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  • Jessica Nguyen

Then & Now: Gypsy Folk Music

We've shown you many different forms of art as inspiration - from film to fashion to paintings - but have 'til now neglected music. Music makes us feel emotions that we cannot put into words and taps into memory and a sense of place in a unique way; this makes it a perfect source of inspiration. Gypsy folk music is a genre we find ourselves drawn to when we're craving that surreal feeling of nostalgia.

The rich cultural heritage of Eastern Europe including its moody and exuberant music has been on our minds recently. In fact, nothing speaks more to our Bohemian Rhapsody trend for Fall. Come explore some of what has us so inspired...

for some prints specific to our Bohemian Rhapsody trend, click here


Old World Inspiration:

Recently, we've been revisiting The Singing Bird by Murray Korda. Born in New York in 1928, Murray Korda grew up raised by Hungarian parents and you could tell that he did not lose touch with roots when he made his debut as a solo violinist at the age of 15. Little did he know that he would spend 45 years leading the research of Gypsy folk music, making himself a leading expert on the genre. Below you can listen to the entirety of his first album, which he performed to audiences from not only in the United States, but all over the world.

Soundtrack to the Trend:

If you haven't seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet, you should go see it right after listening to some of Murray Korda's music! Set in Budapest, the 2014 film included stories that spanned from the 1930s to the 1980s in a fictional town in Central Europe. Besides the humorous story plot, expect your ears to perk up as you begin to detect familiar tunes and melodies from the original soundtrack. "The original music is by Desplat, along with Russian folk songs together with pieces composed by Öse Schuppel, Siegfried Behrend, and Vitaly Gnutov, and performed by the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra (Wikipedia)." In fact, the balalaika, a Russian stringed instrument, is used to establish the dominant voice of the film.

Modern Influence:

Formed in 1999 in Manhattan, Gogol Bordello calls itself a Gypsy punk band, mixing punk and dub with traditional Gypsy music. Give it a try and brace to be surprised by this modern twist on traditional music. The band is named after Nikolai Gogol, a well-known Russian-Ukrainian author.

We would love to hear some of your suggestions for this genre of music!

Please feel free to leave your recommendations below so we can check them out.

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