Ex Oriente lux – light comes from the East. The magic spirit of ancient Eurasia is conjured. Shaman power in psychedelic hardcore. Huns from the Steppes finally triumphed. Primordial God-feeling. The spell-binding knowledge of the One and Indivisible Universe. All these are different formulations of one music group: VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS - The Galloping Wonder Stag. As it is written about their music: “Certainly there is no other music that could more effectively communicate to our compatriots, or even to the whole world, the powerful force of our national past and heritage — which survives and flourishes to the present day, as the music of the Vágtázó Csodaszarvas (cca. Wonder Stag in Full Gallop) so eloquently testifies. If you hear it once, you will find it unforgettable — and will seek out the experience again” (you can see the whole article below: The Power of Galloping Melodies).
Actually, the music of the Galloping Wonder Stag arises in the same way as the ancient ethnic music: from the deepest impulses of the human spirit seeking expression of life’s profound, enrapturing, unfolding beauty. It is a natural music, born of the cosmic creative power of Nature.
As the great Hungarian composer Bela Bartók wrote: “The real ethnic music is a natural phenomenon free from any cultural influence, the result of the formative activity of the unconsciously acting natural force. Such creations develop with the same organic freedom as the other living organisms of Nature: the flowers, animals etc…. Such music expresses the instinctive manifestation of a peasant’s musical perception.”
The deepest human self-expression reaches back to this natural, cosmic force, with all its elementary, magical power. VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS’s music manifests the ancient spirit of Eurasia, of the rich and noble experience of restless, nomadic people canvassing the wilderness for human possibilities. Listening to this music, you can tune into the experience of a thousand years of horse-riding people intimately connected to the heart of Nature, and immerse yourself in the bright treasures of overwhelming rhythms and melodies that is their legacy to us, denizens of the modern age. The leader of the group, Attila Grandpierre, is a bona fide shaman in the ancient sense of that term, a perceptive instrument mediating the ancient and eternal reality of this primaeval experience, translated to us in our own age via this incomparable, magical folk-music.
VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS emerged in 2005 subsequent to five years of creative activity defining and refining its concept and musical direction. Attila Grandpierre, founder of the ensemble, left his former music group Vágtázó Halottkémek (abbr. VHK, cca. Galloping Coroners) in the year 2000, after 26 years of vital activity. They were officially forbidden by the authorities, but were able to play because of their incredible popularity. In these decades he had became a world-renowned icon of the contemporary Hungarian music scene before his departure. VHK had acquired its reputation as the best shaman-punk band ever. In this new group, Attila invited some of the best Hungarian folk virtuosos, together with some previously unknown but technically excellent and spiritually-endowed musicians. Their recent debut in the Petőfi Hall presented a ferocious performance, and received wide credit as a tremendous success. The band now consists of eleven members, playing on zymbalon (dulcimer, ancient Hungarian cymbalom), koboz (kobsa, ancient Hungarian lute, lyre), the Hungarian bagpipe, the Csango drums (ancient Hungarian shaman-drums), violin, and double bass — all together fusing to create what is by turns a ferocious and enrapturing sound.
VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS is not merely a musical experience, but a vision of an unlimited will to live our lives to the fullest capacity. The ritual, shamanic dance presented by Attila Grandpierre is a source of magic that enraptures the whole band and hypnotizes the audience, who thereby experience the extraordinary world where the magical music still lives, as it has ever lived from time immemorial.
It almost goes without saying that The Galloping Wonder Stag is reputed to be an eminently distinguished Hungarian cult band. The music of VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS is a proud music, life-affirming, spontaneous, joyful, and suffused with overwhelming energy seeking release. In present terms, it is shamanistic and psychedelic. It is a cosmic vision about the role of earthly life in the destination of the Universe. It develops in a sovereign way as a self-revelation by means of its sheer elementary power.
The first CD of VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS — entitled Pure Spring — appeared in August 2006, published by FONÓ Records. Its pride and glory is to recall Béla Bartók’s concept of the real folk music — and to make it resonate with the minds, sensibilities, and spirits of people like you and me who seek vital connections with our living world and with our human past. It reached the top at the list of the best records of 2006 of the editors of Rockinform, the Hungarian musical journal, and has been dedicated to the best CDs of 2006 in the categories of the best debut albums, the best productions and the best CD covers as well at the international list of Hungarian Metal Awards Hang-Súly’06.
1. Végtelen Egy / Infinite One
2. A Zene lakodalma / Music’s Wedding
3. Mámoros éji vágtázás / Elated Nocturnal Galloping
4. Rég volt / A Long Time Ago
5. Fohász egy lóhoz / Prayer To A Horse
6. Pótolhatatlan Halhatatlanság / Irreplaceable Immortality
7. Vágtázó Himnusz / Galloping Anthem
Grandpierre Attila - voice
Bese Botond - bagpipe
Balogh Kálmán - zymbalon
Benke Félix - drum
Benkő Róbert - double bass
Bolya Mátyás - lute
Geröly Tamás - drum
Márton Bernadett - voice
Miller Krisztina - violin
Róka Szabolcs - lute
Szokolay Dongó Balázs - wind players