Interview mit Ágnes und Mihály von The Moon And The Nightspirit

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On its latest atmospheric record „Metanoia“ the Hungarian folk duo THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT once more guides the listener into the mystical world of the spirits of nature. Read the following interview with Ágnes and Mihály to learn more about why the album features more piano and jaw-harp, why their songs sound quite symphonical, what Hungarian composers and philosophers had an impact on the album and what Mákos Nudli are.

Hello! Thank you very much for doing this interview with us. How are you?
Hello, we are fine thanks. The new album is finished and released, and we already started to do concerts to present the new songs. Also we are very curious about the reactions. Very exciting times.

Your music is mostly considered as (pagan) folk, world music and medieval music. Do you think that captures the essence of your music and if not, how would you describe it?
We use to say that we play a nature inspired – this may be called pagan, ritualistic and spiritually infused acoustic music presented by classical and some folk instruments.

In which way, do you think, is your music different from that of other folk bands?
We think that our music is more connected with the melancholic yet fairy-like musical aspects while also feeding from spirituality. Maybe these are the main differences.

What is it that fascinates you about the musical styles and instruments that you make use of and what are the origins of your connection to this kind of music?
We’ve always loved music – regardless of the genre – which is mystical, magical and nature oriented. We always wanted to create music that is timeless and somewhat off-world yet simple and playful. In all instruments we use, we seek the ancient and pristine sound. For example on our new album „Metanoia“ we use a lot of piano for its crystalline and stellar quality and also the jaw-harp which give the songs a shamanistic, ritualistic feel.

Do you also got any kind of connection to metal music?
Absolutely. We are both big metal fans and we both played in a metal band before.

What, do you think, is your biggest strength and weakness as musicians?
In our opinion we are quite good at composing instrumentation and creating the right atmosphere, but as soloists we are really terrible.

To me, it feels like you do not prefer a certain instrument but rather make all of them work together equally, so that the compositions are almost like little symphonies. Would you agree and if so, what’s the reason behind this?
We are very glad that you noticed this, thanks! Actually this album was meant to be a kind of fairy-symphony. In our context fairy meaning all the natural elements including birds, flowers or even stars. We are quite obsessed with symphony-like structures because we are also very big Béla Bartók fans (he is a Hungarian composer genius).

Your music is already really atmospheric on record, but you also play live shows. How important is playing gigs to you and where do you see the advantages and disadvantages in comparison to working in the studio?
It is very important for us to share our musical world with the audience in a live situation. It is always a more intimate connection with the listeners. The advantage is this. The disadvantage is of course that it is very hard to simulate studio-quality sound in a live environement. On concerts we have two session musicians to help us. Gergely Cseh on bass, Gábor Végh on percussions. Nowadays we also use sampler because playing all the various instruments we use on our albums would require many more people which is simply cannot be managed.

Your current album is called „Metanoia“. It’s a Greek term meaning something like „repentance“, however, in the description of the record it is referred to as „a return to the pristine and pure path of crystalline existence“. What exactly is the meaning of this?
We use the word „Metanoia“ in a philosophical/metaphysical manner. It refers to a turning point, a returning to the original and pristine path of existence. A spiritual awakening to an inner golden age of innocence and unity, the realization that we are all part of the same source, a unity with nature, the starry universe and with our own divine self. This transcendental theme is the main concept of the new album.

Would you consider „Metanoia“ a concept album?
Yes. „Metanoia“ is a concept album and as you also wrote in your review it can only be interpreted by listening it as a whole. Though there are seperate songs they all form a cohesion and are in symbiosis with each other. The whole album has a ligature, a beginning, a middle part and an ending. There are no real hit songs here but a longer journey through the album.

What inspired you in terms of lyricism on this record?
Our main inspiration lyrically was this sentence from Hungary’s greatest philosopher, Hamvas Béla: „The golden age is not a historical era but a condition and, as such, it is present all the time; the only thing it depends on is whether there is someone to realize it…”

What do you think are the biggest differences between „Metanoia“ and it’s predecessor „Holdrejtek“?
There are no real connection between the two – except that both were written by us. „Metanoia“ is about a more spiritual and transcendental theme. While „Holdrejtek“ was more like a „sylvan“ music, the new album has a kind of „cosmic, stellar“ atmosphere.

Is there a certain track on „Metanoia“ that is especially close to your heart and if so, why?
The favourite song is always changing. We love all the tracks for different aspects.

On your bandcamp website you also provide a luxus version of the album which contains two remixes. Why did you choose to do so and what can you tell us about those two remixes?
The two remixes are kind of experimentations for us. The first one is our own remix from the song „Mystérion Mega“, a more „etheric“ and psychedelic version. The second song is a remix by our friend Tamás Kátai – the head of Thy Catafalque – whose music is very inspiring, close yet very far from our musical style. We really wanted to hear his version of one of our songs, and we are very happy with the final outcome.

Ágnes, you yozrself created the mystical artwork. What can you tell us about its creation and the meaning behind it?
The paintings are my reflections to the music and they form a strong bond with both the lyrics and the music.

What are your next plans for THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT?
We will play on several festivals this summer representing our new album such as Yggdrassil Festival, Hörner Fest, Ragnard Rock Fest and Prophecy Fest among others.

To end this interview, I’d like to go through our traditional Metal1.info-Brainstorming:
Refugees: people like us with different and harder life experiences
Technology: We use it but are not slave to it.
Favorite Hungarian food: Mákos Nudli, the hungarian dumpling with poppy seed.
Prophecy Productions: Professional and reliable.
Favorite instrument: Always changing. (laughs)
Greek philosophy: Plato and Aristotle, the beginning of philosophy.

Alright, thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. The last words shall be yours:
Thank you very much for the interview. We enjoyed answering your questions a lot! May the light follow you on your path!

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