Nuestras Señoras

 

La Macanita was grouped together with Esperanza Fernández and Marina Heredia in an episode of Nuestro Flamenco this week. The format was somewhat like a corrida de toros as José María rotated through the artists and it made for great listening. Nonetheless, grouping singers like this just because they’re women makes little sense. Any one of them is deserving of our singular attention and no man has ever shared airtime on Nuestro Flamenco because he is a man.

Great episode though.

Vicente Amigo

Spaniards use a lot of hyperbole. This can be funny when they speak English. In a recent press conference Fernando Torres said that he and his team mates at Atlético Madrid would die for each other. This conjured up images in my mind of pristine footballers rushing out onto no man’s land to aid their injured comrades only to find out that their comrades are faking it. The conclusion of this scene would satisfy anyone who values sportsmanship.

Spaniards are also very romantic. However, in this case, the passion that they can convey leaves the joke on us. A couple of months ago Vicente Amigo performed at the Long Center in Austin and I had the privilege of being there. His first words in English were “I am going to give you my heart.” It really hit the spot with the audience. They audibly sat in his palm. Words that would usually come across as treacle seemed perfectly endearing.

Flamenco itself has similar powers. Some Anglo-Saxon music critic (I can’t remember who) noticed this. Having been to a show in New York they wrote something to the effect that the gestures of the singer would normally be considered nothing more than affectation. In the context of flamenco however, they augment the raw emotion of the sound and give the performance an air of importance.

Amigo’s concert was abound with importance. You should’ve been there too.

Leonard Cohen and Flamenco

There’s been a redesign over at elflamencovive.com.

While browsing their new site I came across Leonard Cohen: Lorca, el flamenco y el judío errante.

As long as I can remember I’ve listened to Cohen. Only in 2011 however, when he was awarded the Premio Principe de Asturias, did I become aware of his flamenco connection.

Here’s his acceptance speech:

I’ll have to improve my Spanish before I attempt to read the book.

Infectious Alegrías

Some infectious alegrías from David Palomar and Rafael Rodríguez.

ConTraste Flamenco recently dedicated a program to Palomar’s latest album Denominación de origen. His performances are so delightful however that television is a better way to appreciate his music than radio. He featured in RTVEs Cádiz y Jérez episode of Flamenco para tus ojos, along with El Cigala, Tomatito, Diego Carrasco, Montse Cortes, and Diego del Morao. Well worth a watch.

His video for El Cacharrito de Tomasa is exactly what I imagine it’s like whenever he’s out and about in Cádiz.

What is Flamenco?

Since coming across the above video on openculture.com I’ve wondered if a similar exposition of flamenco exists. Brook Zern’s presentation is the best approximation I’ve found so far:

There is little explanation of the music itself though, just a brief demonstration of a bulerias rhythm. Zern is more concerned here with getting across what he sees as unique in flamenco (and bullfighting).