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In various anthologies of gypsy legends, we read that, in the beginning, men were idle. They came and went, without precise activity, and a great disorder reigned. God then decided to act; he gathered his children together and gave each of them a profession: peasant, merchant or notary, each living person received a function, and God found that to be good. However, when the gypsy arrived, his hair undone and mixed with feathers from playing with birds, the distribution was long over. God did not know what to do with this latecomer, and sent him back to his games but, seeing him leave again disappointed, changed his mind. “I think I found it,” he said, whilst handing handed the Gypsy a violin, “since you enjoy being among the birds, I’ll make you one of them. From now on, fly around the world with the wings of music.”
Faithful to this command, the gypsies have taken their violins all over Europe. Gypsy art being by essence an art of assimilation, curious and alive, the vast repertoire perpetually expands, drawing inspiration from various folklores but also from pop music or jazz. A few strong stylistic elements nevertheless ensure unity and coherence across this abundance of music: an incandescent sense of improvisation, a rich vocabulary of often very expressive ornamental features, and a colourful instrumentation, made up of easily transportable instruments – violins, guitars, accordions and cymbalums.
Born into a family of Hungarian roma musicians, Roby Lakatos, a passionate spokesman for his native culture, offers an imaginary, virtuosic and poetic journey among the “sons of the wind”. Welcome to his “gypsy cabaret”.