Transkapela is an artistic project of four musicians acting in many areas of traditional music, trying to find its new meaning and contemporary context.
Our musical search revolves around the traditional music of various cultural regions: Malopolska, Galicia, Bukovina, Hucul Region, Maramures, Transilvania, in which despite the outer formal distinctions we try to seek its roots, common elements and the timeless values. The source music is an inspiration for our own interpretations and compositions. We form our music not on the basis of imitations but on the traditional patterns, in a creative way.
The source of inspiration for TRANSKAPELA’S music constitutes the Jewish Culture of the Carpathians encompassing Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. The Carpathians chain has been shaped by numerous ethnic groups (Poles, Jews, Romanians, Ukrainians, Gypsies, Germans and Hungarians) and by many religions (Catholicism, Orthodox Church, The Near East- Orthodox, Jewish religion and Protestant). The Carpathians chain is a motive, which has connected diverse musical themes for ages, and nowadays; it has appeared to be a cultural mosaic that cultivates traditional, nature-friendly lifestyle and it is based on a constant struggle between the mountains element and a tendency to admire the mountains themselves.
We are inspired by music of Jewish wandering bands of the 19th and 20th century, known due to the archival records and notes. It’s a kind of rural music (the music from small towns and villages), which has formed its specific style. It reaps from the numerous surrounding cultural motives that have a heavy influence on it.
The Jewish wandering bands’ music of the Carpathians is a medium of the intercultural interactions characteristic for this specific region. It is played by the Jews to the Jews but also during some Hucul weddings, in Bukovinian inns or during Polish fairs. It is the music composed under the influence of the Diaspora countries, where music has been a ground for dialog, mutual exchange containing an universal element understood by everyone. The music disseminates the history of the Jews who has got accustomed to living in this region and the history of common existence with non-Jewish neighbours.