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Niskende Tewtär

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Niskende Tewtär concert in Margaret Island, in Budapest, 1988

Niskende Tewtär were an Hungarian band active from 1987 to 1990 in Budapest. It was established by Attila Kalóczkai and Sándor Vály, who were later joined by other members for varying amounts of time.

Initially, their experimental music was based on whistles, sampler, string bass guitar, singing voice, and later drums were added to. The Niskende Tewtär’s songs and lyrics were determined by Asian mythology and shamanism.

The name means ’Virgin Mary’ in the Mordovian mythology. The members learned Asian mythology and shamanism, read a lot of books about them. Such worlds opened for them in these texts which closely connected to the expressive power of their personal life. This was a sort of poetry and rhythm that they wanted to adapt to their everyday life, they need this content to their mental health.

The band never made a demo album and rarely held concerts but they appeared in the legendary scenes of alternative music so in the Közgáz Klub (a club at the Karl Marx University) and the Fekete Lyuk.

Their most interesting concert was held in a chapel of a psychiatric hospital where one of the members worked. This event was connected to Sándor Vály’s art exhibition.

Their audience was mainly university students but punks, intellectuals, artists, and some satanists appeared, too.

Sándor Vály recalled that the rock and pop music of the 1970/80s did not attract him and his company. He saw that a new generation gained awareness and new thoughts, feelings, and life desire were born that could not be expressed by the contemporary mainstream music nor in its form, neither its content. This was frightened for these teenagers. He did not experience spiritual or emotional impress until when one of his friends brought him to a Vágtázó Halottkémek or VHK’s concert. Then he felt he found the language in which he could express everything that was inside him. This "found language" became part of his identity and strengthened his responsiveness to music and the desire for playing music. The punk opened the door for him and his fellows who did not study professional music. Plenty of bands were established, the majority of them were short-lived, others created enduring values. Playing music formed communities and music was the tool of expression and representation for them. This frustrated generation was encouraged by punk music as the abstract channel of creativity. This was the that they did not only listen to but created also.

Niskende Tewtär concert in Margaret Island, in Budapest, 1988

Niskende Tewärt was interested in how one can combine the Hungarian and Eastern folk music motifs with the punk and hardcore. They did not deal deeply with politics, however, they had some problems with the system just like almost everybody young at that time. They felt that such music directions as VHK or Niskende were able to motivate for a generation that sought their identity in a different way than the society offered or forced. In this way, they wanted to give creative direction and energy to the wildness and instincts.

Numerous reasons stood behind the disbanding of the Niskende Tewtär: the compulsory military service, the marriages, and moving abroad.

Niskende Tewtär concert in Margaret Island, in Budapest, 1988

This article is based on the interview with Sándor Vály via e-mail. The inner demand for self-documentation or archiving did not feature these kinds of music bands. In general, the press did not deal with the alternative groups if they did not go into scandals.

They were mentioned only in one interview with one of the members of VHK, Attila Grandpierre in 1988. He said that there was plenty of genuine, moreover in some cases world-class production in the Hungarian punk and hard-core scene which did not simply copy Western music but created some new and unique. In his opinion, Niskend Tewärt was one of these creative communities.

Niskende Tewtär concert in Margaret Island, in Budapest, 1988

Members

  • Attila Zsámán – song
  • Attila Kalóczkai – song, whistles
  • Sándor Vály – bass guitar, song
  • Viktor Csányi – drums
  • Imre Zoltán Apró – solo guitar
  • Károly Ludvigh – whistled
  • Zoltán Márkus – kettledrum
  • György Horváth – solo guitar
  • Vali Fekete – song, dance


Photos were taken on a concert in Margaret Island, in Budapest, in 1988. (in Sándor Vály’s property).