Thursday, April 30, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

World-Famous Guitarist, Paco de Lucia...on being asked what he uses on his nails...

I use a little clear nail polish to protect them in the rasgueados and such, but hard nails are not good to have. I file the nails well every day with a very fine file, to make the nails smooth. The nails will break because of tiny cracks in them you cannot see. So if you have short nails carefully filed with a very fine file, and apply clear nail polish, it will be fine. On the thumb, I put on two or three layers of kleenex with crazy glue.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

At night I go out into the fields
and make the stones weep,
so great is the sorrow
that you make me go through.

De noche me salgo al campo
y hago las piedras de llorar,
esas son las grandes ducas
que tu me haces pasar.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

And Time said to Love:
"for this cocksureness
that you have...
I shall punish you."

Le dijo el tiempo al querer:
"esa soberbia que tienes,
yo te la castigare."

Solea por Buleria/Traditional

Monday, April 27, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Fevered, soaring, tempestuous, extravagant, erotic, fragile, subtle, bitter and full of the sufferings of love.

Jarko Jovanovic/Gypsy Musician (describing one of his song styles)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

The church is illuminated
when you enter,
and fills with flowers
where you sit.
And when you leave,
all the altars return to

La iglesia se ilumina
cuando tu entras,
y se llena de flores
donde te sientas.
Y cuando sales,
se revisten de luto
todos los altares.

Piropo Andaluz

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

The strings may be squeaky and worn, the voice cracked and hoarse. What counts here is not the pure and polished sound imposed by the anxious academician of our conservatories, but outrageous expressiveness...a sound too human to be heard without a total upheaval of one's being. A heartrending cry that rips through the guts and immerses the listener in the sacred ecstasy of the duende.

Bernard Leblon/Author

Friday, April 24, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Oh, poor heart of mine,
despite all the hard knocks
I have given you,
you never give up...

Ay pobre corazon mio,
por mas golpes que le doy
nunca se da por 'vensio'...


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

If I die, leave the balcony open.

The little boy is eating oranges.
(From my balcony I can see him.)

The reaper is harvesting the wheat.
(From my balcony I can hear him.)

If I die, leave the balcony open!

Si muero, dejad el balcon abierto.

El niño come naranjas.
(Desde mi balcon lo veo.)

El segador siega el trigo.
(Desde mi balcon lo siento.)

Si muero, dejad el balcon abierto!

Federico Garcia Lorca

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Your eyes
possess such power,
that even while they kill,
they restore vitality.

Tus ojitos
tienen tal virtud,
que a los mismos que matan,
le dan la salud.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

The cascade of hair
that falls down
your back;
by day pure beauty;
at night, a pillow.

Esa madeja de pelo que
te cuelga por las espaldas,
de dia por hermosura;
de noche por almohada.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

We now know that the gypsies originated in the Punjab in northwestern India, fleeing from the region during the clashes between invading Arab and Mongolian warriors, a thousand years ago. On their long odyssey, they travelled through, and settled in, the countries of the Middle East, including Persia and Egypt. Those who moved on from Egypt cultivated the legend that they were descendants of the Pharaohs, a belief to which many of their songs still refer. They also settled in Turkey, then known as Egypt Minor, and it was either their association with Egypt itself or this "other" Egypt that they became known as Gypcians. In old Spanish, in any case, gitano was simply a way of saying Egyptian... Those who had been in Greece were, in like manner, called Graecians. But in fact, because they had no writing, they had forgotten where they really came from.

An excerpt from the essay, "My Friends, the Gypsies" (on the "Andalucia" web site)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

I respect pure flamenco. I respect pure Andaluz, I respect pure pop and pure rock. It is the mixing of them that is beginning to tear flamenco apart at the seams.

Don Pohren/Author

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Everything he sang was almost punitively sad, with each group of words separated by deep and complete pauses. One song told the story of a prostitute who wore a crucifix; every time she took off her clothes, the crucifix would cry.
NY Times Review of Manuel Agujetas, 5/23/12

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

In practice what happens when a Gypsy sings verses borrowed from a culture other than his own, and in a language imposed by law, but with an ear and ancestral melodies carried with him from the Orient, is the encounter of two incompatible cultural forms, resulting in a sort of explosion.

Bernard Leblon/Author

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

In peace,
your conscience doesn't
let you live in peace.
Knowing that your mother
died in need,
never complaining

Con tranquilidad...
tu conciencia no te deja vivir
con tranquilidad.
Solo pensar que tu madre murio
de necesidad...
y no se dio ni una queja.

Fandangos Grandes/Traditional

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

“As a black person, I can understand the sentiment within the Gypsy community that we are people who have come to hijack their culture,” she said, comparing herself to a musician “who can sing the blues but cannot pretend to have come from the cotton fields.” Still, she said, flamenco is itself a fusion of cultural influences, so there is no reason foreign artists could not take center stage.

A British Dancer of Ghanaian & Jamaican descent/Quote taken from a NY Times Flamenco Article, 3/16/13 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

They call me the crazy man
because I never speak:
call me "little by little"...
Because I'm crazy from

A mi me llaman el loco
porque siempre voy 'callao':
llamarme poquito a poco,
que soy un loco de cuidado.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

It is extremely difficult to explain what does, or does not, make a great flamenco dancer. As in all flamenco, duende and gracia are prized possessions, followed by an instinctive compas and an underrated "good taste." Other than these essentials, there are not any clearly defined techniques that have to be used. It is strictly up to the dancer to use whatever technique he (or she) wishes, in whatever manner he wishes, within certain broad limitations, as long as they help him to express what he feels, whatever he is striving to communicate.

D. Pohren/The Art of Flamenco

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

See how flamenca you are;
With your silk scarf
Tied around your waist

Mira que flamenca eres;
Que er pañuelo e Manila
A la cintura lo tienes

Solea de Tres Versos

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

"When Carmen (Amaya) danced, regardless of the style, there was truth, integrity and beauty...for Carmen was always genuine; she unveiled her personality through her dance. Carmen danced Carmen, without copying from other sources....It does not suit her imitators. When watching Carmen's imitators one gets that embarrassed feeling, that urge to turn away, for the result is almost inevitably misplaced movements; unfelt turbulence, a complete lack of a word, utter chaos."

Don Pohren/Author

Friday, April 10, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Because dying is natural,
I am not afraid of death;
I am more afraid of life,
for I do not know where
it will lead me with this
head of mine.

Porque morir es natural,
yo no le temo a la muerte;
le temo mas a la 'via'
porque no se donde voy
a llegar con esta cabeza mia.

Malagueñas/Antonio Nuñez El chocolate

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

The doctor ordered me
to sleep with a dark-haired woman.
What an amiable doctor,
what good medicine.
No one will die from this

El medico me ha 'mandao'
dormir con una morena.
Que medico tan amable,
que medicina tan buena,
de este mal no muere nadie!

Fandangos Grandes de Agujetas

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

"There certainly are very difficult dancers. I am talking about those bailaores who try to twist the cante in the direction they want. They expect you to put cortes where there aren't any, or even add whole measures. As a result, the cante itself degenerates. Many dancers influence the cante this way, the reason being that often "bailaores" are really "bailarines" and don't know the cante. They tell you "sing a taranto" and if you sing them a taranto or a murciano, they won't notice the difference. They are in reality mathematicians: they only care about the measures. While you are singing, they are just counting."

Antonio Carrasco/Cantaor

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Wearing black with yellow polka dots will bring misfortune.
A Gypsy Flamenco Superstition

Monday, April 6, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

The sun comes out in the day,
for me it comes out at night.
It seems even the sun is against me.

Sale el sol cuando es de dia,
para mi sale de noche.
Hasta el sol va en contra mia.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

James Michener, who calls Holy Week in Seville "the world's most profound religious spectacle," describes an incident he observed:

"For a long, long moment, we stood facing each other, and the mark of pain was so visible in his face that I had to acknowledge that here was a man who had truly assumed the burden of Jesus Christ in the moments of his passion. This was neither the play acting of the men who carried the iron-ringed staves, beating them about as if they were marshals, nor the parade heroics of the armed soldiers looking as if they were about to enter battle, nor the posturings of the politicians as they exhibited their public spirituality. This was the face of an ordinary man who had assumed a burden that was almost more than he could bear; he was undergoing a religious experience that I had not ever come close to, and when I gave him a drink from my bottle he thanked me with an expression of ecstatic gratitude. I have never forgotten his face; he was not of the procession, he WAS the procession, standing at its very heart, and he was accepting as much of the passion of Jesus as any man could comprehend."

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

On the day that I die,
I ask only this of you:
that you worship the
earth that covers me.

El dia que yo me muera,
te lo quiero a ti encargar,
que la tierra que a mi me cubra,
la tienes que venerar.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Saetas are sung spontaneously by flamencos in the crowded streets and plazas. They are sung to the elaborately carved wooden figures of the crucified Christ and Virgin Mary as they pass through the streets of Seville during Holy Week. Authentic saetas are sung impromptu, and often sound like loud wailing or simple, impassioned utterances.

All mothers have sorrow,
but yours is the greatest,
because you have before
you your beloved son, his
feet and hands tied,
as if he were a traitor.

Toitas las madres tienen
pena, pero la tuya es la
mayor, porque delante llevas
a tu hijo amante, ammaraito
de pies y manos,
como si fuera un traidor.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

"Today there are many people who can devour the guitar, who play phenomenally well. But when it comes to accompanying, the guitarist has to stop, listen to the cantaor, and help him...especially if his voice is not in good shape. He shouldn't insert long variations or do strange things that will leave the singer even less able to sing. When the cantaor finishes singing, he should give him a short variation and then let him sing again. He should help him to breathe and find his tone again."

Juan Habichuela/Guitarrista 1988

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

In the barrio of Triana,
Those who don't know how to sing
Know how  to play the palmas well.

En er barrio e Triana,
Er que no sabe cantar
sabe tocar bien las parmas

Soleares de Tres Versos/Traditional