BEKESCABA, Hungary – An ethereal sound comes out of Eastern Europe, music that is infused and inspired by Mother Nature. Captured with modern instruments, its melodic journey leading us to the depth of the human soul.
The city of Bekescsaba is located in the eastern part of Hungary, close to the Romanian border. In 2003 the beginning of a musical side project was taking shape. Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó set out to create an experience of revival to the eternal link between Man and Nature and the long-lost unity thereof.
Being of the opinion that the primordial form of music was meant for the celebration of Life, as well as the connection with the spiritual world. “That is the ‘guideline’ for us, when we write songs and that’s why we formed this band,” the guitarist muses. For the Hungarian artists, music is not simply entertainment. They believe in something deeper that reaches the very core of the soul. Lifting it to a higher place.
“We’ve always been interested in the pagan culture and wisdom, the spiritual and musical heritage of our ancestors, the long-forgotten tales of the old, and after writing a few songs for The Moon and the Nightspirit we realized that this was the music we always wanted to play, the path we’ve been searching for all the time, the world where we truly belong. So we decided to pull all our efforts and emotions into The Moon and the Nightspirit.”
– Mihály Szabó
The pair concludes that the moon symbolizes the feminine and nightspirit maintaining the masculine side of nature. Szabó insight fully shares this perspective,“Moon is the muse, the guardian of ancient wisdom, who knows all secrets one alone, the Mother. Nightspirit is, the seeker, the wanderer of dreams, the Child. Moon is the Master, Nightspirit is the Disciple.”
The duo started their musical path early on in their childhood. As a member of the children’s choir, Tóth also started to play violin when she was around six years old. In addition, she was taught piano in a music school. Szabó picked up the guitar when he was 14.
Both musicians say they love to take on new instruments, and learning to play exotic tones accompanied with a unique structure, gives them great joy. With the expansive collection of instruments from various cultures and eras, they investigate ways of combining the sounds, unfolding a distinct design for the production of each song.
The standard acoustic guitars, percussion, keyboards and bass are joined with a dulcimer, harp, and kilimba. Adding in the appearance of the Mongolian morin khuur (stringed instrument) and the Slovak shepherds pipe fujara, completes the full spectrum of musical diversity.
Their 2005 debut album, Of Dreams Forgotten and Fables Untold, gained them a performance on Hungarian National Television. In 2009, Ősforrás (which translates to English as “ancient source”), was released with great acclaim. The third installment in their anthology created a multifaceted sound that focuses on the wise elder and natural mysticism, helping to firmly plant the up and coming act with a strong following.
Since the band’s inception, they have produced several albums. Their newest release, Aether, is a concept album. Szabó elaborates, “The songs are dedicated to the realization, revelation and empowerment of the boundless inner cosmos, the Great Infinite Source. They are meditations to unravel and strengthen our connection to our own higher self. “
For this project, the pair worked separately in their own studios. “The recordings were smooth and relaxed,” the Szabó states. After many years, they have formed the rationalization of their own, distinctive sound in an unrestricted way.
The album was created and finished in 3 years. Their emphasis on not rushing the songs allowed for the tunes to grow and evolve naturally. Szabó goes on to give more insight saying,”We revised the songs from time to time, always listening with [a] “fresh ear” and changing minor or major things here and there.”
Once the desired atmosphere was achieved and a creative process formed, they branched out beyond resembling the sounds of medieval and folk music. The experimentation with innovative sound elements were fresh to the band. This turned into a brand new way to for them to approach the project. This recent shift in approach pushed the finished melodies to their full potential.
“It is a band that is based on the freedom of musical expression and self-realization. Working as a duo we are free to experiment with all kinds of musical ideas, and as we are both multi-instrumentalists, we have no problems with the recording of various instruments as well. We work in our own studio and do the mixing and mastering ourselves.“
With the current health climate, the ability to conduct live shows has been limited if not completely canceled. Traveling from one end of Europe to the other, as well as parts of Asia, the band is looking forward to sharing Aether as soon as gatherings are permitted again. Until then, there are no plans for streaming live shows.
The duo both echoed their beliefs by conveying their thoughts on Paganism being of love and respecting the sacredness of Mother Nature, and the Plant and Animal Kingdom.
The music of The Moon and the Nightspirit, is the manifestation of their own spiritual path. “We follow the old and eternal tradition in the sense that we feel ourselves much closer to the golden, spiritual world, than the present world of consumer society,” Szabó explained, “a mirror that reflects our growing and evolving inner world, our spiritual awareness.”