The Platon Karataev Duo: In the U.S. in October!

I have mentioned this in a few blog posts already, but here it is front and center: The Platon Karataev duo (Gergely Balla and Sebestyén Czakó-Kuraly, two of the four members of Platon Karataev) will be performing twice in the U.S. in October: on October 23 at Cafe Nine in New Haven (their U.S. debut) and on October 24 at Arlene’s Grocery (their NYC debut). Come and hear them! Tell everyone about it!

The exclamation points don’t do justice to these occasions, though. Their music is (in a way) the opposite of an exclamation point. It goes inward and beyond into something else. “Csak befelé vezet ki út,” the first song of their new album sings. (“Only inwards does the road lead out,” or maybe more simply, “The only way out is inward.”) You can hear them sing “Csak befelé” (and four more songs) here:

I keep posting that particular video not only because I particularly love it, but also because videos of their duo performances are rather rare. A couple of others include the Grain Sessions and the video of their performance on the water stage at Fishing on Orfű last summer. As for videos of the whole band, there are many: artistic videos, videos of live performances, videos of interviews, and more.

Both Sebő and Gergő—and Csenger Kertai, Kata Heller, Fruzsina Balogh, and Panna Kocsis—will be presenting, alongside twelve others, in my seminar on “Setting Poetry to Music” at the 25th ALSCW Conference at Yale in October. These concerts follow upon the conference.

It is not easy to travel to the U.S. Just about everything is more expensive than it was a year ago. Hotel costs in NYC have doubled. Who knows where things will go from here—but for now, these are rare occasions. Any good concert is inherently rare, but these two concerts go beyond the usual rareness. Who knows when and if anything like them can happen again?

And if something can, so much the better. All the more reason to go hear them now. To be able to hear something like them again, and wait for favorite parts, and be surprised.

I took the photo last summer at the duo’s concert on the TRIP Hajó. Also, I added to this piece after posting it.

  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

    —Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

  • Always Different

  • Pilinszky Event (3/20/2022)



    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.


    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.


    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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