to Music,” 2022 ALSCW Conference, Yale University

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

     

    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.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.

  • INTERVIEWS AND TALKS

    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.
     

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.

  • ABOUT THIS BLOG

    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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