The Transparent Sound New Music Festival (meaning also ‘see-through note’) was founded by two composers, Balázs Horváth and Samu Gryllus, in 2014 in cooperation with several renowned concert halls and organizations in Budapest: the Franz Liszt Music Academy, Trafo House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest Music Center, Müpa Budapest and FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture, among others.
The name of the festival refers to its aims. Transparency in new music means that the audience is involved in interactive workshops and lectures before or during the events, to better understand the new compositional ideas. Meanwhile ‘see-through’ in music refers to compositions with both audible and visual layers – in the form of new-music theatre or new media –, as they are a special focus of this festival.
It is very important to the curators to introduce – besides the newest works – referential and highly influential pieces of new music history, since they were not well-presented in Hungary during its isolation behind the Iron Curtain. These works can help bring the highly receptive, inquisitive audience in Budapest closer to the innovative and versatile world of today´s new music. The festival’s work is strongly supported by the cooperating partners, the venues themselves, as well as many national and international Budapest-based cultural institutes. In 2020, an advisory board of twelve experts from artistic and organisational fields was founded.
In January 2021 the Átlátszó Hang Festival will have its 8th edition. Because of the pandemic, it will be a hybrid festival, with strong online presence through the new website of the festival and its social media platforms.
The core program of the festival in 2021 is ten days long, including online concerts, lectures, theatrical and cinematic events, workshops for professionals and the public alike, further children’s and family programming, exhibitions and interactive games. Some events of the 2021 programme will also be rescheduled to dates throughout the rest of the year.
The events are usually sold out, which results – depending on the capacity of the venues – in an average audience of between 60 to 500 people/venue. In 2020, approximately 2300 people visited the concerts and presentations of the festival. Because of the cultural diversity of the venues (exhibition halls, concert halls, a ruin pub, and a dance theatre) the audience is also very diverse in age and socio-cultural background. The focus of the festival is both on the newest, most experimental artistic ideas, and on the historical context of music and arts. Promoting this point of view to a wider social spectrum of an open-minded audience makes Átlátszó Hang a unique cutting-edge sensation in the Hungarian cultural scene.
Advisory board: János Bali, András Csonka, Ádám Darázs, Gergely Fazekas, Judit Gaál, Samu Gryllus, Balázs Horváth, Márton Illés, Orsolya Kaincz, András Kégl, Ernő Rubik, György Szabó, Judit Varga
Staff: Katalin György-Dóczy (festival director),  Marcell Dargay,  Balázs Horváth (curators) Orsolya Kaincz, Károly Füzessi (website)