It is said that if you are fortunate, you will discovera place from which you can see the whole wolrd at once
If such a place exists,where better to seek it than in the blazing heat and blinding light of southern Spain.There amid the parched olive trees and the whitewashed walls,in the shattering sounds and eerie silences of flamenco music,you may not only see the whole world,but hear it as well.
Phoencians came here as conquerors as did the Romans,the Celts and the vandals who gave Andalucis its name. All brought their weapons,laws and languages, their music and dance. One by one,these invaders,captivated by the Andalucian view of life, were woven into the tapstry of southern Spain. Across the Straits of Gibraltar from Africa the Moors came,staring for seven centuries,bringing their strange new sounds. From far away northern India, the Gypsies came,surviving intense persecution and creating an anguished musical style so searingly intense that it was named "cante jondo" or "deep song". Later, when the Spanish galleons saild west, sailors returned with new treasure - the lilting tropical sounds of the Caribbean, promptly incorporated into the melange.
Today, it you listencarefully,you will hear this whole astonishing story in the sound of flamenco.
No one can untangle all the threads. That driving,pulsating rhythm, so easy to feel, so hardto analyze - is it the last vestige of an ancient dance form India? That other-worldly, anguished model melody - mightit be a lost, pre-Inquisition Jewish chant? And that dazzling guitar playing - canits origins be trace back to Ziryab, the fabled persian courtier/musician whose artistry seduced and electrified WArabic Spain? We only know that flamenco, after absorbing the glorious sounds of five continents,has reached out to conquer the world.
Flamenco emerged as a distinct musical style just two centuries ago, bubbling up from the streets, the bars and the Gypsy ghettoes, speaking of immense tragedy and bitter poverty. This international phenomenon took shape in a startlingly compact region of southern Spain - a triangle just 40 miles on a side, joining Seville, Jerez and Moron de la Frontera. As a Andalucia evolved, so did flamenco, which spoke more and more of the everyday trials of love gained and lost.
Yet, through it all, flamenco's essence - its incandescent core - remains the same. When you find the real thing, you will recognize it instantly. It echoes in the broken voice of a singer, the staccato steps of the dancer,the driving attack of the guitar. There is no posturing here, no prettiness, no showing off. Intensity, passion and truth are the only objectives.
There powerful forces are revealed in a phenomenon the performers call "duende". Late at night, when they are near the point of exhaustion, a strange spirit seems to enter into them. This spirit, this apparition, is the "duende". They welcome it, of course, since it is what they have sought all through the night. Yet they seem to fear it as wall, and it's not difficult to see why.
Suddemly, this inexplicable thing, this"duende", will take control and everything is altered. Guitarists will insist they are no longer moving their hands themselves, that something else is playing through them. Dancers, overwhelmed by the duende, will mvoe in ways that no one can move. And others in the room will treble and weep. For this moment - or is it an hour? - time stands still.
Then it iw gone. The participants seem almost relieved, even embarrassed, yet their pride is evident. They've done it. They have summoned the "duende" - the spirits of all their people who suffered and yet survived. In the face of death, which runs through all of flamenco's great forms, they have affirmed life. Flamenco, forged in despertion, has again revealed the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
In fact, flamenco reinvents itself with every generation. Today, it can include the sounds of North America - the harmonies, rhythms and inspiration of jazz and rock. Even as traditional boundaries blur, flamenco itself stays sharp and clear.
The gunshot heelwork of dancer. The strangely compelling voice of superb singer. The perfect dissonance of a phenomenal guitarist.
This is flamenco. Listen and hear the whole world.
01 Mori Sonando
02 Callejon de las Canteras
05 Aguita Clara
06 A mi hijo Jonatan
09 Voz de Referencia
10 Caminillo Viejo
11 Tangos de la plaza
12 Into the Dark