Gábor Gadó is a jazz guitarist who is well known in Europe. His music is a mixture of jazz and classical music. His meditative, philosophical, very intimate art is also a fusion of Hungarian folk music and European co-art motives. The musician who has won many international competitions has lived in France for 25 years, but he also has a second home in Hungary and also gives concerts and records albums in his homeland. We can hear him in the Müpa on the 7th of October with his own band, the Gábor Gadó Quintet. We reached him in this Hungarian home on the St George Mountain.
You have not given a concert in the Müpa for almost ten years. How do you prepare now?
I love this concert hall, so my feelings are positive. Unfortunately I usually do not get to play in the Müpa, because my usual home address is in France, in Lyon. This city is a nice basis, I can reach neighbouring countries very well from there.
How is your relationship with Hungary nowadays? How much time do you spend in the country?
I love this place, my local friends and colleagues. The time I spend here always depends on the actual work. My home is in a little village near the Lake Balaton on a hill – this is what I feel closest to my habitus. My work is so focussed that I do not really have time to look around, to inform myself about everyday affairs.
Is Hungarian folk music still an important part of your art?
Although I grew up on folk music, I always felt more attached to the general European musical traditions, the so-called “classical music“.
Do you dream in French or Hungarian?
Hungarian, of course.
Is there any difference between your work with Hungarian and with French partners?
It is very different: here at home, relationship between colleagues is closer, warmer. There are huge differences due to the basic studies as well. But I like to work in both situations.
How was the last half-year for you?
Great. Although I could not meet my French and Belgian colleagues in person for a while, it was still a useful time. We could catch up with individual things, it was a great time to compose, orchestration, and many more. I do not really feel any change in my life, but I learned that every day is a miracle.
How did you prepare for your shows in the last couple of months?
We were able to rehearse properly, also in person, so we were not trapped in the mere online world. I guess Hungary was in a good situation, compared to France or other Western countries, for instance. We travelled around in the country and gave very nice concerts.
What do you think about music in the online space, often provided for free?
That is an important question. I think offering music for free is neither good for the artist nor the audience. Who should work on this? I do not know. But I think a huge quantity is also problematic from the cultural perspective.
Are you disappointed if you see that few people are there during the covid-19 times?
No, it is absolutely understandable.
Your music has an important mental and spiritual background. What interests you the most lately?
As always, I am mostly interested in the manifestations of the metaphysical tradition.
Where lies the border of progressive jazz and contemporary classic chamber music?
Both of them are results of intuitive expressions of the moment, but progressive jazz usually remains improvisative, whereas chamber music creates manipulative structures as a result of the composition work.
Between your last two albums, there was a long break. Why? Are you working on an album now?
There was a time when I had spent a lot of time with studio work, but it had become a bit boring already, so I rather focussed on live concerts. But some weeks ago, I recorded a duo with the great saxophonist János Ávéd, which will be released by the BMC record label soon.
How would you summarise the vibes, mood, philosophy of the upcoming concert?
To be honest, my work is totally continuous, there is no concert-specific mood or philosophical principle.
What is your main message to the audience of the concert on 7th October?
They should pay attention to our music and feel with how much love we send our positive energies to them.
Interview: Zsuzsanna Deák
Translation: Zsófia Hacsek