Memoria de los Sentidos

Head over to El País to listen to Vicente Amigo’s new album, Memoria de los Setidos. First impression is very good.

To get you excited about Amigo (or more excited, rather) read this ‘hyperventilated consecration’ of him by Alberto García Reyes as translated by Brook Zern.

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Vicente Amigo – My Best Of

Vicente Amigo is set to release a new album. Having enjoyed a recent concert of his, I’m looking forward to hearing it.

In anticipation, and as a means of contextualizing, I thought I’d go over his back catalog and pick out some favorites. Remarkably, most of Amigo’s work is on YouTube, neatly organised into albums, allowing me to share my picks as a YouTube playlist.

This was a rather irreverent exercise. I’m not sure how comfortable I would be doing it with, say, Paco de Lucía. This surely says something about the esteem in which I hold Amigo. It’s true that, with each listening, I’m either drawn in or pushed away. Through it all however, I can’t really ever get enough of his music.

For whatever reason, I didn’t include anything from Tauromagia by Manolo Sanlucar or Canto, Amgio’s collaboration with El Pele. Both of which are probably important in understanding Amigo.

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.