Before 1989, Romanian electronic music was quite marginalized and almost non-existent on the local music scene, like any other “strange” thing that was not allowed to harm the well-being of “comrades”. At a time when artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Isao Tomita, and Tangerine Dream were starting to create the “electronic” modern sound sound, Rodion was experimenting with ways to create new unheard sounds, to discover new ways to compose music.
Therefore, using only a Tesla Duo reel-to-reel machine, a guitar, some basic drums, and a Grundig microphone, he started record, and using over-recording and over-modulation, he obtained a completely new sound, similar to the one of the synthesizer. In an interview, Rodion said:
I know that a myth was created around us, people thought that we had dozens of synthesizers, but the only synthesizer was my head and my imagination. This is the truth. Sometimes I made synthesizer-like effects with trickering, passing the sound through delay, through flanger, through overprints, I actually set the needle to red on the tape recorder.
Without access to high-technology, or a studio, during the early 1970s, Rodion records more than 70 songs in his apartment, using the methods he invented. In 1977, he is joined by Gicu Fărcaș și Adrian Căprar, and they form the band Rodion G.A. During this time, they continue to record songs in Rodion’s apartment, including some of their greatest: „Stele și Lumini”, „Imagini din Vis”, „În liniștea nopții” or „Uneori”.
Although the band was only able to release 2 songs during the Romanian communist rule, on the compilation Formații Rock — 5, they received radio airplay, were able to play live, and were well-known in Romania, being notable for their unusual experimental sound at the time. Unfortunately, they disbanded in 1983, leaving behind a legacy of many songs. Rodion continued to compose for theater or television, until 1989. After his mother’s death, Rodion retired from public life, being so bereft that he didn’t felt able to continue playing. He stopped performing and recording, only remaining busy with his loudspeaker service workshop.
It took about 20 years for Rodion to make and perform music again, when documentary “Imagini din Vis” (Images from a Dream) was released and received great critical acclaim from both critics and viewers. The project is not limited to the movie, but also features interviews with Rodion, photographs, and some musical history. Definitely worth checking it out.
In 2008, Roadrunner Music Romania brings Rodion G.A. again in the spotlight, starting the process of remastering their old songs, but everything comes to a sudden halt, when the label is hit by bankruptcy.
However, in 2012, Rodion Ladislau Roșca is discovered by the independent label Future Nuggets, which released the first entire album signed Rodion G.A. This brought back together Rodion, his music and the audience. A new generation of people that loved his music and went to see him perform in different venues and festivals. There’s also a short documentary on youtube about him made by Strut Records
2014 saw initially the release of a second album, “Behind The Curtain (The Lost Album)" containing another 14 songs recorded in the 1970s. During the same year, another album is released, the soundrack EP commissioned but never used for the 1984 sci-fi movie and TV series “Misiunea Spațială Delta”.
2018 brought a new album, released by Inversions, called “Rozalia”, named after and dedicated to his mother, his idol and his strength.
Sadly, in March 2021, Rodion departed for the stars of which he sung so many times, leaving behind a legacy of great music, a story of overcoming the shortcomings of the communist era, and someone to look up to, the impersonation of the idea that creativity has no limits. I am happy to have known the man Rodion, to see him perform and to be honoured to speak about him and his music.
And below, one of the best Romanian song ever, Rodion G.A. - In linistea noptii