Balkan Music from Weddings and Funerals

Band leader Gundula has been exploring the music of the Gypsy Romany people in Eastern European and Balkan regions for over 20 years. During her frequent fieldwork travels, she collects pieces and delves into their musical and ethnographical background. For this performance, she has chosen a repertoire of songs and pieces traditionally performed at weddings and funerals. Balkan music is renowned for its exuberant qualities when celebrating joyfully, as well as its ability to express deep sorrow.

Much of the melancholic music has the ability to transform sorrow into a more uplifting atmosphere or even transcend sadness through passionate expression. Several pieces will embody ritualistic elements within their traditions.

Expect an eclectic mix of traditional music, crafted into musical arrangements for the trio, preserving the archaic elements and the ancient beauty of the tradition.

In a story told through music, The Magic Violin Trio transports the listener through countries and cultures, performing Eastern European and Balkan folk and Gypsy music. Influenced by musical traditions of old, the trio of strings and singer bring a fresh and charismatic feel to their performances.

The Magic Violin Trio comprises Gundula on lead vocals and violin, Jeremy Halliwell on guitar, and Fraser Perry on cello and backing vocals. They evolved in 2020 from the string players of Gundula’s 5-piece Balkan ensemble Tatcho Drom when Corona restrictions meant only three players could fit in the rehearsal space.

When arranging pieces for the trio, Gundula takes inspiration from old Balkan music traditions and their string line-ups, comprising instruments like the tambura, oud, and balalaika. Her aim is to write fresh arrangements that preserve the reminiscent of age-old practice and its magic.

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