Ian Morrison (IM) Can you tell me what folk music instruments you play and a bit about some of them?
Mihály Borbély (MB) Originally I was trained on
clarinet (classical) and saxophone (jazz) at the Bela Bartok Conservatory
of Music and at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. I started
to play with Vujicsics in 1974 and in parallel - during my years
at those institutes. I started to play some special folk instruments like:
IM What were your first experiences of folk music?
MB I grew up in a nice village near Budapest called Pomáz which was Tihamér Vujicsics' birth-place as well. This is a busy town now but in my childhood (in the sixties) it was a quiet village with the colourful multicultural life of the Hungarian and other minorities (Serbian, German, Slovakian and Gipsy) people who have been living in peace together here for centuries. The old people could speak each other's languages and they knew each other's songs as well. I have heard my woman neighbour speak these languages and I have heard their songs, I have seen their dances, their holidays and celebrations... it was so natural for me.
IM Obviously ethnomusicologist Tihamer Vujicsics
has had a great influence on your music, can you tell me when you first
met him? Did you study under him?
IM When and where did Tihamer Vujicsics do his field
work and collecting of songs? Where is his work fieldwork preserved?
He did fieldwork all over Yugoslavia of course to complete his comparative
ethno-musical research. A part of his work was preserved by his family
and later it was taken to the remainder in the Hungarian Ethnographical
Museum. His work was published in two books:
IM Do you or other members of the Ensemble Vujicsics ever teach
or give concerts at the Tihamer Vujicsics Music School in Szentendre?
IM I know that you have also studied the work of Gyorgy Martin,
can you tell me what he collected that interests you and how you have
adapted it into the repertoire of Ensemble Vujicsics?
IM Do you do fieldwork of your own and if so where?
IM Some years ago your ensemble played with the Baranya Orchestre
and dancers, can you tell me about this?
IM Orchestre Antal Kovacs, Joca Mimika and Sztipan Pavkovity,
how have these artists influenced Ensemble Vujicsics?
Antal Kovács (from the famous Kovacs dynasty) was the most virtuosic tambura player in Hungary living in a Southern small town, Mohacs, which is a very important centre of tambura music. He was one of the most important tambura 'primas' (leader) and his rendering presented influences of gipsy music. We met him, played with him and recorded him several times - so his influence is very characteristic in our tambura music.
Joca Mimika - the legendary violin player Joca Mimika has been living and working in the Bacska region in the early decades of last century. His playing was documented on those Columbia Records collection and we fell in love with it.
Sztipan Pavkovity was a violinist with diabolic instrumental skills and actually he was one of the few who played Croatian and Serbian folk music with violin in Hungary. He has been living in a small village called Pecsudvard (near Pecs) but he was famous all around with his band. As he died before we started to play we learned his music from tapes. My wife who had been living in that village heard his last playing at a wedding where all people of the village was dancing, she said it was fantastic!
IM Would you say that your music is primarily dance music, kolo
IM When you play live do you have a Kolo leader?
IM What music events do you regularly play at and how often does
Ensemble Vujicsics play in Szentendre?
IM Some years ago I saw you play live and the set included what
I thought were very Turkish sounding folk music, I have never heard these
in any of your recordings, do you think you will ever do some?
IM Where was the tune Farandole from? (Released on the Heimetklange
IM Is the Vents D'Est project still going? If so can we expect
any new recordings?
IM What was your involvement in the Kati Szvorak 'Wedding in Central
Europe' CD release?
IM What does your teaching and lecturing work entail?
IM Any new Slav folk music bands that you enjoy?
IM What are the plans for Ensemble Vujicsics?
IM We look forward to hearing this, thank you!