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News - MEDIAWAVE Foundation


REPLIKAS - Radical Rock from Istanbul at the MEDIAWAVE Festival, Hungary

We had the opportunity to report about spring tour of Istambul based band, Replikas in Turkish edition of Rolling Stone magazine.
The MEDIAWAVE International Film and Music Festival located in Győr is one of the most characteristic festivals in East Europe which has a unique program structure and does not follow the fashionable international trends. One of its characteristics is the dual respect toward tradition and modern which means in practice that the most experimental, avantgarde improvised music productions often go together with the raw, authentic folk music programs.

The two Turkish bands, Replikas and Sarikamis, exemplify this feature typical of the festival.

The authentic folk music band, Sarikamis, was discovered at the Festival on Wheels in Kars in 2004 by the organsiers of the MEDIAWAVE Festival, when, at the goodbye party, Tuncel Kurtiz, the famous actor, started to make jokes on the local Kurdish people saying that there is noone among them who can sing a song and have a good time. The company was just about to leave when a man in abashment was persuaded to sing a song. Listening to Rasim Kaya singing, the Hungarian cultural delegation became totally impressed by the strong rythmic voice. Wakening and drinking off some Raki, they all started to dance.

Not by chance: in the 60’s and 70’s of the last century in Hungary, when the difficult period of socialism after the revolution in 1956 had just started to become softer, a strange movement started up in a narrow layer of young people. While the majority was turning on the topical ‘Anglo Saxon’ music, a small (and later larger and larger) group of people went to the villages to collect the forgotten folk dances and music from old people and decided to learn them. The dance houses became the meeting points of the maverick intellectual youth. Some determined group of people travelled to the territories of Hungary lost in the World War II. The Romanian authorities did not appreciate it and the visitors of Transylvania and Moldva had to go through many hardships on the way. However, the result is unambiguous: the most ancient layers of Hungarian folk music, which Béla Bartók had already serached in Transylvania and in Anatolya (Turkey) in the 30’s and 40’s, survived this way. Bartók was the one who connected the original, non-popular folk music with modern music. This life achievement raised him among the greatest composers. His work then influenced many American and European free jazz and avantgarde jazz musicians.

The MEDIAWAVE Festival has carried on the Bartokian tradition in modern form. It was not by chance that the festival staff started to dance on Rasim Kaya’s folk song: the Hungarian dance house movement did not cease to exist with the changing regime and with the liberation from the Russian influence. A significant part of the intellectual youth knows the different dialects of the Hungarian folk dance and music like those of the Hungarians in Moldva, where a strong Turkish influence can be indicated. The most popular forms are the most ancient ones; morning lasting parties are typical of this music even in the frame of our festival.

The organiser of the MEDIAWAVE became excited by the music treasure of the Sarikamis band. The band became very popular in Hungary for today. During the music showcase at the festival this year, about 150 European festival organisers saw the band and invited this music with ancient strength to different festivals. The MEDIAWAVE organisers not only exported music to Turkey but they also brought a band and some films to the film fesival in Kars in 2006. Fanfara Complexa playing ethno music from Moldva became very popular by the end of the festival and underlined and strenghtened the relationship between the Turkish and Hungarian music at many occassions.

The MEDIAWAVE team anyway got an insight into the folk world of the small Kurdish villages.

In Kars the organisers had the chance to listen to the Replikas band who they had known from Fatih Akin’s film, “Crossing the Bridge”. Mutual symphaty like respecting the John Zorn-Marc Ribbot line (earlier they attended the MEDIAWAVE Festival) and a nice conversation ended up in an invitation to the festival plus a European tour for the band.

It is quite difficult in Hungary to introduce a totally unknown band especially if it is done not by a money oriented concert organiser enterprise in the capital. Now the Turkish band arrived to the ‘countryside’and an independent, non-profit foundation was about to call the attention to them. Here the Turkish fame did not matter: they had to fight for the favour of the Hungarian and international audience. And they did it.

Our aim was to show the band outside the main stage of Győr - the festival centre - at such venues which give places to our accompanying events in small towns and villages.

“For the first time, the band performed in Rábapatona, in the floodplain of a slowly sinking river, on a stage among trees.
We have been together only for some minutes and they give me the CD of the ‘Necropsi’, their collegues from Istanbul. I feel alright: with this unselfish, friendly gesture they won me over at once.
Before them an ethno band (Arctic Yggdrasil) with an Eskimo singer is playing and the Galopping Wonder Stag with Hungarian folk music roots filled with ancient punk energies comes after. The majority of the audience, who just finished with the fish soop cooking competition, has not really prepared to the Turkish guitar-crush, the raw rock music of Replikas hits sharply into the afternoon sunshine. The members of the village amateur band are shocked to listen to the music, the perfect sounding is attracting all those who have not ever heard of such smashing modern rock music live.

Two days later we get on the bus again with the guys. The band and the stage organisers start to get on well with each other, we play music together and feel sorry for the lack of the pampering Turkish bath culture.

They open the MEDIAWAVE program in the Fort-Monostor Komárom. My organisation and arrangement duties at the festival start to make me extremely exhausted. I feel I have to operate and think like a machine soon so the different locations work successfuly. The opening electric clicks from Gece Kadar Rahatsiz Etmiyor could creep out from myself as well but the appearing Turkish tunes fascinate me; I could go to fight to the battlefield with these angry riffs.

During the concert, my newest favourites charm me, I learn Erkin Koray’s name and looking forward to their adaptation of a Turkish folk song. I do not understand a single word from the lyrics and the great many things to do will not let me know them later either… The musicians do not spend much time in the fortress beacuse they will have a concert at night in Győr: they will be the main attraction on the big stage.

The local young people, after the first embarrasment, became excited by the music very soon and by the end of the concert a real fan club is dancing, who, together with the audience, do not want to let the band go off the stage. However, the real break will come on the next tour with the spreading of this success and with the television broadcast of the concert.”

Replikas entered Hungary and started to conquere the country just like in the 1500’s the Ottoman troops occupied the middle of Hungary for 150 years. Although the antecedents show that the Hungarians are preparing with the answer…

Jenő Hartyándi (festival director) & Péter Pusker (concert organiser, stage manager)
Photos: Attila Nagy
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2024-03-12 22:12

Passport Controll'24 - Workshops and Application

Application is now open to this year's Passport Controll Summer Workshop and Gathering, at the Kund Castle, Somogyfajsz! You can choose from a range of visual, music, family and gastronomy workshops. Click here for details!














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