Road of the Gypsies
Following the enormous international success of Desert Blues, the Network team now presents a veritable cornucopia of profoundly emotional ballads and fiery instrumental pieces on the theme of Gypsy blues. 32 tracks, a third of them never released before, conjure up a panorama of the fantastic journey that began a thousand years ago and led these people from Rajasthan through Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt, across Armenia, Turkey and the Balkans, throughout Europe and all the way to Spain. Treated as outcasts, they often had little choice but to express their feelings through music and dance. Baudelaire, on his travels, was fascinated by the Gypsies, referring to them as a "prophetic tribe with glowing eyes". Their songs reflect their love of nature and their lust for life, and tell of their suffering and their day to day existence. Played with stupendous virtuosity, their music invariably bears witness to the many different forms of musical expression developed by the Rom, the Sinti and other groups in the course of their travels. Together with leading Gypsy music specialist Alain Weber in Paris, who also wrote the accompanying text, Christian Scholze and Jean Trouillet have spent two years of research in compiling this selection of the most moving works by 28 ensembles from 17 countries; the result is a double CD presenting two and a half hours of truly heart-rending music. This unprecendented compilation is a far cry indeed from the kitsch cliché of Gypsy folklore. The life and culture of the Gypsies is the great love of Parisian photographer Carlos Muñoz-Yagüe. He granted us access to his extensive archives containing thousands of photos taken on his countless journeys in search of Gypsy life. We have chosen a few of them to illustrate the Road of the Gypsies, so that, like Desert Blues, it is not only a musical experience, but also a visual one.