On the first birthday of Hexapla

Sometimes we don’t even realize, how fast time flies: Hexapla, my debut album was already released one year ago. On such remarkable occasions people used to draw meaningful conclusions and make bold statements, but I just want to quickly summarize the milestones of this amazing journey from “Day 0” to today.

I don’t even know when “Day 0” was. Maybe it was back in the 80’s, when I got my first small acoustic guitar from my parents and started to make horrible noises with it (I even tried to invent some home-made distortion equipment for the poor thing, but of course I failed…). Or maybe “Day 0” was sometime around 1990, when I first joined a band. It was a different era at a different place with different people around me, and naturally the music I envisioned then was slightly – but not fundamentally – different from the music I make today. I can’t remember anymore much of the details, but back then my musical creations were rather slow and melancholic. Later these compositions gradually developed into a strange mixture of a Nightwish-type of opera metal combined with Nevermore-like brutality. They didn’t really have a specific, well-defined style, but one thing was certain: the rhythmical foundations of thrash/death metal were already there. I’m also aware of the formative effect of those musicians (mainly – but not exclusively – guitar players) whom I loved and admired already in the 80’s and early 90’s: they are still my greatest favorites even now. While experimenting with various styles and techniques, I quickly realized that playing in a band won’t work for me: first my studies at the university and later my profession made the daily routine quite unpredictable. Still, the desire of creating and playing music was always there.

Although my own “Day 0” seems now to disappear in the gloomy shadows of my past, “Day 0” for Hexapla was probably the day when I first experimented with a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW, a software for sound recording, engineering, mixing, and mastering). I quickly realized that my musical concepts can be implemented even without playing in a band, just by recording guitars track by track, then adding bass lines, programmed drums, and orchestration. Some would say it’s a suboptimal way of creating and playing rock/metal music, but I must clearly disagree on that point. The pros for this solitary process are the independence and the compromise-free nature of the whole creative flow, while the cons are the exclusive responsibility for every small details, and the enormous amount of energy that must be sacrificed on the altar of running a one piece band. While it certainly feels somewhat lonely to do everything alone from creating drum tracks to guitar solos, orchestration, mixing, mastering, and promotion, I wouldn’t easily give up this kind of independence and freedom. I don’t even feel sorry that I had to let the vocals go (originally, I wanted to write songs with lyrics and vocals, but soon I realized that my own “natural habitat” is instrumental metal music).

Although Hexapla was born in August 2021, I started to write the backbone of the songs already more than a year before. Several people asked me, what made me to give such a strange title to the album – and to be honest, I never gave a decent answer. But now I will. The truth is that earlier I wrote lots of poems that I initially intended to develop into song lyrics. When I started to think about the concept of my first album, I had six poems in mind enlightening one well-defined topic from six separate viewpoints. And the topic was a long (almost fifteen years ago) lost friendship: the slow but – as it later turned on… – inevitable process of mutual estrangement from someone whom I’d truly admired and taken care of. As I slowly realized that I’m quite uncomfortable with envisioning and writing vocals, I started to experiment with expressing feelings and thoughts exclusively through music, without the help of lyrics – and thus, the original idea of incorporating texts in my musical creations slowly slipped out of focus. I think this was another milestone in the formative process of Hexapla.

I, then, started to experiment with various DAWs and ended up with Steinberg’s excellent software, Cubase – and this was the point when I (sometime in December 2020, during the second COVID lockdown in Hungary) first recorded my fragmented ideas and incorporated them into an increasingly uniform concept. The songs started to show their own individual character – and I wanted them to reflect those feelings that I originally hoped to express in those early poems. Hexapla remained (as it was originally planned) an album of six songs, and the six-fold translation of the Bible by Origen of Alexandria in the third century seemed to a strange but still appropriate parallel to my six-fold musical description of those multitude of feelings.

Well, this is the story of my first album in a nutshell – I hope you guys don’t mind if this post managed to be a little longer than usual. Happy birthday to Hexapla, and many happy returns!