By likemindblog

DSC00187.jpg Viktor


VIKTOR SETHY is not your average, everyday guy!  He’s a musician, a painter, a writer.  His life isn’t the average life either, from being kidnapped as a child, to being homeless, to living in exile, to starting his life over several times.  This man has an attitude!  This man has something to say!  This man has multiple talents!  This man is interesting. 

Viktor, thank you for participating in this project.  It has been difficult to figure out which part to publish first because you almost wrote me a book.  And to decide whether to feature you as a musician or a visual artist or both.  I decided both. So I’ll begin with this and publish more down the road a bit!

 No. 1)  What is art, including music, to and for you?

I believe that you have to be born an artist…everyone has her/his own space in life, and going back a long time ago, people belonged where they were meant to.  When only a few hundred people lived together, it was important, that the hunter have good eyes, the “doctor” know the plants and their effects on the human body, and the king (the leader) had to be the smartest of all. People had time to pay attention to each other from a very young age, so they were able to tell who is going to be the best in this or that.

Now we are living in one huge global society, and chaos and corruption rule. Talent doesn’t counts any more – that’s why we don’t have any subculture renewing cultural life – giving us geniuses like we had in the 60s or in the early 70s. in music, fine arts…or even in politics.  So – art is a way of life and needs a person who has to have all the opportunities (and time) to practice, play, work and show results to the public.

Not all of us are geniuses. If we go back in time, we could probably only show up about 5 orViktor gitárját pengeti 10 really good musicians from the baroque age – while probably hundreds of musicians and composers were around.  It’s very nice and healthy when not so talented people are learning to play instruments or drawing…but they should never ever be called geniuses!!!

What is happening today?   There are some (mostly burned out) old “stars” playing out  their routine, squeezed hard by managers…some rich kids who learn and study more or less art, being pushed by  money (marketing), and a huge number of amateurs who are usually really bad, but who fill up YouTube, MySpace, etc… overloading people with all this new information.  So they no longer want to look at something new any more – they just keep on listening /watching/reading the same old stuff.

It’s sick – a stupid rocker shaking his long hair, half naked with an expensive destorted guitar (playing the 4 easiest chords) getting millions of views (on YouTube), while really talented real musicians get from 2 to 300 views!!!  Improvisation was basically killed around 1920, when some music theorists came up with music theory.”Wow”-they said-”you can compose in any style if you know music theory without knowing how to play an instrument! Anybody can do this – with a lot of practice, of course!” – WRONG!

Our life is not written down either – we have to know how to improvise – also in music, also in life. Otherwise we are not humans but robots = good slaves, perhaps…

Art is something sacred – it can lift up our souls, our minds to a higher level of existence. And what else that is sacred is left for people these days?  I guess nothing.  This is the only, and the last chance for humanity to find the right way.  Maybe that is why some want to destroy it so bad. 

No. 2) What inspires you?

Not too many things left inspire me. I try to remain optimistic, but as I said – there was no time in human history, when subculture died out this bad. And when the actual rulers were harsh and unfair, or even evil, it usually helped subculture to grow – simple physics. Knowing this fact we can be even more afraid of these days’ tendency.

I guess it started somwhere when DVC01781someone came up with this “depends on” idea: “there is no such a thing as good or bad, it only depends on your point of view,,,” WRONG!   There are some independent facts – independent from politics, or religion. Some things are wrong and some things are right, doesn’t matter, how somebody explains it. But people are confused.  They can’t even tell any more if they like somethingor not.  Look at the younger generation – even “outsiders” have their own groups of styles and thoughs and tendencies. No personal view, no personal style. The same in music: “I would like to play like X.Y.”  WRONG!

Come up with your own style!  Do something new!… even music teachers are training their students to pile up a bunch of musical patterns, and just put them after each other. WRONG AGAIN!


Well…I was the second one from Hungary to be accepted by Boston Berkeley College of Music.  Other Hungarian musicians (who weren’t accepted) hate me since then.   It was very inspiring to play with other great musicians…

No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, where does it take you, where does your mind travel?

You can’t WANT to play music. You can’t WORK on art. This is rather a state of mind, a kind of meditation, when the artist is opening up towards a higher sphere – a higher level of existence – and bringing down something wonderful from there.  It’s even visible – the best musicians are more like played by the music, but playing music. 

It doesn’t always happen . Even the best artists – the geniuses – when they are having a hard time, must rely on their routine (this can still sound good )…but real art takes place when you kind of loose your identity, just being a tool in the hand of God…or a higher quality of energy…or whatever.

No. 4)  Do you think music visual art and health are related?

Art surely relates to health – this has allready been proven by scientists too. We are partlyDVC01783 body and partly soul, and we need “food” for both of these components. Art can do miracles! Just because this is our only contact left with the higher levels of existence. And whatever is good for your soul, will be good for your body.  Humour is also a kind of art – strengthens the human immun system.  Proven.  Plants grow faster, cows give more milk listening to music… And what else are we here for on this planet but to try to be better than we are, better than our parent’s generation…what a pity that reality is basically going in the opposite direction.

Here are some scientifically proven facts:

80% of radio listeners would like to hear some new stuff.  80% of the people who are putting together the music for radios are convinced that they had better stick to the same old stuff.

No. 5)How do you feel when you are playing, painting?

I haven’t been painting since couple of years now because even that I became more known in Hungary as a fine artist (being a jazz musician at the mean time), there are no opportunities whatsoever at all having an exhibition…or doing anything else with those few thousand of art works we made with my lovely wife, Bogárka :

(Not even mentioned making a living…)  I used to make some drawings,do,and Bogárka is making a painting from them.We have a lot of works in common…but got tired of working for nothing, or for others, making few pennies,while they sold our jobs under their names for big money…well,Hungary is a strange country,but not the only one in this case I think.

TN_sethyviktor005As coming from (both side) noble families, being ignored and pushed out of my country by communist goverment at age 19, I still used be proud of being Hungarian. But now – the country is destroyed in every level by the same guys sitting in the goverment, and the people are basically doing nothing…even that most of them are dying of hunger, or having their houses stolen by officially supported criminals…I feel kind of different.

No. 6)  Do you identify with your music and your art?

Well…I believe that everyone has some kind of “gift” – and way back in history, when people lived in small communities, they had to pay attention that the hunter can see further than his nose, the shaman knows what plants to use for certain illnesses – so they could stay alive! (Back in those days there were people born and raised to be leaders, that’s why I’m a royalist.) Same situation with arts. You have to born to be a real artist. Doesn’t matter how hard someone is working – will never make real differences in the world unless he happens to be born being an artist.  And well, this is a gift, but a lot of responsibility at the same time.  This is a way of life – you can’t do it part time. The things you make, the questions you are dealing with are part of you. Well, I believe and feel so at least.

No. 7)  When do you do your best work?

Never know. I had a stormy life, still going on…the only difference is that I’m getting older, so it’s harder day by day to see the decline of subculture, the world leader’s ignorance (and paranoia) towards real art, seeing generations growing up on crappy tv shows…and dealing with starvation and freezing just to stay free, being able to work any time I feel like I have to.

Of course there is some kind of progression in time, my works are more calm and simpler…but sometimes somehow youth’s energy and rawness can make the miracle. So I miss it real hard – missing my own, and missing it globally – compared to the 50s, 60s, 70s…

No. 8)  Does music and art help you connect with your higher self?

Certainly painting or playing music is kind of a meditation – our “higher self” is there to bringViktor Sethy art a down something for common people so they can fulfill with the only experience helping us through life: experience of something better, nicer then this filthy slave life of ours.

No 9)  How do you feel about creativity in the public school system?

All we need,is  to admit what it’s already proven : increased creativity leads to better a memory, and it also helps to solve unexpected problems in life generally. These days kids have to learn a whole lot of facts,  dry information in a boring environment.  For example: (at least here in Hungary) history classes includes learning thousand of dates which kids will not remember for the most of them.  But if the number was reduced to about a hundred, most likely they would be remembered.  I also have a theory about teaching history: every kid should choose a character : soldier, king, librarian, slave, or even a thief, with a life as long as history itself – which in this case would happen TO THEM – they’d became a part of it…I also experienced that kids are really interested in exciting scientific facts – school books should focus more on this things.

No. 10)  In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?

Interaction – as I wrote above…or any kind at least.

No. 11)  How do you feel about improvisation in music?

Improvisation made about the 90% of the music since tens of thousands of years.  That means  it’s the most important part of music.  At the beginning of the XX. century schools separated the entertainer from the composer, and composers started to work by theory – maybe this is the main reason, why classical music lost it’s importance. The upcoming, new styles were the ones which were able to handle improvisation: soul, blues, jazz, rock, etc.

Viktor Sethy black and whiteUnfortunately nowadays  these styles are also mostly being taught by patterns, and theories, even jazz itself!!!  We are full of tribute bands, copies of the giant musicians, but so few real people with their own thoughts, feelings, things to tell stories about – cause music is most like telling a good story!

No 12)  What is jazz to you?

Hard question.  Jazz has two sites, I guess : one is the proper collection of the styles from Dixieland to swing, bebop and cool to mainstream, free jazz, or fusion. At the other hand, some people believe that jazz is everything improvised… Both sides have their positive, and negative senses, but the most important thing is to realize, that there will never be an uprise of new styles, and sounds, if music teachers won’t let their  students improvise.
I believe every form and style have value, I myself used to play in numerous different styles, at the mean time I have MY OWN voice, that really can’t be labelled, and that is bad because people nowadays are used to getting everything already, done in their lives from their car to their food – they should be more opened to “noname” sounds, “noname” musicians. I admit that it’s not easy because the net, also the air is full of crap, at least full of decent, but no really outstanding music (same in fine art, even in politics!), so it takes more time, and energy to find something valuable. (As Herakleitos said: “You have to move a lot of dirt to find a tiny bit of gold.”)


Viktor’s art is different and interesting and his music is amazing, do take the time to visit the links below, you will not regret it, I promise!

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Filed in: MUSIC • Saturday, March 10th, 2012


By Michele Andree on March 10th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Viktor, I want to mention that this Sunday is your birthday and wish you the very best! And I also want to mention that your wife is also a painter and her art can be appreciated at this link:
Again a very Happy Birthday to you, my friend! All the best!

Wish life wasn’t so difficult for you..yet beauty in music and art abound in your work as you share with others. Your article was enlightening as to conditions in other parts of the world.Thank you for sharing with us.

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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours