Tibor Szemző - Skullbase Fracture LP

Tibor Szemző - Skullbase Fracture LP

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Issued by Leo Fegin's visionary record label in 1993, this refreshed and revised reissue collection of Hungarian composer Tibor Szemző's chamber pieces with spoken text – composed at 1980s for the legendary GROUP 180 – is unlike anything else of its kind.

No one has survived life. Everyone has died from it so far. Man must realize that He is responsible for His own life and fate and must insist upon this responsibility beyond all limits. And since Man has dissociated Himself from the sphere of irrationality, He has no way of getting in touch with death, or of establishing control over it. How we achieve the final result is merely of secondary importance. If the vision is clear to everyone, there is no need at all to look back. In a time of complete mental disturbance, only one chance remains to us: crystal-clear thinking. This leads us back to total mental disturbance, which everyone has died from so far.
(Pavel Havliček – Miklós Erdély – Tibor Hajas)

Text and Music | Language and Speech | Sound and Music
The common basis of the three works by Tibor Szemző heard on this album is the inalienable relationship to text – as an a priori principle. Text and music: the formal attributes of significance, intentions, and levels of meaning inherent in verbal communication as it is transformed into audible code. Language and speech: the structural level of communication, where it becomes purposeful expression, acoustic statements of variable modality. Vocalization as sublimation. Sound and music: By becoming an auditory signal, communication is deprived of its sense and reduced to musical articulation and abstraction.

Skullbase Fracture: Shards of reality – senseless, disconnected fragments of recorded “living speech” – simultaneously disintegrate and merge to create meaning through the musical process, while it is degraded and stylized to represent a single layer of the ambient noise one would hear in a hospitality setting.

Optimistic Lecture: The theses – like a practical, everyday user’s manual to cognitive tendencies and aims as they apply to the entirety of existence – convey their meaning through simplified rhythmic speech, galvanized into commands. As a counterpoint to recited prayers, they comprise a uniform soundscape.

The Sex Appeal of Death: The head-on simplicity of communication creates such extremely reductive musical interrelations that they cannibalize themselves in a necessary and inevitable fashion. And, in this manner, the text as well.

Marcell Dargay – September 11, 2022

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