Minimalism by Vaghy

Hungarian pianist-composer Tamás Vághy will release his stunning debut album Minimalism on Théque Records this month.

Minimalism by Vaghy. Photo by Pandur-Balogh Norbert Photo by Pandur-Balogh Norbert

Accomplished pianist Vaghy has spent many years playing piano, synths, and other instruments with a variety of different bands. He is one of the main artists and organizers of Piano Day Budapest and previous releases have come in the form of a compilation album of minimal pieces on labels like Blue Spiral Records. He is also a notable live performer and improvisational artist who has played with names like Lubomyr Melnyk, Lisa Morgenstern, Simeon Walker, James Gillespie, and iamyank.

The main goal of this debut solo album was for Vaghy to explore himself and experience being a solo artist after 20 years of playing as part of a band. The concept behind "Minimalism" was to write and arrange songs with as few instruments as possible. A small old Swedish pianette with 64 keys was used as a synthesizer and modified by all kinds of materials and tools before long hours of experimentation. It gave rise to all tracks bar one, "Genesis", which is the result of an improvised session on an old worn-out Russian piano. A copy of Moog Taurus, designed by Vaghy himself, accompanies the album throughout, as do old analog monophonic synthesizers and a zither, even though its sound becomes unrecognizable in his hands.

The beautiful "Rush" is a heart-achingly melancholic opener followed by the more light, airy, and optimistic "Nerd." Vaghy's expressive playing style means each piece of the album is laden with emotion: "Tripping" is uncertain and nervous, "Lonely" with its minor chords and the atmospheric sound of feet on pedals is inwardly reflective, and "79 Seconds" loops ever-evolving phrases that elevate your soul. The second half of this powerfully emotive album takes in the timeless neo-classical charms of "Intention" and "Genesis," while "Backwash" is lit up with brighter chords and a more intense playing style that builds the energy. That carries on through the fluttering keys of "Bite," before the soothing "Dawn Light" resets the mood and "Rain" closes the album with a glorious sense of hope and beauty.

Minimalism is a piano album, but it is an adventurous and experimental one that creates unique material with a sound all of its own.

Vaghy - Minimalism
Release Date February 2022
Label Théque Records

Tracklist
1. Rush
2. Nerd
3. Tripping
4. Lonely
5. 79 Seconds
6. Intention
7. Genesis
8. Backwash
9. Bite
10. Dawn Light
11. Rain



Written by: Mathias Haegglund
Published: Feb 8, 2022 at 12:00