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MP3 Gypsophilia - Occidentally on Purpose

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MP3 Gypsophilia - Occide
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We play funky music from Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, and the Middle East, plus Jewish tunes and originals, with a balance of freedom and refinement, sponteneity and precision, delicacy and raucousness.

12 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Eastern European, WORLD: Middle East

exotic Balkan music, and beyond!

We play music from Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, and the Middle East. We also play Jewish tunes and originals, and we've been known to crank out a Celtic whatnot now and again. We've done it all at Renaissance Faires, art museums, nightclubs, and other curious places. And we do it with a balance of freedom and refinement, sponteneity and precision, delicacy and raucousness. And we're lots of fun! Check us out and you'll discover, as we have, that there's an exciting place in the world for classically trained musicians who aren't another tux-sportin', Brahms-playin' string quartet.

Gypsophilia comprises Scott Robinson (English concertina), Claudia Harrison Hall (violin), Alfred Goodrich (cello), Deborah Justice (hammered dulcimer), Ethan Mimm (dumbek and digeridoo). Founded by composer Scott Robinson, this ensemble was resident at the PA Renaissance Faire from 1995-2000, and currently appearing at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. We perform music from Bosnia, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, and Macedonia, to name a few. Gypsophilia has performed at the Knitting Factory (New York City,) the Tin Angel (Philadelphia,) Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fleisher Art Memorial, and Longwood Gardens (Wilmington, DE.)

Here's what the reviewers are saying about our debut CD, Occidentally on Purpose:

(from the webzine Rambles)
... The music, both the style and exceptionally crisp playing, drew me in and swept me along for the ride.... violinist Claudia Harrison...stands out from a fine ensemble with exceptional violin virtuosity, swirling through lush and lively tunes and artful dissonances with the grace of a dancer....Gypsophilia wrings every last bit of emotion from the melodies. Robinson's original tunes fit well among the traditional pieces; he's managed to capture the right mood and technique, and his tunes could probably pass for natives. Gypsophilia hooked me with something very different from the norm, and I suspect they'll hook you, too.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
(from the webzine LaFolia)
Gypsophilia is moving from the first cimbalom note on their disc Occidentally On Purpose. The fact that the cimbalom is hammered dulcimer makes no difference. These musicians have the whole "Greek, Balkan, Jewish, American Music" thing down. Sometimes there is an Appalachian sound in here, which is not shock for musicians coming from the Pennsylvanian region. This is an excellent disc. File it under "world music," but don't ghettoize it, as it is outstanding and shouldn't be missed.

[by Steve Koenig]
And here are some unsolicited email responses from audience members at a concert we gave in collaboration with the Philadelphia chamber choir Voces Novae et Antiquae in October, 2000:

What a wonderful embodiment of unified diversity!!!! The Blessed City concert was a delight.

Just wanted to let you know how very, very, incredibly wonderful your
music was! It went straight into my soul, opened me up, and connected me to the endless sea of all other souls. There is really no better way to describe it.

Just wanted to take a moment to say what a truly wonderful evening we had at the Friday performance of "Blessed City"...Hearing Gypsophilia and Voces Novae et Antiquae together transformed what would have been just another otherwise uneventful Friday into a memorable experience.

A native of Lancaster, PA, DEBORAH JUSTICE currently studies music and the Middle East at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She performs with the College's Middle Eastern Music Ensemble on the qanun, as well as playing with their Javanese Gamelon.

ALFRED GOODRICH (cello) began his musical career at an early age, studying cello and performing as a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Boys Choir. In high school, he continued singing with school choirs and taught himself cello, piano, and bass, eventually becoming a bassist for hardcore and jazz bands. As a chemistry student at Connecticut College in New London, CT, he earned the distinction of being principal cellist of the orchestra for four straight years.

In the summer of 1997, Goodrich dove into the Philadelphia, PA music scene. Displaying the drive and determination that is his hallmark, Goodrich performed with such local fixtures as Nancy Falkow, and Ben Arnold. Continuing his classical tradition he joined the Main Line Symphony Orchestra as principal cellist, and in November Â00 had his solo debut at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

CLAUDIA HARRISON HALL, Gypsophilia's violinist and one of the founding members of the group, was trained classically, in the Suzuki method, from childhood. In 1994, at 18, she ran away to join the circus with Scott Robinson and hasn't looked back. She makes her home in Lancaster PA with her husband, two dogs and a very resentful cat.

SCOTT ROBINSON grew up in Syracuse, New York, where he studied with Brian Israel at Syracuse University. He returned to school after two years, receiving his from SUNY Binghamton and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Dominick Argento and Judith Zaimont.

Scott has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania also awarded him an Individual Artist Grant, while the University of Minnesota awarded a grant for his work combining his choral music with Hindu temple dance.

He has published with Thomas House and Moon of Hope Publishing. Scott is a member of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis, a lay religious order in the Episcopal Church, and lives in Philadelphia.

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