Works Interviews Criticism Ágens Photo Video CD Audio samples News E-mail Partner:

In Heavenly and Earthly Conditions
Interview with Ágens the Contemporary Singer

Tibor Martinovics

Sometimes she is presented by different domestic TV channels as a primadonna, sometimes she is mentioned as a singer evoking demonic forces, sometimes she is the protagonist or just a minor character in contemporary dance theatre performances, or the publisher of provokingly erotic poems, or simply an actor in a drama. She is Ágens, as she herself often puts it: singer in the found language.

- You started singing late, at the age of twenty-seven, without any education in music, and right away singing something, of which no one could tell what it was exactly.

- Somehow like that. Of course I went to solfege class, and as a child to music school. For long, I did not know who I was. I could not define exactly what I was doing, but in my guts I felt that something important was happening around me through these sounds. I visited the artists, whom I deemed authentic at the time, I showed them my recordings. It never occurred to me to ask for support from them, I simply wanted them to say something about these recordings, as what I was doing was quite vulnerable, and I was rather uncertain in myself. They kicked me out headlong. But now these things don't even appear in my life. I simply work. I am writing a script, I am preparing for the premičre of my contemporary opera, Purcell pycnolepsy. I play and sing in Krisztián Gergye's contemporary dance theatre productions, I am presenting a new musical material at the Budapest Autumn Festival, and I wouldn't have time to commando to strangers for advice, even if I wanted to. Otherwise, the system has become ripe, it is operating. Fate is packing me with newer and newer gifts and possibilities, from which I learn. I am learning music, and I pass out at the sight of all the angels with whom it brings me together.

- There are still a lot of controversy around you, you seem to attract conflicts.

- My openness tries my relations. I don't belong to anyone, to any tribe, to any spiritual cast, not even to any musical orientation. And this is suspicious. Moreover, I don't have any certificate of musical education. But people usually like to stick to situations without high stakes, they like to have them told with what and with whom they are meeting, and what to think of this. They don't dare to take on decisions and situations without crutches. I've had to fight hard for my justification.

- But you are in a constant fight with yourself as well. Could this be any other way?

- The reason I do things is for them to happen, the way they are supposed to happen. I use singing to be able to change dimensions, to experience, to learn what I don't know. I have a double character. I'm an open personality, but, at the same time, I live in a closed world.

- You have had several publications in literary periodicals, mainly erotic poems. Why did you stop writing?

- There were times, when I entered almost everything, I turned myself in situations, let myself live like I wanted to. If you haven't found your path yet, you will try many things. I felt that there was something in me, that only I had to find the possibility to open this. Even today, I use writing poems to resolve and to explain certain adventurous situations (I'm not thinking of sexual adventures), as a concise unit of text containing condensed time. Singing has completely taken over the role of the need to express my sensations, feelings. It pours out, and decides instead of me. Thus I no longer need poems, only when I write them into the play, but then we translate it anyway to Latin and to angel language.

- It is strange that while poetry fascinated you, in your music you have used an invented, coded language, from the very beginning.

- It is a language I found, which I now call angel language, because I am working on a piece on angels, an opera called Purcell pycnolepsy. But it is not true that poetry fascinated me, it was only that I didn't have my other language yet, which actually happened to be singing. Poetry was an existential question, now singing has taken its place.

- You have to fight for everything again and again, you have to begin everything over and over. Can you still cope with this?

- Before I had no fear inside me, I had much more self-confidence. Now that I am moving away from improvisation, I am much more concerned about being able to realise what I thought out.

- And since then?

- I have become a fully developed specimen. I knew that my child would, in the end, bring this for me. I have unfolded completely through her, a physical and mental balance came about, which had always caused problems for me before. I am dealing with my own affairs, I won't let them eat me up. I've got the time. It's myself that I'm making.