Studio Néau


#53 Tibor Szemző

07.04.2024 19.00

Tibor Szemző was born in Budapest in 1955. He is one of the most influential contemporary composers from Hungary, who was influenced by the avant-garde, as well as ambient, minimalist and repetitive music.
In his fruitful carrier he has worked together with Miklós Erdély. With Péter Forgácsas he has worked together over 25 years. He founded the Music ensemble group 180 (1978–1990) that was a profoundly influential ensemble, renowned for its performances of Hungarian minimalism; it also performed works by John Cage and Steve Reich. Embarking on a solo career in 1983, Szemzö began integrating spoken word and visual elements into projects and in 1987 he issued his first solo recording, Snapshot from the Island.
As a highly multy-faceted artist, he composes his own musical pieces as well as music for cinema, and theater but his performances have also a great impact, he also performed with the group New Modern Acrobatics, and apart from his musical works he has made several films.
He has been in the lead of his group The Gordian knot, since 1998. The group has transformed into the Cinematic Music Company since 2008.
He is passionately interested in the crossing of the human voice and instrumental music and the colliding of different sonic layers. Narration has an important role in several of his works as well as the multy-layered sonic texture. This complex layeredness has become Szemző's signature over the years. In his cinematographic work, it is hard to decide whether he is composing music to films, or he is making images to music. He is a composer and a filmmaker the master of layers, and rhythm of narration in his performances and films.
Some of his Cd's and LP's include: "Ain't Nothing But a Little Bit of Music for Moving Pictures", "The Conscience" and the musical piece, entitled "Tractatus" (a narrative-based chamber compositions) inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
In recent years Szemzo's interest has increasingly turned to film. His award-winning feature A Guest of Life (intermixing documentary footage, animation, and Super 8mm film stock) was shot in Tibet.

Playlist :

Group 180 - Reich, Rzewski, Melis, Szemző : Vízicsoda = Water-Wonder (180 - Hungaroton - 1983)

Group 180 - Reich, Faragó, Soós : Octet (Il - Hungaroton - 1986)

Tibor Szemző : Let's Go Out And Dance (Snapshot From The Island - Leo Records - 1987)

Tibor Szemző, The Gordian Knot : Anguish (Relative Things - Selected Soundscapes [1994 - 1997] - Leo Records - 1988)

Tibor Szemző, The Gordian Knot : The Easy One (Relative Things - Selected Soundscapes [1994 - 1997] - Leo Records - 1988)

Tibor Szemző / The Gordian Knot Company : A Kezdet = The Beginning (Balra A Nap Nyugszik = Sunset On Left - Bahia Music - 2000)

Tibor Szemző / The Gordian Knot Company : Rekviem A Német Demokratikus Köztársaságért = Requiem For The GDR (Balra A Nap Nyugszik = Sunset On Left - Bahia Music - 2000)

Tibor Szemző : The Lullaby of Á  (The Last Hungarian Vinyl - Self-released - 1994)


Tibor Szemző & Nico Bogaerts during their meeting at the Kraak Festival in Het Bos Antwerp March 12 2024 © Hans van der Linden