May 18, 2024

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Interview with Nagy Emma: Our lives are determined by the soul and the mind, and music is the fruit of this: Video

Interview with a bad musician, as if vocalist Nagy Emma. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Nagy Emma։ – I grew up in Hungary, in a small town. Since childhood I wanted to be a musician, I started playing the violin at the age of four and later started singing folk music. When I was thirteen I left home to study at the conservatory to become a classical violinist. It was then that I really felt this is my path and realised how much work and perseverance it takes. Since then, I’ve been managing my time and thinking along these lines. I love being a musician.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

NE: – I spent most of my time playing the violin until I was 19, which I think contributed greatly to my musical development.  While playing the violin I developed my own intonation in myself and musicality, the interplay of technique and musicality. Everything I learned then is just as present when I sing, although I consider singing to be a more instinctive thing. When I felt I needed a big change, I experienced a kind of crisis and took refuge in piano. My compositions from that time began to define both my music and my singing voice. And later, the Quintet.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

NE: – I’m still learning how to practise so that to discover something new and exciting , but that would be the goal. I think it’s very important to write down and learn instrumental transcriptions, to sing other genres of music and songs, and of course to play together, i.e. jam with others. Both harmonic and rhythmic development require workshop work and a lot of listening, but everything you practiced or imagined before will take shape in concert or during jamming, you learn to react faster and dare to take risks. As a singer, it’s equally important to practice scales, listening exercises, even rhythm transcriptions.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

NE: – I have changed, I think for the better. On the one hand I am more patient, on the other hand I am more experienced. I know better what I want to do and I can write it down more precisely. I think if you’re on the right track you change.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

NE: – It is very important to maintain my body to exercise and get enough sleep. These two things are essential, but of course I don’t always manage to follow through. What’s also very important is that I feel I’ve done everything I can to make this concert or recording a success. Whether it’s by resting beforehand, doing breathing exercises or practicing. I like to go on stage with a clear conscience.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

NE: – I think that intellect and soul are not separable. If you try to radically separate the two, you get a forced result. Yet there has to be a balance, which is difficult to find. It’s important to hear yourself and the music you’re playing somewhat objectively, while still believing in it. I think finding and maintaining a balance of intellect and soul is the most difficult task in music.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

NE: – Some concerts give me a lot of energy. These experiences keep you going for a long time. Travelling and playing concerts always fills you with energy and new ideas. I think the performer should be open to the audience and vice versa. However, as a performer, you may have to open up as a front man, which is sometimes difficult. Once I feel tired of what I’m doing, I’ll take a break.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in blues when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

NE: – I think this generation, if they encounter the genre in an environment they like or feel at home in, is open to anything.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

NE: – Our lives are determined by the soul and the mind, and music is the fruit of this. My life revolves around it.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

NE: – I would like to see bands and musicians teleport. I would also like everyone to be able to make a living out of music.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

NE: – Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Stravinsky and Mozart. I also listen to Radiohead, Thom York and James Blake. I’ve been listening a lot recently to an album by a French musician, Matthieu Donarier and Poline Renou.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

NE: – Freedom, rawness and kindness.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

NE: – I would like to live in more places. Meet new musicians and continue on the path I’ve started.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Emma Nagy Quintet: Low Frequency Oscillator – album debut (HU) | BMC - Budapest Music Center

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