Joined: Dec. 12 2015
Interview to Santiago Lara, who has ...
Just in case you could be interested, here's my interview to Santiago Lara.
Original in spanish available here:
Santiago Lara: "Flamenco is a music that is as big and as rich as any other"
Santiago Lara (Jerez de la Frontera, 1974) is flamenco guitarist, producer and composer. He has made several world tours accompanying the 'maestro' Manolo Sanlúcar as a duo and has participated in recordings and tours with symphony orchestras. He has also done world tours with Mercedes Ruiz, for whom he has composed the music of all of her shows.
In his latest album "Flamenco tribute to Pat Metheny" he fits eight songs of this great jazz guitarist into the flamenco aesthetic . To that end he has surrounded himself with excellent collaborators like Jorge Pardo, Pablo Martin, Michael Olivera, Jesus Lavilla, Miguel Lopez "Lennon," Guillermo McGill, Antonio Serrano and A. Colonel with the voice of Estrella Morente, choirs José Amosa and "El Bolsas" and the hand clapping of Londro, Javier Peña and "Los arquitectos del compás".
Many flamenco guitarists feel admiration for Pat Metheny. In your case, what does his music have for connecting with you?.
Basically, the message. He is an artist who knows how to convey a message with his music, he takes you to his own musical universe. That's critical for me in any musician. He must tell something.
When did you see that his music can be adapted to a flamenco aesthetic?
Well, I started playing his songs for the sole purpose of learning, and automatically I started having ideas to bring them to my language, which is flamenco. I was the first surprised, it was a pleasant surprise. I took a passage from "James" and put it in a bulerías rhythm pattern, and I saw that it was working!
Who could be, in your opinion, the equivalent of Pat Metheny in the flamenco guitar?
I don't know ... .. As I said before, any guitarist who has good melodies in his music. I think the 'master' Vicente Amigo is already finding inspiration in his music, there is much of him there too.
What has been you working process?, Did you have in mind how you wanted the songs to sound like? Or did you just keep working until reaching a satisfactory result?
Well, I started selecting songs that I could adapt to the fingering of the flamenco guitar and the flamenco rhythm patterns. This way I could achieve original results, not too similar to the original songs.
There are many remarkable collaborations (Jorge Pardo, Antonio Serrano, Estrella Morente, etc.), Are they also fans of Metheny or did you encourage them to know his music?
Obviously, everyone knows Pat Metheny as an artist, but some people are more enthusiastic about his music than others. In the case of Estrella she was the one who wanted to work with me from the beginning because Metheny is a close friend of the Morente family. In other cases, I was the one who put a bug in their ears, he he.
Which has been the role of Metheny himself in the preparation of the album?
Well, we just went to meet him after his last concert in Córdoba, to talk about the project and to ask for his permission to make these adaptations. He was delighted with the idea and said, 'Do whatever you want with my music.' And then he heard the result and he was delighted with it.
Once you have entered the musical universe of Metheny, do you think you have incorporated things from him in your own way of playing?
A lot of them,! In fact that was the idea with which I started all this ... just to learn ... and I have learnt indeed! ... I keep many things inside of me for the future, tha'ts something that I have already earnt.
Many people talk about the contributions from jazz to flamenco (improvisation, scales, etc.). What has flamenco contributed to jazz?
I don't know ... people like Chick Corea, Al di Meola or Michel Camilo have done things in wich you can note that flamenco has influenced them ... even so, flamenco is still behind in the level of appreciation, compared with jazz. Thanks to the 'maestro' Paco de Lucía many people already respects flamenco all around the the world, but there's still much to be done to remove from flamenco that picture we have of folklore, spotted costumes etc... Flamenco is a music that is as big and as rich as any other, and even in Spain it is not respected the way it should be.
In your live performances, what other instruments can we find on stage when you play this songs?
Well...piano, drums and bass or upright bass. I tried to make the record in a way that it could be played live and sound very similar to the record . I think that's important for the public, they want to hear the record they have bought.
What are your plans for the coming months ?, Maybe combining the presentations of this record with some other projects?
Yes, first I'm doing some promotions etc ... live presentations, on April the 21st we make a presentation in Boguijazz, a jazz club in Madrid, and on june the 9th and the 19th we play at Clamores jazz club, in Madrid. I am also immersed in other projects and touring with the company of my wife, Mercedes Ruiz.