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gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

Flamenco History Books 

Hey folks,

I know I'm not overly active on here, but I do pay attention. I love what's said and use your references a lot, so thanks for that. Greatly appreciated.

When I first introduced myself I said that I was working on a documentary of flamenco, but using painting as my medium. I've been going to a flamenco school here in Curitiba (Brasil) for the past year or so to practice drawing and to know people, etc. It's been a great experience thus far, and last night was the school's 20th anniversary performance, which was really creatively done (flamenco in blue a light with only the white gloves, shoes, scarves, and fans visible - at least I felt it was creative).

In any case, at that event I was approached by someone else in the flamenco community (but not through the school) who knows what I'm trying to do: document the culture of flamenco as opposed to the performances. It turns out she wants to do the same thing but through writing and other visual arts. I may, after all, have a partner in this deal.

But one thing that I think I need is a good, solid book on the history of flamenco. yeah, I know, there's a lot on the web, and I've read a lot, but I feel that I could use a good book...in English. My Spanish is still not strong enough to understand yet, and I'm not sure my Portuguese will help at this point. However, don't lose hope, I do plan on reading Spanish books about flamenco in the next year.

I came across this book: Flamenco: The Art of Flamenco, Its History and Development Until Our Days by Barbara Thiel-Cramer. It seems to be the only one that is similar to what I've been seeking. There are lots of books out there for sure, but I'm really looking for something that covers the culture of flamenco (i.e. - the basis as opposed to the result).

Anyway, what do you think about this book? Are there any other books you'd recommend? My plan is to get a good understanding of flamenco (in English) then with the hopes of my Portuguese being beyond intermediate by early next year, I can start exploring Spanish books, so both are welcomed recommendations. (and yeah, I get it, Portuguese and Spanish aren't the same, but really, they're similar enough that I can use my Portuguese to help learn at the very least).

Thanks in advance!

Greg

(edited to make the pic more viewer friendly)

And just to show what I've been up to lately:



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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2013 14:55:03
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

Greg, you might enjoy Paco Sevilla's historical novel, Seeking Silverio, which is more what I'd call an "enhanced biography" of cantaor Antonio Chacon. I enjoyed it immensely, as I felt Sevilla successfully evoked the feel and look and smell of the Andalusia of the late 19th century. Also, the late Donn Pohren evoked the flamenco atmosphere of Andalusia in his classic The Art of Flamenco. A Google search will turn up both books.

runner
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2013 21:15:58
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

There's only one outstanding flamenco book in English, The Flamencos of Cadiz Bay by Gerald Howson- He's the best writer in English to write about flamenco.

Donn Pohrens books are out there in a more factual way. The best way to learn about flamenco is to not think about it as history, but as a continuous stream. And drinking in bars in Spain is really the best way to fish the stream.

Nice painting.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2013 21:56:04
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

Thanks guys,

Appreciated. I'll check those books out.

I totally get the "drinking in bars" thing. Nothing like learning the culture while in the culture. Unfortunately, I'm in Brasil and while the Flamenco scene here is pretty cool, it isn't what I'd call Flamenco culture.

Thanks for the compliment on the painting. Here's another one to suit your fancy (and yes, I consider this flamenco, too).



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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2013 17:52:07
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

HEART ATTACK!

My god, on Amazon, Seeking Silverio is over $200 used and The Art of Flamenco is as high as $600!!! Thankfully the latter is on google to read for free. It seems that Seeking Silverio is out of print. Can't find it anywhere for sale (for a reasonable price, that is).

The Flamencos of Cadiz Bay runs for about $115 on amazon (used).

OK, I'm totally cool with finding things on my own, but I'll be in the US for a few days in Oct and would love some help: Anyone have any good book sites they use to find obscure books (relatively cheap) in the US? I can't swing over $500 for books. ****, I can't swing $150 for books these days.

PS - love the **** edit up there of the four letter word. that's funny as fecal matter.

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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2013 18:31:31
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3351
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

quote:

HEART ATTACK!

My god, on Amazon, Seeking Silverio is over $200 used and The Art of Flamenco is as high as $600!!! Thankfully the latter is on google to read for free. It seems that Seeking Silverio is out of print. Can't find it anywhere for sale (for a reasonable price, that is).


get it direct from the author here

http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=flamenco;id=14;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eflamencobooks%2Ecom%2F

there are two other books that cover other eras, Carmen Amaya, and Paco de Lucia.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2013 20:41:47
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

You should try to get the Paco Sevilla books, I should have said he does write about history is sequenced timeline events. His stuff is solid. Gerald Howson wrote an excellent novel, which is very flamenco in spirit.

Go to the publishers- Bold Strummer publishes Flamencos of Cadiz Bay. http://boldstrummerltd.com/index.php?crn=75

F of CB is $23.00

Paul Hects book is pretty good too, The Wind Cried, although he writes about Malaga and the real action was further South.

Returing to A is an ok book, but I would not buy it to read it, borrow it from a library if you can. You won't learn anything about flamenco history. If you want to know about Ansonini get the new book about him in Spanish.

Flamencos of Cadiz Bay is a book you'll read twice, or more, worth owning.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2013 4:44:07
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

Thanks,

I was able to get the Paco Sevilla book and the Gerald Howson book from music stores, of all places.

Still trying to get the Art of Flamenco book. I think I found a place, but their online order form isn't working at the moment.

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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2013 13:27:42
 
jimand

 

Posts: 45
Joined: Mar. 27 2010
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

I see Paco Sevilla quite often. I'd be willing to coordinate getting a book from him directly if you want to go that route. - jim
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2013 19:23:18
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to jimand

Hi Jim,

That would be great, but at the moment I've already bought a book from Sevilla Press. Unfortunately, I only have the paypal receipt at the moment and can't seem to access the site I was on last night (and sevilla press hasn't sent a receipt yet). So maybe there's a chance.

The book would need to be in the US before Oct 15, however. Otherwise I'd have it sent to Brasil. But we'll see what happens with the publisher.

Thanks for the offer. Greatly appreciated.

Greg

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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 26 2013 23:03:32
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13342
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

art of flamenco can be found in your public library. (remember those?? ) Seeking silverio, I can lend to you after I finish it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2013 12:12:18
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to Ricardo

I would borrow it if I were in the U.S., but I'm in Brazil and not quite ready to read the book in Portuguese yet. hehe

Jim - replied to your PM. Not sure if you got it or if I sent it correctly. In short, yes that's me.

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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2013 13:49:21
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

Greg, let me second the motion concerning getting and reading Paco Sevilla's books: I initially recommended Seeking Silverio in that it would help satisfy your quest for more about flamenco culture. But Paco's bio of Carmen Amaya, Queen of the Gypsies, is IMO an outstanding history of the flamenco of the first half of the Twentieth Century, albeit more focused upon the phenomenon of traveling troupe flamenco, though Sevilla provides loads of useful flamenco history inside Spain as well as outside. A Must Read.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2013 14:01:00
 
gmburns

Posts: 157
Joined: Nov. 20 2012
 

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to runner

That sounds really what I'm after, too. I'm much more interested in the outcast society sort of thing, and I gather a travelling troupe would be just that - more gypsy-like than tourist school, so to speak. Thanks

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Greg Mason Burns - Artist
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2013 14:17:35
 
rogeliocan

Posts: 811
Joined: Nov. 23 2009
From: Canada

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to estebanana

quote:


There's only one outstanding flamenco book in English, The Flamencos of Cadiz Bay by Gerald Howson- He's the best writer in English to write about flamenco.


I just started reading this book. I am enjoying it a lot, and probably reading it a bit fast because I want to know the story. But I will have to re-read and take time to look for the flamencos mentioned in it.

Aurelio de Cadiz did have a great voice (I know that is all relative) but really easy to listen to, not what I expected. I have to look for Efren now.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2013 12:58:10
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1762
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Flamenco History Books (in reply to gmburns

quote:

Anyone have any good book sites they use to find obscure books (relatively cheap) in the US?


www.alibris.com

Paco Sevilla gave up on selling through Amazon, IIRC because they charged too great a percentage. Order through his web site.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2013 16:43:08
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