L'amant de St Jean
Sednalo e Zore dos (song) Bulgaria
Oj Livado (song) Serbia
Klezmer Medley Pt 2
Klezmer Medley Pt 1
Hungarian Dance No 5
Bow & Bellows
Bows and Bellows' 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. The duo 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 they sing.
They 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. They sing in Serbian, Bosnian, Roma Gipsy and Ladino (Jewish Sephardic), also in Georgian and Bulgarian and very occasionally in English.
Sally and Martina met in 2000 when they were creating and playing the music for a dance/theatre production. Amongst other things, they 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 their very first number, and it has served them well in the many gigs they have had since that time.
After the 'Czardas' more of their own compositions have found their way into their repertoire. Whilst the bellows and the bow (with its fiddle) are the basis of their sound, many of their arrangements are influenced by the fact that one of the girls 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 they play is 'arranged' in their own inimitable style and sometimes unrecognisably fused into something of their own discerning fancy.