László Hortobágyi – “Sygnus Synth Season” (1975-1978)
Hungarian musician and musicologist László Hortobágyi was born in 1950 in Budapest, where he still resides today. An explorer and scholar of music and sounds from all over the world, he first visited North India in 1967 in order to learn instruments such as the rudra-vina, sitar, surbahar and the tabla, but also to record music and delve into Indian philosophy. In 1981 he founded the Gáyan Uttejak Society, an imaginary musical organisation which functioned at the same time as a studio and an archive of his discoveries in ethno-musicology. A keen innovator in the technological arena as well (devising his own sound processing software and using computers in music as early as 1988), he frequently combines instruments and musical structures from the past and future, East and West in order to create the lush, exotic soundscapes of the worlds and cultures he brings to life in each of his pieces.
László Hortobágyi has generously allowed us to include his work in the UMCSEET project, and over the coming weeks we will be publishing some highlights of his extensive catalogue, as well as interviews and essays by the artist. Below, you can listen to excerpts of some of his earliest recorded electronic explorations using the Sygnus Synthesizer (invented and built by Péter Radványi) at the Department of Phonetics of the ELTE University. You can also find out more about the artist and his Gáyan Uttejak Orchestra (Guo) in his site by clicking here.