We launched the Roma Bridging Sounds Orchestra in 2014. Tania Gessi, Art Project Coordinator, explains about the project:
“We’ve been running music classes for a long time, with experienced adult Roma musicians teaching and mentoring Roma children. This has been a great success – with performances and a recorded CD. But we want to move beyond that. We want to open up the Roma Youth Orchestra to non-Roma as well, and to challenge the notion of what passes for ‘Gypsy music’ being seen as authentic Roma music.
Roma musicians have always developed and adapted. The vast distances travelled introduced a multitude of influences in Roma music, starting with Indian roots and adding elements of Greek, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Balkan, Russian, Spanish origin, resulting in a real mix of different musical styles. We think that young Roma will want to adapt and see where fusion and cohesion takes us; East London meets …Budapest?
Public performances are something that we expect, as well as the development of individual talent and creativity. And a chance for young people to work with others who they might not usually encounter; a chance to learn differently….”