Header image  
a stunningly versatile violin,
horn and accordion duo
 
 
 
Bow & Bellows

Our repertoire is drawn from the songs and dances which have been heard at weddings, parties, feasts, and wakes for hundreds of years, most of them originating in Eastern Europe. And it is music which is still ideal for all sorts of social events and celebrations. We play Klezmer tunes, (the traditional instrumental music of the Jews of Eastern Europe,) fast dances from Transylvania with wild, asymmetrical metres, slow haunting waltzes from Romania, jazzy gypsy pieces; as well as toe-tapping French and Celtic melodies. And we sing.

We sing songs about an irresponsible drunken uncle, sock-knitting girls, a lonely shepherdess on the top of a mountain and other hugely relevant modern-life issues, all of them sung in strong, pithy voices blending and melting together. We sing in Serbian, Bosnian, Roma Gipsy and Ladino (Jewish Sephardic), also in Georgian and Bulgarian and very occasionally in English.

We met in 2000 when we were creating and playing the music for a dance/theatre production. Amongst other things, we co-wrote the music for a dance based on the fiery Hungarian ‘Czardas’, but with a middle section in the style of an English jig as requested by the choreographer.

As a duo, this composition with its bizarre juxtaposition of styles was our very first number, and it has served us well in the many gigs we have had since that time. After the ‘Czardas’ more of our own compositions have found their way into our repertoire. Whilst the bellows and the bow (with its fiddle) are the basis of our sound, many of our arrangements are influenced by the fact that one of us plays several instruments - the Baritone Horn might be whipped out to give the flavour of a Macedonian brass band, or the high sopranino recorder to conjure up vast mountainous distances.

Purists beware: everything we play is ‘arranged’ in our own inimitable style and sometimes unrecognisably fused into something of our own discerning fancy.

 

 

BOW & BELLOWS
Are available for bookings and private functions.
Please contact:
Martina Schwarz, Tel: 020 7249 6211 - or Email
Sally Davies, Tel: 020 7281 4480 - or Email