Aaron Fazakas About

Concert for Steel and Orchestra
(Composer Aaron Fazakas combines Korean metallurgy with American advertising)
An article/interview by Horaţiu Damian
The Foaia Transilvana Newspaper, 1 March

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A hall concert in Cluj, in the summer of 2005. The newly composed music work is being played. As usual, the audience is being tortured by the "horrors" so dear to Romanian composers. Suddenly, without any warning, the air vibrates with elevating, deep music, like in the times when the composers truly were gifted.
The author's name is Aaron Fazakas. Age: 32, married, one son.
The work bears the name "Stalactite": «One day, on the Internet I came across a photo taken in a cave. (Later I came to learn that it had been taken by the American photographer, Richard Cindric. He gave me his consent to use it on the cover of my CD). I looked at the photograph, it captivated me, it generated a flow of images. I could feel the cold in the cave, the air currents, I could hear the water drops. The melodic line started to appear. The music started flowing out of me, and the final result was called «Stalactite – The Silent Witness».


Music of globalization
This work has brought him luck. “I received a phone call from a lady in Korea. She represented an American advertising company, Getty Image. The company worked for a Korean steel corporation. They were planning an aggressive penetration into the American market, with a colossal advertising campaign. They ordered a sumptuous and complex presentation movie. For its soundtrack, they organized a series of competitions. The lady told me that she had found a recording of the "Stalactite" and so she considered my name. She said to me: «Mister Fazakas, the other composers have been working on this project for two months. You have six days at your disposal. Do you accept it?» In six days I wrote the soundtrack called "Growing Toward the Light" for Symphony Orchestra. It's true that I was working 20 hours a day, but I finished the composition, did the orchestration for all the instruments, I also did the transcription of the scores, everything. On the seventh day, together with conductor Cristian Sandu, I was off to Kiev in Ukraine, to record the piece of work with the Philharmonic there. Nowadays everything is extremely globalized. The American company works for the Korean company with a Romanian composer and the Kiev Philharmonic”, says the composer.


While still a pupil, Fazakas was preparing for a career in surgery. He got into the finals of the biology Olympic Competition. "I was entitled to dissecting corpses. And I did too.", he remembers. Another hobby decided his fate: the hard rock band, Steel Head. His first successes as a rocker (interviews, radio recordings) made him apply to the Music Academy, "because from a certain stage on, you no longer make any musical progress without some serious studies". And at the moment he is preparing a doctoral thesis on movie soundtracks.


Cannon Symphony
The time had come that the young man, Aaron Fazakas do his military service. In its great wisdom, the system had found him the best place for a musician: artillery. The strategists had probably thought that the howitzer discharges would sharpen his hear. But..., the unit commander wanted an army choir. So I got the mission to organize it. I took my fellows aside and told them: "What would you rather do: stay out in the cold by the cannons or stay warm, singing? But you will still have to work". We were aired on PRO TV, we took part in the Army Song Festival. Back then, the army would get TV airtime only as far as deserters and suicides were concerned, so we got support because we were changing the image of the institution", Fazakas now laughs. The music did not stay without an effect on the recruits. “I ran into a former army colleague and his wife told me: «I don't know what you've done with him, but he sings to me in bed every night» says the musician smiling. This is how a Hungarian man ended up conducting the Romanian artillery choir on accords of "Hora Unirii" ("Hora of the Union") and "Desteapta-te, romane!" ("Awaken Ye, Romanian!").


The Mute Masterpiece
His first composition was MISSA FIDELIUM. ”I have taken up a genre that others work on towards the end of their lives, when they have gathered some experience. I started with it. It took me seven years to complete”, says the artist. It is 40 minutes long and it is written for an sypmhony orchestra of over 150 instrumentalists, mixed choir and solo voices. Nobody has been able to listen to it yet. The composer has not had the necessary funds for the concert's accomplishment. That is, not yet ...


Aaron Fazakas relies on "The Holy Trinity" formed together with Cristian Sandu, who conducted all his premieres, and the musicologist Oleg Garaz. "The role of music is to ennoble the human soul, so that one may have even a tiniest revelation when listening to your composition, and become, as if by a miracle, better for a few seconds. It feels good to be a wizard of short-term wonders", the composer from Cluj ends his confessions.

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