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It was right to write a musical piece about the revolution.
Tamás Mihály
 Interview with Tamás Mihály preparing to America

Name of Tamás Mihály is ringing on an acquaintance to all Europeans. Originates from a musician family, as the bassist of Group Omega he travelled so many countries of the old Continent. In its common days of glory with Omega, an even long haired rocker wearing jeans with his music even today throws public - in the Stadiums - crammed into fever, however he is starting onto his newer field to conquest in a little while. On Opening of Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles the American public could enjoy his composition.
The long hair or the rockwear is not having a sign,– in front of me a consolidated, smiling gentleman is siting on other side of the table . While he is stirring his coffee in its cup, as if I would be his old acquaintance , Tamás Mihály is talking about past, present, and future cheerfully.

- We were about to congratulate on your birthday , but if I know well you stayed in Paris just .
- A 60th birthday goes with usually large din , on the other hand I  like large celebrations not really , therefore I thought I had better to stay away. I like Paris, during the tours I stayed on there in several occasions but interestingly with my wife together never . Now six fantastic days we spent there together,  finally I had the chance ambling peacefully to look on all , what - because of the large rush on the concerts - I was to omit .  I could not even disappear there, for when I walked around in the Louvre, a Polish gentleman came to me, that I remind him of a member of Group Omega.

- Also in Hungary you are connected to Omega.  What did you deal with, before joining to the band?

- In all of my life I prepared to be a musician , although in the beginning rather the classical music attracted.In the ’60s my interest  turned to the  new forming style , what was mentioned as  beat , pop and much different naming you like .  This new trend , which were represented by the Beatles , Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones catched young generation so deeply.  They formed  new underground Groups and " from wardrobe door sawed guitars” they played songs heard from poorly tuneable foreign radio stations. At about 64-'65 I  played in amateur and semi-professional groups  for example the Scampolo , or later Futurama with college students and regularly I played at best club of the town on square Hesz András. On one of our concert, Omega members noticed me  in 1967 and I entered into the Band then at the time they tried to become professionals.

- What do you mean by that?
- We wanted to differ from the old, traditional artists and the pop singer image accustomed . Having long hair , wearing jeans– but not only in these marks, our music and lyrics also expressed something else, what teenagers were feeling about life of the time  - playing not foreign songs we ourselves composed them.

- When did you feel you reached your target?
- We went to England in 1968 where in a second we changed our mind about life . We learnt there , what the difference is among an amateur and a professional Group , how to go onto the stage to catch the audience indeed. Next to rules in behaviour however the technique of playing a concert or making a record we developed so much and after return we consciously employed the skills . In next ten years we had concerts not only in Hungary but abroad also . Twice we played in England , on several occasions in West Germany , but we concerted in Austria , France and Spain also . Then in the ’70s -after Omega from the category forbidden been transferred to tolerated  – we have been able to play in the socialist countries of that time.

- Really, why was Omega forbidden?
- The authority of that time was afraid of new musical style represented by us for a sort of political content behind,  or totally destroying the soviet camp, or advertising the western style standard of living . At the end of the 60s , in the days of rock festival in Woodstock and student revolution in Paris among the young persons drugs became popular more and more. In west rock concerts almost accepted were the marijuana and the hashish . Authorities, however were afraid of appearing a basis with drugs in our country too. Consequently there was forming a serious aversion they related to the rock music and ' the 70s they did not permit large concerts.

- That is why so many times you played rather abroad?
- A long time survival for the Hungarian bands always represented the foreign tours . Hungary is so small , that if a band just plays here , after a time it overacts the public . Those who too often played near each other towns , – because of few distance shortly on several occasions audience can view them again they will lose their thing of interest . On foreign tours on the other hand Omega was not this danger threatened, it was sure, that we did not play on the same place twice within half year.

- On top of all you had really large success abroad.
- On top of all you had really large success abroad.- Yes , especially at that time in the two part divorced Germany there were fans of rock culture we represented, therefore they treated us almost Worldstars. I will never forget what success was our LP Living Omega when we managed to bring 2000 copies to Berlin.  Fans came together at one o'clock at night at Cultural Institute of Hungary , but album started to be sold in the morning from 11 o'clock. But mainly  in the 70s in different countries also we played with success. Many times we were in Poland , Romania , Bulgaria in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia also , so quite soon in Europe we were recognized . Fantastic feeling was , when I entered a Cologne record store , and  saw , that our discs rank on the shelf under „Omega” headword. Or Swiss for example , where our records appeared separately on a display.

- If so successful you were , what is the reason for long break ?
- After 10 year of rush by ’82 we felt we must stop a bit , because of the too many tours we break down. At last the band stood out on five following day and played at Budapest Sportcsarnok , about which a film was recorded by Miklós Jancsó . In following few years we began to compose theatral and soundtracks. Next we appeared before large audience at the Városliget . At the end of the 80s , in the days of the political change we felt, this is not the time now for music to play role . Between 87-'94 we did not stand onto stage with Omega .

- What did you deal with those days ?
- We founded an Office for Productions with János Kóbor . Records of the leading groups from Hungária,  R-Go to V-Motorock, were made there. Beside, we composed music for film and advertisment. In ’94 on the other hand Omega reunited and under a decade of time we made something again , that I think nobody would be able to make . In 94 , ' 99 , 2001 and 2004 also we filled up the Népstadion. Maybe this is the proof to that , so that if with due patience the man abides his time , then a fullhouse concert a Hungarian band is able to give .

- Do you deal with production now?
- No I do not .  To be honest at the age of 60 like this , not that I would be tired , but I slow down the tempo . Today I feel fine , if just with the composition I can spend my time . I deal with things, which cause joy really , or what intellectually mean a challenge .


- So rock musical entitled the 56 drops of blood is also belongs there .
- Really from a simple friendly relation the whole started. I sail a lot with my friends on the Lake Balaton . With Tamás Pintér one of the evening we talked that anniversary of revolution ' 56 is approaching , then he once said to make a musical play .  For the event is characterized with counterpointing forces, we based the story on  Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet situation. First we asked Géza Bereményi to make the script, he  was not able to undertake a task so as director of Theatre of Zalaegerszeg he was too engaged therefore Péter Horváth made script of  56 drops of Blood, and dr Endre Nagy is the producer of film however.

- How the songs were composed?
- As advanced the piece , we composed so the songs . While we were writing the story , different situations of feeleings created . Scenes collectively we  analyzed and I tried to compose musics to write to them . At the end  Péter Horváth prepared the lyrics .

- What is the difference between film and musical?
- In last October we twice performed the piece in Budapest Sportcsarnok. Two performances and the full rehearsal with 16 cameras we filmed  with the intention to make a film. From two and half hour performance in a reduced form onto quasi 93 minutes at last, the film was made, with certain consequence of scenes became shorter or cut out at all but a narrative piece included to understand the story better. To the new parts , in which Attila Kaszás and Róbert Alföldi act , I wrote new musics. The film so , not more , but different , than the theatre . Anyway in the days the DVD comes out on which appears in the extra, the scenes cut out, or a soul-stirringly nice interview with Attila Kaszás.

- How did 56 drops of Blood get out to Los Angeles to Hungarian Film Festival?
- The film was screened on the Cannes Film Festival  in May also , where really large interest surrounded.  Namely, to people more interesting a musical film , than a prosaic , far easier to understand . Among others Béla Bunyik organizer of the Los Angeles Hungarian Film Festival viewed and he suggested to open the Festival with  56 drops of Blood. I am curious about what do Americans feel , than their taste is differring from the European totally , even the story is about an event , they  may not know so much .

- When do you start?
- Festival begins on 11th October , so on 10th we fly to Los Angeles . Hungarian organizer of the program , Béla Bunyik guessed  that we  start the film for Golden Globe Award.  So relevant critics will view the 56 drops of Blood apart from the Festival screening. Exciting would be to hear opinion of the critics , who by the way criticizes Hollywood films . Moreover there will be a third screening on the UCLA , which is the only such a University of world , where a film-maker technicians trained .  Attila Bokor  Director of 56 drops of Blood, who also graduated in this University invited students for screening. Interesting , what would tell a today's college student about  the story , or the film - and about the musical language .

- What do you expect after American show?
- The event is not having a concrete goal , maybe just  so that we  receive reacts , that people living on another part of world, who know almost nothing about revolution 56 , with the help of the film whether they can become one with the story . Unfortunately the young Hungarians also have something to learn from revolution 56 however this is one of the important points in Hungary’s twentyth century history.  I think , that it was right to write musical piece about the revolution , than it gets present generation to look after the history of 56 maybe. Whether beyond the ocean on their own life if they could understand past happenings , I guess out in a little while .

-If you return from America, what are the further plans?
- I would like to write a new musical piece. I also have an idea , but I do not tell you so much , but exactly the opposite of this one. No  enormous stage-set , neither tanks nor a hundred of actors. An everyday story to be undertstood well from 9 to 99 year old for everybody in the same pleasurable way . If everything goes well the in the season 2008/09 , or spring 2009 we plan the premier . On top of all  we organize 2008 Polish concert of the Omega also .

- How can you harmonize the theatre with the Omega?
- It is not a problem , even , if I reach success on the one , then it is inspiring , that I  try to show results on the other so . Omega is a  spiritual condition , that will be never ended . We are present long ago in the musical life , and we reached a lot , that gives authentic of a certain kind . Truly both are loves , because Omega not only for me , but to the others represents a lot. But when the man alone gets him measured in Budapest Sportaréna, where tenthousands applause is really fantastic feeling . True , I must sit to the piano a lot , by the time I write a piece , but despite, this is a lot of joy .No better than the man might deal with the one , that is interesting indeed .

So on 10th October Tamás Mihály is overflying the ocean , that with his soundtrack  he astonishes the American people . Excitedly we  wait the minute , that what he mentioned on a new piece , we could see as soon as possible.

-Pogonyi Nóra-
[09.10.2007.]

source: zene.hu
 
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