János Háy / Dél-Magyarország, 1998. 27th of June
We can meet this name on alternative music events in Budapest and in the country as well. Ágens isn't a secret agent only a secretive, or rather, a mysterious girl, a strange figure on the stage, who is either strongly made up like the femme fatale, or is just like anyone else, one of us.
Though it is contemporary music, or modern, or alternative, or underground - the terms are a bit blurred, - her music has much more to do with the primitive ritual songs of the shamans, prayers and funeral songs of the pagan world, than with Cage or Reich. The titles of the songs also refer to the archaic content: Sin, Curse, Soul, Search etc.
The sounds burst forth from the throat, the larynx, the stomach - from the whole body, the whole being. It is as if Ágens' aim were not only to toss songs into the air, but to use her voice to seize us, the audience, and transport us onto a higher (or at least a different) dimension. These are magical songs, invoking beings from the world beyond: malign and benevolent spirits, dead souls and living gods. These spirit beings and the impulses they represent have been the same since time immemorial - and thus the songs have an aura of man's primal beginnings; there is something otherworldly about them; they are redolent of a world peopled with Jung's archetypes. …This music breaks open the tomb of the spirit - but not in order to desecrate what lies within. Our consciousness forms a conceptual and rational shield from behind which to glimpse traces of original beauty, harmony and world order. The magic and mystery of Ágens' music is not a conjuring of evil forces. Instead it is a sort of hark-back to a lost golden age, an age which may never have existed, but which we still somehow remember.
But after this rather obscure digression let's get back to music. The girl is standing on the stage. She is girl in the very sense, it doesn't have to be written on her, all the men who look at her will know. Then come the sounds, delicate, wild and rough, trained like in an opera and harsh, and the girl cracks out of the erotic attraction. She is not a female singer any longer, only a singer, who has found her lost partner in herself.
We haven't mentioned the music yet. It is not merely sounds coming from the stage, but we can hear recorded instrumental accompaniment. She also uses her own recorded voice instead of the instruments. Ágens is her own choir. The composer of the repetitive, but at the same time rock-based music is Boudny Ferenc, who is an expert in playing with the effects.
Until May her fans had to make do with those rare occassions when she appeared on the stage. In May a review, called Balkon, which deals with contemporary art, volunteered to put her first CD into circulation as a kind of supplement of the paper. We can also read an interview in it made by Marton László Távolodó, the expert of alternative music. From this we can learn a couple of things about Ágens, her life, career, views. There are seven songs on this CD, most of which were made for Miller's Witches of Salem in the Vígszínház. Unfortunately only one of the seven songs is with music, which makes the selection a bit monotonous. Otherwise this twenty minutes is worth listening to, and we can only hope that soon (maybe next year) there will be a longer version as well.
Translated: Eszter Szabó