Home Art Balamuc’s multicultural heritage shines on the album “Tarkabarka”: a fusion of Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian folk music

Balamuc’s multicultural heritage shines on the album “Tarkabarka”: a fusion of Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian folk music

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Balamuc – Tarkabarka (Self-published, 2023)

Balamuc, an Eastern European musical group based in London, has released their album Tarkabarka on June 2, 2023. The album features a celebration of Romani (Gypsy) songs, dialects and dances, with influences from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The band’s multicultural heritage adds a global touch to their traditional musicality. Alongside folk songs and uplifting dances, “Tarkabarka” includes a new direction, featuring the popular 1930s song “Gloomy Sunday.”

Group leader Agnes Branner explores Romani dialects and the album expresses emotions that resonate with people around the world. For example, on “Jarba and Rumama,” Agnes Branner sings in the ancient Romani dialect known as “beás” (boyash). The Beás are a Romani ethnic group living mainly in Romania, Hungary and many Balkan countries, whose ancestors were forced to work in the Transylvanian mines of the Apuseni Mountains.

“Jarba” tells the story of the itinerant life of gypsies, while “Rumana” is a party. As Agnès says in her own words: “Romani songs express emotions that everyone can understand, regardless of language. This was especially true in 2020, but in 2023, for many reasons, people all over the world may experience the feeling of missing loved ones and homes. The song selection is inspired by the celebration of life and love. They are often played at weddings and parties.”

In addition to vocal tracks, the album also features three instrumental folk songs. “Rachenitsa” and “Sofiysky” from Bulgaria and “Drumul Dracului”, a traditional folk dance from the heart of Moldova, Romania. ‘Drumul Dracului’ is performed in a very traditional Hungarian style from this region with a bit of Balamuc whipping frenzy that works perfectly.

Balamuc’s unique sound interweaves various elements and draws inspiration from various films for certain tracks. The name “Balamuc” translates to “The House of Fools” and is derived from a Romanian song.

The musicians: Agnes Branner (Hungary): singer, violin, accordion, handclaps; Alison Gleasure (Ireland), cello, vocals; Jonathan Clayton (UK): double bass, synthesizer, organ, tambourine, handclaps, vocals; Luc Tremlett (New Zealand): guitar, clapping, singing; Marie Faucher (France): clarinet, vocals; Paul Brett (UK): drums, tambourine, jaw harp, shekere, handclaps, singing; And Semra Bulut (Turkey): darbouka, daf, choirs, tambourine, handclaps.

Buy Tarkabarka.

Author: Douglas Sanders


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