A new Romani musical journey by Scottish guitarist and composer Simon Thacker, featuring Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska and traditional Roma singer/violinist Masha Natanson.
Building on one of the world's great song traditions as well as his own pioneering experiences across the world, Thacker draws on and extends European, Indian and Balkan folk forms, and of course flamenco, on a mystic road to new soundworlds in music.
Innovative music is a bit like sorcery; it can be magical, mysterious and powerful - and a little bit dangerous. The Roma have always lived on the edge of society, and likewise Thacker has always followed his own non-conformist path beyond boundaries. Contrasting his vivid re-imagining of songs from the gypsy tradition with wonderfully inventive new instrumental music, expect a programme full of spiritual intensity, catharsis and joy, and an exploration of traditional Roma themes such as birth, death and love, the search for lost roots and the changing role of women in traditional societies.
Thacker is firmly established as one of Scotland’s most vibrant, cross-cultural musical voices, and he’s highly regarded as a composer, guitarist and performer, whose meticulous work references the world’s richest musical traditions. he has been selected for the Made in Scotland showcase (where Songs of the Roma premiered in 2016) representing the country at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in each of the last three years.
Justyna Jablonska is a much-admired cellist who has studied with Peter Dixon (Principal Cello, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra); William Conway(Hebrides Ensemble); and Eric-Maria Couturier (Ensemble Intercontemporain, Paris). In 2014 and 2015 she was selected for Lucerne Festival Academy, and worked alongside Sir Simon Rattle and Isabelle Faust. Simon and Justyna have been performing together since 2013, touring extensively.
Masha Natanson is an outstanding Polish Roma singer and violinist who inherited her passion for traditional music largely from her mother. At the age of 15, Masha left home in search of the genuine traditional music of the Carpathians, and the Gypsy communities of Eastern Europe. As a result, she has acquired a huge repertoire of authentic European traditional song, gathered in the course of extensive travelling, collecting and performing.
Adding another layer to the ancient history of Romany music, Songs of the Roma promises a moving and fascinating travelogue through an astonishing world of new sounds and sensations.
"Manages to be spiritual, intellectual, technical and emotional all at the same time... absolutely not to be missed." 7Ahead (read)
"You cannot fail to be amazed…A masterpiece of excellence" Pangea magazine ***** (read)
"The flowing sounds of the cello combined with the intricate sounds of the guitar hypnotised the crowd, who remained so silent throughout you could have heard a pin drop." Edinburgh49 (read)
"Certainly generated beguiling moments" The Scotsman (read)
"Another stage in the journey of the music of the Roma people" ThreeWeeks ***** (read)