Dordeduh blossomed as an offshoot of Negura Bunget after members Hupogrammos and Sol Faur had a disagreement with drummer Negru. Formed in 2009, they began working on new material, releasing the short but sweet ‘Valea Omului’ EP a year later. Now, the duo – alongside bassist Flavius Misarăş and drummer Ovidiu Mihăiţă – have finished recording their first full-length record and are hoping to announce a release date soon. Multi-instrumentalist Hupogrammos talks us through the spiritual roots and cultural inspirations of the band.
Going back to 2009, what was the inspiration behind establishing Dordeduh?
Hello everyone! The idea was quite simple: Sol and I wanted to give continuity to our musical journey after our departure from Negura Bunget; we gathered some musicians around us and the new band was founded. The actual process was not that simple though. We were undecided for about a year if we should or if we shouldn’t play with two different drum kits, one a regular drum kit and one percussion unusual kit. That would mean to have two drummers on the stage. We had many good ideas in the beginning but in the end we took things modestly and let our growth develop naturally. Now things started to maturate in our band and we follow this path to wherever it might take us.
You left Negura Bunget to create this project. Musically, what did you want to create with Dordeduh? How would you say it differs from your work with Negura Bunget?
I would not like to re-discuss the issue of our departure from Negura Bunget; but what it would be good to be known is that we never intended to leave Negura Bunget, we actually wanted to disband it. Things went too far from the original purpose and from our idea of what that band was meant to be. Negru decided by himself that he’s entitled to carry on the name and Sol and I concluded that Dordeduh would be a natural continuity for ourselves. We had the courage and the trust in our musical expression to start a new band, even though we actually continued the same thing we did before: writing music and learning from our life’s experiences. Dordeduh already completed three years of existence. Life went on and life means changes. So many things changed but generally I would say that the atmosphere inside the band cannot compare with the tension we had during the last years of Negura Bunget. Things are much more relaxed and mature now and we definitely have a different quality of friendship in the band, which makes also the working process very different and much easier and gives completely different results regarding the final product. For Sol and I, Dordeduh represents the next level in our musical development.
The name Dordeduh is said to be hard to fully translate. How would you describe the meaning of the band title?
I think it’s quite easy to give the audience a general hint regarding the significance of our name. The difficulty stays in the particular aspects that the name suggests, but these aspects can be easily filled up with a bit of intuition. The idea behind the name was to unite two of the essential human attributes: the soul and the spirit. ‘Dor’ speaks about the human capacity of being a sensible being: the feeling of longing, of missing something precious, of yearning for something that was once known, that was once present. The word ‘dor’ recalls a feeling of something that at a certain moment was pleasant, was inspiring, something that left a deep memory imprinted in the soul. It’s a remarkable sentiment which suggests the will or the need of reintegrating a certain aspect in the human heart; this leads to the second word composing our name, ‘duh’. It has a couple of significations: the first one would embody the word ‘consciousness’, or ‘spirit’. The word also indicates the ‘airy’, or ‘immaterial’ state of the spirit. ’Duh’ also represents the essential characteristic of all live entities, it is the spark of life. The second signification would evoke the inner mood or a specific state that characterizes a moment or a being. It is also an attribute or a state of something inspiring, something thoughtful or something wise. For example ‘cuvinte de duh’ means in Romanian language ‘words of wisdom’, ‘words that inspire’.
So, besides the general sense that we use to give to our name, which could be easily put into words as ‘longing for spirit’, a particular sense of the name Dordeduh could also point to the the actual human consciousness, so depleted of a deep sense, giving ‘the missing feeling of being inspired’, ‘the remembrance the spirit’, ‘the forgotten memory of having a spirit’.
What has inspired you to write the music that you’ve created so far?
I never really knew what to answer to this question; probably mostly because we never searched for a special inspiration. I guess everything happening at a personal level has a certain influence in the way we create. So, on a particular level, I guess the music we presently do holds a mix of all the events we are going through as individuals but also together as Dordeduh. On the other hand for this album we continued the numerological journey we started with Negura Bunget and we have now reached the number 7; the entire album is focused around this number. If it’s to point out any particular influence in this regard, there could be all the studies we did for this album regarding the principle of the number 7. We went through the general aspects that it holds in the collective unconscious, through all the symbolism found in esoteric teachings, focusing especially on the 7 hierarchical layers in the spiritual development, but we also focused on the Romanian traditional culture and on how this number personifies the days of the week with all the symbolism involved. From the entire material we had, some specific directions were extracted to focus on the central idea we had for this: an offering from the spirit; ‘Dar de duh’.
We caught your truly magical performance at Ragnarok this year. How was it for you?
We tried to put up as much as possible an accurate version of what we did so far concerning our upcoming album; and I would say that we succeed in doing so. We invited Sergio Ponti to play live all the percussions for the songs we chose to play and it was an intense experience for us and hopefully for the audience too. We wanted to have something extended for this show and we plan to keep this formula as much as possible for the future live appearances.
What plans do you have with Dordeduh in the near future? Is a full-length album on the way?
Yes, the album is finally done and it’s on the way to be released soon by Prophecy Prod. Hopefully we will soon be able to announce a release date too. Right after releasing the album we’ll have a European tour in September together with Secrets of the Moon and Bethlehem that will be followed by a Romanian tour. After this, Sol and I will probably take a break from working for Dordeduh and we’ll focus more on releasing the first album of our other project, Sunset in the 12’th House and hopefully on putting together some live shows for promoting it. After that, time will tell…
Interview by Calum Robson.
Photo by Asif Salam