Q+A: 5 minutes with vaghy

Today’s guest is vaghy, a Théque Records-signed composer who recently shared a filmic music video for his already released single ‘Bite’. For vaghy, the piano is his chosen medium and muse. Using the minor blacks and major whites to express himself, he breathes life into twinkling classical records in an improvised choreography of ivory notes. Along with the video, the classically-trained Hungarian composer has announced that he will release his second album, granum, on the 26th of May. 

Stream ‘Bite’ on SpotifyiTunes

Let’s introduce vaghy:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

The arts have always been close to me since I was a child. When I was 6 years old, my parents bought a piano and from then on my fate was sealed. The piano became my everything and it continues to this day. For me, music as an art form is the engine of my existence and my everyday life.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It’s always the sound because, usually, my creative process starts with improvisation and the songs emerge from them. But there are exceptions, for example the theme of the song ‘abandoned forest’ was a recurring melody of a childhood dream. This melody has stayed with me so much over the years that the song was born from it. In my dream, I was constantly wandering in an abandoned forest, and there was the essence of the song, which was also played by KEXP radio after its release.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Since I worked in bands for a long time, I enjoyed being a soloist incredibly, and I still enjoy it to this day. The vaghy is now ripe for joint collaborations, which I am currently working on. So far, I have made a song together with the Wave of sound formation called Untold. You can check on all music platforms.

What’s on your current playlist?

Only good music in all genres.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

During my performances, I always share with them how much to talk during my piano playing or not to talk at all. I always try to be entertaining in addition to delivering my art. I consider it important to not only entertain at my performances but also involve the audience a little in playing the piano together. I usually choose a viewer who can’t play the piano, sometimes surprisingly interesting things come out of them.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Finding your own sound is perhaps the most important thing to be able to present the music you’ve dreamed up to the audience. Since I am a soloist, there is a lot of room for continuous changes, but I like to experiment with my instruments the most. In addition to the fact that I changed my pianos often, I finally put down my voice next to a Swedish piano with a very interesting sound. By microphone, I can achieve a lot of interesting sounds with it.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Since I work in my own studio, I usually have unlimited time at my disposal. This is somewhat good, but there are also disadvantages. During my creative period, I start working in the morning and work until I suffocate.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

When I saw Thelonious Monk play on TV.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I have a lot of vintage instruments, but I always buy newer instruments that are innovative or have an interesting construction. I have instruments that I built myself, such as a Moog Taurus copy, in which I built functions that were not included in the original. I don’t like handling things with software, I need to be able to handle and open the device I use.

Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

A very special solo piano album of mine will be released at the beginning of summer. Its basis is the seed which is planted and something develops from it. The album is entirely improvisational and recorded together. This required so much concentration during the recording that I didn’t even sit in front of the instrument for 2 weeks afterwards. Granum is an album whose goal is to help everyone develop their own emotional plant and bloom as long as possible. Another material can be expected sometime at the end of the year, where the aforementioned collaborations will appear in the concept of the album.

Famous last words?

Never give up.

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Image credit: Norbert Pandur Balogh