Bálint Laczkó is a Hungarian composer, audio-related software developer, hobby-programmer, and generally a technology enthusiast. He further describes himself as “ a bookworm, a nature- and cycling-lover, and a learning-junkie as well”.

Bálint has a long experience of music. “I studied music since the age of 7, and after high school I specialised myself in music composition. Sounds and our relationship with them are what has fascinated  me most in all my life. So studying music seemed to be a reasonable choice.

Bálint’s residence which started in september last year, is funded by an Erasmus scholarship.. But why did the young Hungarian composer choose Norway?

“I chose Norway because of Notam, and I chose Notam because it is an exceptional crossroad of technology and organized sound. Here I am surrounded not only by musicians, composers, but people who build custom hardware and software, produce music in studios as well as in concert halls; so generally people from whom I can learn a great deal and who can really broaden my horizon. I didn’t necessarily plan that but I have also learned a great deal from all the people I’ve met, and all the kindness, generosity and enthusiasm which surrounds me here.”

If you drop by Notam, you probably find Bálint working with a project or two. His enthusiasm is quite infectious. “Ultimately, the discovery of sounds or sound-relationships is what has always been my drive, no matter I am listening to music, working on or learning about software and programming, or – especially – composing.

“Generally, I start from something like an aural vision, which is usually how the piece would start as well. It illustrates a characteristic dynamism, source sound(s), process, texture, movement and spatiality, most often a mixture of all these. Depending on this vision, finding the right musical starting point can be a very straightforward and very tedious process as well. But what may be a general approach is that I always look for short, and fairly simple musical ideas to start with, and the act of composition mostly emerges from the expeditionary work of deconstructing or rearranging that idea, and adding more and more levels of abstraction. Another general approach is that I always feel that music is the network of contextuality of a lot of different sound-“beings” sharing some sort of mutual space. This may have something to do with my enthusiasm about nature, and it is definitely closely related to the idea of collage (from a purely structural perspective).”

Bálint will finish his internship at Notam in the middle of June. “It has been great, intense, full of new experiences. Beyond the enormous amount of technical things I’ve learned, I will definitely take a load of dear memories with me, about the lot’s of fun we had together (during and beyond office-time), the sacred 12 o’clock lunches, the high level of shared friendly nerdiness, Uruk (the famous Notam dog) resting his head on my elbow while I am working at my desk, the shared late-night work craziness, the spontaneous bar-times, and that there is always someone interesting to listen to over a cup of coffee or tea… Or just walking through the corridor seeing everyone doing something interesting. I will really miss everybody here!”

On the 15th of June, Bálint will give a presentation on his work. The will be some fingerfood and everyone is welcome.