We played music together for hours, creating new compositions without talking
I’ll never forget the first moment I saw Branko. It was 2009 and I was 25, working as a musical director for a circus in the UK. I’d travelled alone from Gloucestershire to the village of Gornja Grabovica in Serbia, on a mission to learn Roma-style accordion. A week or so into my two-month trip, a friend called Dusan took me to meet his cousin Branko, who he said was one of the country’s best violinists.
When we arrived, Branko came out of the house he shared with his aunt and grandmother, wearing a white vest and jeans. I don’t remember thinking he was attractive, but for some reason I took a photo of him that I still have today.