Stara Zagora: a musical/ photographic project
// 25 November 2014 //
TAKE one Ayrshire musician, add an international multi award-winning Hungarian photographer and what do you get? Stara Zagora, a multimedia partnership embarking on what promises to be a stunning collaboration.
Of course to call Sean McGeoch just a musician and Árpád Horvárth just a photographer does a great disservice to both. Sean has been crafting songs for a decade and the beautiful, haunting, ethereal tunes on the Stara Zagora Soundcloud demonstrate what a special talent he has.
Árpád, meanwhile, is a photographer, film-maker and graphic artist with a list of awards as long as your arm. They met when Árpád took pictures for Selective Service, a band Sean played drums with.
Sean says: "He did some really amazing and creative pictures for the band. He's really easy to work with cause you know he has a natural eye for a good picture.
"He's just awesome, can't really say much more. He is able to convey in one picture what every artistic person feels about life...if that makes any sense.
"Although Stara Zagora is described as "a one-man project" Árpád regards himself as very much part of the act. "Yes, I do the visual part of Sean's music," he observes. And that Hungarian name? "It means 'city of poets' in Bulgarian," he adds.
As an accomplished short film maker, Árpád made a stunning video for another Ayrshire band, Soldier On. Are there plans for Sean and Árpád to make videos?
"I certainly hope so.," Sean says. "I only started the Stara Zagora project a couple of months ago. I've been a bit of a frustrated songwriter for a while so just decided one day I would just record a bunch of songs on my own playing everything and not worry about it too much.
“I was delighted Àrpàd took an interest and I hope we can work together for a long time to come."
Reflecting on his inspiration for his music, Sean says: "I have lots of influences. From an early age I fell in love with Radiohead and Sigur Ros. I have always loved ethereal sounding music and sounds that make you feel something you will never be able to explain in words.
“I get really into one artist and do them to death so when I got into older folk music like Dylan and Neil Young I exhausted them. I hope the music I love shines through."
Sean, who lives in Dundonald and attended Marr College in Troon says he is very keen to perform live, but has no firm plans as yet.
"It's still very early days. I have 10 years worth of songs pestering me night and day and I hope to get out and play them soon. I hope to hit the ground running…"
After a few evasive answers, he finally concedes: "I'm desperate to play live. I want to tear shit up! In a melancholic way of course. I would say I'll definitely have a gig by January."
I'll be having a ticket for that one, thankyouverymuch. See you there.
No go and take a look/listen at: www.soundcloud.com/stara-zagora www.soundcloud.com/sean www.soundcloud.com/ager and both Sean's and Árpád's Facebook pages.
Meanwhile, here is Sata Zagora's latest recording, a cover of Neil Young's Stringman: