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“Silence is more of an opportunity than something to be afraid of"


“Silence is more of an opportunity than something to be afraid of"

Quarantine Minutes with László Herboly

We launched our series, entitled “Quarantine Minutes,” so as not to lose touch with one another even during these difficult times. We spoke with our musicians to hear how they’re dealing with their new circumstances in light of the coronavirus epidemic. How have their lives changed? Are they able to find anything positive in their situation? What music do they recommend for you? This time, we are sharing BFO percussionist László Herboly’s responses.

What music would you recommend for our audiences while they are isolated at home? What do you listen to and what do you like to play to improve your mood?

I don’t have any particular musical recommendations specifically for this time in isolation. Any music which one pays attention to – regardless of a sense of isolation –, will liberate and provide an experience for the mind and the body to focus on. Perhaps this kind of focused attention will bring about silence, which I value more and more these days. Silence is more of an opportunity than something to be afraid of. It puts me in a terrific mood.

I had a double shot of espresso this morning, and AC/DC’s hit “Back in Black” turned it into a triple shot! It was followed by a musical tsunami: another AC/DC hit, Highway to Hell which, essentially, Beethoven had already composed as part of the first movement of his Symphony No. 5. So then I listened to that, as well, only so that I can tell my students about this parallel at some point, perhaps under the title “Upbeats that turn into Hits.”

This afternoon, my menu will feature jazz. I’m preparing an explanatory analysis of the antecedents of linear drumming, as they appear in the ‘60s in the genre of fusion jazz-rock. I’m looking for examples by some of the outstanding drummers of the post-bop era (Mel Lewis, Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones).

What do you do in the time you otherwise would have spent with the orchestra? Who do you make music with at home, and how?

In the interest of maintaining a good neighborly relationship with the others in my building, and due to a lack of instruments, I have limited opportunity to express myself in an audio format here at home. This is a challenge in itself for a percussionist; and I’m also in touch with my students through online lessons (this is also an art!). And then I have a task which demands extra attention: I am taking care of my mother, serving, in a way, as the three-dimensional embodiment of National Ambulance Service spokesperson Pál Győrfi. It’s best for her generation to heed the advice and stay home.

Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? Have you perhaps picked up any new habits?

The quarantine is still far from over, but I have already learned that one can never have too much time to pass usefully. I have far more ideas and plans than the time I think we will have available. I’m not even sure that it would be good until then...

As for new habits? Finally, I no longer wait until late at night to begin reading a book. I eat my breakfast more slowly, and I putter around more in the kitchen. Of course, everything makes you fatter – that is another lesson! Each night, I watch my colleagues’ creativity online in wonder, seeing how the quarantine inspires them and compels them to express themselves in a new way.

What do you miss the most right now?

A huge drum studio full of instruments and a little stage! Or a larger stage; that would also be fine.

Is there anything in your life you never had time for before, but always wanted to do - and now you’ve been able to try?

Hmm. I haven’t had time to think about this yet. Well, I’ll try to now!

Tune in to our Quarantine Soirées each night! Visit our Facebook page every evening from 7:45 p.m. If you would like to support our series, we would appreciate it very much.