Hungarian composer Réka Csiszér’s new project, VÍZ, is an introspective sonic diary. Within harrowing aural spaces built on chamber music architecture and ephemeral forms, Csiszér glows like a beacon. Veils is simultaneously challenging and engaging and on “Jozefina,” the trappings of the real world break apart, falling away into a guileless void where transformation isn’t just possible, but necessary for survival.
Working with filmmaker Radiana Basso, Csiszér created a film trilogy for Veils, the first part of which we premiere today. It is beautifully shot. The cryptic narrative is impossible to turn away from, drawing us into the experiment. Veils is out now via BlauBlau Records. Listen and purchase HERE. The remaining two installments of the Veils trilogy will premiere on Foxy Digitalis in the coming weeks.
Here is Csiszér’s statement on the Veils project:
VÍZ is my chamber of soul, an intimate space in which I explore my sense of self, my past experiences, and my perception of reality. It is a playground for solitary audio-visual experimentation, as well as a platform for collaboration with artists working in different fields, to challenge each other and expand our creative minds. VÍZ is a Hungarian word and means water. It reminds me of where I come from. Water is formless and shapeless. Quiet, violent, mysterious, and dangerous at the same time. You can float on water but also drown. Water has an infinite quality and infinity makes me feel safe. Using a Hungarian word as an alias also symbolizes my attempt to connect on a deeper level with my Transylvanian roots and ancestors.
My conceptual work Veils is an elegiac body horror soundtrack in seven stages, the soundtrack to my own personal nightmares and traumas, and a requiem for my father Imre. The record deals with death, grief, cultural heritage, and identity.
Accompanying the record is an abstract, psychotronic short film, spanning three chapters, made in collaboration with Radiana Basso – a filmmaker from Ticino (Switzerland) – and inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky’s concept of ‘Psicomagia’. ‘Psichomagia’ is a playful attempt to heal trauma, in a theatrical way, uniting psychology and spirituality. Through the physical performance of the self, confronting and re-enacting different experiences of memory and pain, a new energy can be formed, and transformation can manifest.
Using the format of a film trilogy, we created ‘a psychotronic short film in three movements.’ This trilogy represents my loss of contact with reality, and depicts an interaction with, and impersonation of, various personas within my familial constellation.
The material for the trilogy was shot in the summer and autumn of the first year of the pandemic. Each chapter was shot in a different location in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland, with the changing locations representing different realities. The quest for the ideal location for “Jozefina (Veil I)” was a research process and incorporated a lot of traveling to different places in the valleys of Ticino, in order to find the kind of architecture and scenery we were looking for. This video has more of a documentary-like character. Jozefina was my grandmother and it’s about her prophetic gifts. It also deals with themes of free will, duality, and the limitation of the human self.
The trilogy is a true collaboration between the director Radiana Basso and me. I was looking for a filmmaker I could develop the visual side of Veils with, and who could help with translating my vision onto film. In Radiana Basso I found a great partner in crime, who shares my madness and passion for surrealism, horror, experimental art, and spirituality.
Veils was envisioned from the start as an audio-visual work of art. During the development of the record, Radiana and I talked about the visual language of it all and decided to take inspiration from surrealism and psychological horror as it suited the themes I wanted to deal with. Since we are both admirers of directors such as Andrzej Żuławski, Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg and David Lynch, it didn’t take much time to find common visual ground that we could build our narratives on. Our work was intuitive, with a very open approach to experimentation and improvisation.