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siguiriya of Pastora   You are logged in as Guest
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NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

siguiriya of Pastora 

For several years, I've been greatly intrigued by a siguiriya recorded by Pastora Pavón. The style is Manuel Molina but she includes the sharped second degree (B natural por medio without capo, recording is por medio with capo at first fret) at a couple of points. With her low voice (in her other siguiriyas, the capo is about five frets higher than this one) it sounds all mysterious and unsettling, but it gets really weird and uncomfortable when she drops down to that sharped second degree. This morning, I noticed that the same note appears in versions by Torre and Tomás and that I hadn't bothered to upload any of this to my site.

http://www.canteytoque.es/sigclas.htm#molina1

Her version is the fourth one down.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 22 2012 17:43:50
 
aloysius

Posts: 233
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
From: Adelaide, Australia

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

Thanks for this Norman - the major second gives a really eery effect. I just love your site! When I first discovered it a couple of years back I spent all day listening to the solea varieties.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 22 2012 22:26:41
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

With her low voice (in her other siguiriyas, the capo is about five frets higher than this one) it sounds all mysterious and unsettling,


That was great! I'll confess I'm not very familiar with the old (i.e. pre-PDL) flamenco guitar, much less cante. But I love the fact that, even if she can belt it out, she instead lingers among the lower notes. Sometimes less is more.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 8:15:06
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to machopicasso

Thanks aloysius and machopicasso, glad you liked it.

quote:

the major second gives a really eery effect.


At the right moment it might scare the hell out of me! One of those ochres on the flamenco palette.

quote:

But I love the fact that, even if she can belt it out, she instead lingers among the lower notes. Sometimes less is more.


I think she was probably having problems with her voice when she recorded. She sings low and careful like that on all eight of the recordings she made in 1933 with Antonio Moreno. It's really noticeable in the sevillana.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 13:04:46
 
britguy

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Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

Hello Norman:

I also love your site, and have found some really fine old stuff that I wold never have learnedf if it were not for your audio clips and notations. Wonderfull stuff, a great resource for tradtional flamenco.

I had ('til they got broken) a couple of old vinyl 78's ( not sure what label, but it was a red one) of La Nina singing Seguiriyas accompanied by Melchor de Marchena. I probably bought them in Spain or maybe in England many years ago. Any idea when these may have been recorded?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 13:45:19
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14642
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

File not working....I check bunch of times and on other machine. The other mp3 work fine just pastora is not working.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 17:00:01
 
mrMagenta

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Joined: Oct. 25 2006
From: Sweden

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

I love it! Really touches me that note.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 17:23:47
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to mrMagenta

Thanks britguy and mrMagenta.

Ricardo: try the attached file, you'll have to swap the JPG extension for MP3. It's a real mystery because, AFAIK, I'm using the most basic audio settings but not everyone can open the files. The attachment is 64kbps, 44kHz and mono (the file on my site is 48kbps). Let me know if that won't do it.

britguy: Sure, Melchor's on her last studio recordings: 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1950. They recorded one siguiriya in each of those four years. He recorded with her brother Tomás in this time, in 1947 and 1948.

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 18:06:19
 
jshelton5040

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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

ORIGINAL: NormanKliman
britguy: Sure, Melchor's on her last studio recordings: 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1950. He played for her brother Tomás in 1947 and 1948.

Norman,

Do you have that 15 cd set of Pastora? It's a really wonderful compilation of her recordings.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 18:13:37
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to jshelton5040

Hi John,

Yes, the one by the Junta de Andalucía, right? (I think it's actually 13 CDs.) There's a ton of information on one of the disks: photos, interviews, all kinds of data and lengthy analyses written by some of Spain's top researchers. Nice effort and results, but a lot of the letras have the wrong words and the otherwise thorough texts skip over some crucial aspects of singer and guitarist. Not huge flaws, but worth mentioning because they contrast with the high quality of the rest of the production.

It's actually kind of interesting to have seen the advent of these "obras completas." Certainly a thing of the past, for now anyway, given the current state of the economy. But back when there was money, they rounded up and remastered all of Chacón's recordings (except the cylinders and tracks with Perico del Lunar), all of Tomás Pavón's, all of Torre's and nearly all of Mairena's. So many remaining, and some of the more difficult ones are pretty recent: Never mind those Chacón cylinders or the rumored-to-exist-but-never-actually-located sixth recording of a levantino style recorded by Manuel Escacena on the Zonophone label , some of those gas-station cassette tapes from the 70s and 80s are rare gems today (Chocolate, Terremoto, Agujetas, La Perla...)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2012 18:27:22
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

I think she was probably having problems with her voice when she recorded. She sings low and careful like that on all eight of the recordings she made in 1933 with Antonio Moreno. It's really noticeable in the sevillana.


Curiously, why do you think she was having voice problems, as opposed to, say, just experimenting with another style? Is it normal for cantors to have voice problems?

To echo a sentiment expressed earlier: I really appreciate your posting this material. I wouldn't know about it otherwise. Thanks.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2012 8:10:41
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

ORIGINAL: NormanKliman

Yes, the one by the Junta de Andalucía, right? (I think it's actually 13 CDs.)

You're right it's 13. I never bothered to read any of the notes just put the cd's on and listened to them while working in my shop. I'll have to dig that set out and listen to it again since it's been put away for several years.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2012 14:11:52
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
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RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

Curiously, why do you think she was having voice problems, as opposed to, say, just experimenting with another style? Is it normal for cantors to have voice problems?


Well of course I don't know that, but like I said above: She sings low and careful like that on all eight of the recordings she made in 1933 with Antonio Moreno. It's really noticeable in the sevillana. If you listen to lots of her recordings, you'll find that she usually sings louder and with much more power in the higher notes. I don't know if she often had problems with her voice, but it's mentioned in a couple of interviews.

quote:

I never bothered to read any of the notes just put the cd's on and listened to them while working in my shop. I'll have to dig that set out and listen to it again since it's been put away for several years.


Oh yeah: If you put one of the disks in your computer or DVD player, there are over a hundred photos of her, in addition to interviews, artists' renditions, transcriptions... The CD recordings are arranged chronologically. I'm not overly fond of most of the early disks because the recording quality isn't as good and she was much younger. CDs 1 and 2 with Montoya sound better and there are some good cantes and interesting toques. CDs 3 to 7 (1913-1915) sound worse and feature Luis Molina, who I don't like as much. Currito de La Jeroma plays on CD 8 (1917) and from CD 9 (1927) onward I like the recordings a lot more. The guitarists are Ricardo, Montoya (CD 10, 1929), Manolo de Badajoz, Antonio Moreno and Melchor.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2012 14:49:41
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

but it gets really weird and uncomfortable when she drops down to that sharped second degree.


Ok heard it. It's so common to me the modal exploration there that might imply harmony change that it doesn't strike me at all as strange or "eerie". Actually the raised second brightens up the color to my ear, and she resolves B-C-B-A like A minor key. Right from tona/martinete/carcelera....not sure which one but same concept,A-C-B-D-C#-C-Bb-A type thing.... working your way down to tonic embellishing with the natural note instead of the flat phrygian sound. Heard it in buleria sometimes too (not buleria corta cambio). Zambo and tomatito...very first letra they did off top of my head is an example. On the word "misa"...

There is an other interesting one Potito does really well (I will try to find it EDIT: on barrio alto track 5 at 1:29 the word "fatiga") where he does like a bluesy bend between a C# and a C, very deliberate micro tonal thing. Also in his palo seco solea the last letra he tosses out that B natural. I always think of these as just spontaneous personal embellishments the guitar can TRY to grab or just play through....but perhaps they are not improvised but practiced and refined?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2012 20:09:33
 
NormanKliman

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Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: siguiriya of Pastora (in reply to Ricardo

Thanks for the feedback, Ricardo!

quote:

...it doesn't strike me at all as strange or "eerie".


It's been transplanted into lots of cantes, so nothing surprising about it if you compare with modern recordings and other styles. A few days ago, a friend pointed out a bulería por soleá recorded by Barullo (Manuel Moneo's son). I haven't got the recording but I think it's the first track from his CD with Moraíto "Plazuela." The first two cantes start like bulería larga but drop down to that sharped second degree in the cambio.

quote:

Right from tona/martinete/carcelera....


Yes, I get that impression, too. But carcelera is a different cante. Some used to say that carcelera was the same cante when singing about prison (cárcel=prison), but the Solers say that it's actually from ancient Andalusian folklore and there are very few recordings, one being by Tenazas de Morón. The melody is major key throughout.

A closer match might be the siguiriya of Frasco El Colorao, but it also sounds like it comes from tonás/martinetes. Another connection might be in some of those siguiriyas cabales that are part major and part Phrygian. All of these styles appear to be really old. Also, the sharped second degree shows up in some versions of styles 2 and 3 of Curro Durse (also associated with Frasco El Colorao, like Manuel Molina 1). Less significant, though, IMO, because of the VII/III implication (G/C chords por medio, with B natural in the G chord) and B natural being just a hairsbreadth down from C. Interestingly, there are old references to Frasco El Colorao, Manuel Molina and Curro Durse being friends.

quote:

There is an other interesting one Potito does really well (I will try to find it EDIT: on barrio alto track 5 at 1:29 the word "fatiga") where he does like a bluesy bend between a C# and a C, very deliberate micro tonal thing.


Thanks for the reference, but now it's my turn to be unimpressed. Typical mixed bag of those derivative styles (deriving from Viejo de La Isla). The bluesy bend you mention is okay but commonplace to my ears. If you haven't heard it already, check out the microtonal descent in Pastora's version of the siguiriya of El Marrurro (http://www.canteytoque.es/sigclas.htm#marrurro). Similar descent in El Gloria's version, but Pastora flattens one of the words by a quarter tone.

quote:

Also in his palo seco solea the last letra he tosses out that B natural. I always think of these as just spontaneous personal embellishments the guitar can TRY to grab or just play through....but perhaps they are not improvised but practiced and refined?


Yes, I agree, especially when it's just a passing detail that goes by in a flash, as sung by Potito. In other styles, though, it seems rehearsed/refined as you say and worth changing the accompaniment IMO, if there's enough time and space.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 25 2012 8:29:51
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