By JESSE BERTEL, Across the Street

Gypsy Soul, the independent music group based in Prescott, is set to perform at the Highlands Center as part of the Music in the Highlands series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8.

The husband-and-wife duo, Roman Morykit and Cilette Swann, have been enchanting audiences for over two and a half decades with their soulful and evocative music. The duo recently returned from a sold-out concert at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix and are now gearing up for their upcoming local performance.

Joining Gypsy Soul for this event will be cellist Laura Simmons and backing singer Layne London, promising an evening of rich musical textures and heartfelt performances.

Morykit and Swann spoke with Across the Street ahead of the performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

What do you like most about playing together?

Morykit: The connection between the two of us and then the connection that we have with the audience. Interestingly enough, what we’ve been doing is filming our audience coming into the show and then coming out of the show and interview them for a few seconds to just get their impressions of what they enjoyed. The connection is definitely the heart. These are the things that people say. One lady said that she completely lost time when she was there. And that is the reason we do it.

Swann: And people go into their heart. I think for me, it’s the dance that’s created between the music, the words and the connection between Roman and me. We’ve been married almost 33 years. We’re deeply bonded. And then the way that the music interacts with the audience as well as us. It’s almost like there’s a chemical change in the room. There are scientific studies that show when audiences are watching a symphony, for example, that their hearts synch to the same rhythm when they’re in an audience situation.

How do you turn an

idea into a song?Morykit: It will usually start with the music, but it’s not just like playing chords. I usually come up with some themes. Our music is very thematic and it definitely has a classical sensibility to how I produce the records. Each instrument having its place and having its theme is very important to me. So, when I’m presenting something or a selection will be playing, it will usually have a theme that will then inspire her – either a counter melody to it or she may sometimes need to change.

Swann: Roman thinks like a conductor. Roman may be playing the guitar, but he’s thinking of all of the pieces of the orchestra. That’s what’s so unique about him as a writer and producer and a performer. It’s extraordinary, actually, how his mind works with music. I’ve never in my life met another musician who was as virtuosic as Roman.

For more information about Gypsy Soul, visit www.gypsysoul.com.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Facebook @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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